After years of active membership in both Tesol Greece and Tesol Macedonia-Thrace-Northern Greece, I finally decided to deliver a presentation ,in this year’s Tesol MTN Greece annual convention in March!
As I planned my session, I thought about programs I had attended that had worked well and followed those examples. Similarly, if I recalled a session that I had attended in the past that was not successful, I learnt from those mistakes!
I had in mind that ,when speeches and presentations are poorly organized, the impact of the message is reduced and the audience is less likely to accept the speaker or the speaker’s ideas.
Truth is, TESOL wants speakers to do well. I knew, I would have all the support I would need..!
Of course, I must admit I was a bit nervous, before the big day! It’s normal to get nervous about public speaking, I guess…
I made sure that I used my notes to help me remember what I wanted to say. (I actually, used my notes more than I should have ….)
I also rehearsed a LOT!
Last but not least, I made sure that I read the TESOL list of best practices to help me create a successful session. I am sharing this list here ….
In your opening remarks, introduce yourself and mention the name and the purpose of the session.
Attendees expect your presentation to reflect the description used to promote your session. Please ensure that it does.
Stand up when presenting, even if you are part of a panel discussion.
Always use your microphone, and repeat all questions from attendees.
Engage session attendees as active learners rather than passive listeners.
Provide plenty of opportunities for attendees to ask questions, interact with each other, and apply the concepts you are presenting.
Provide resources and handout materials in advance of your session.
Be energetic and enthusiastic! Attendees will feed off your energy, which will make the learning experience more useful and rewarding.
Comply with all program-related deadlines provided by TESOL, including but not limited to deadlines for handouts, A/V orders, etc.
Agree to notify TESOL immediately in event that an emergency should prevent you from meeting your obligation to present.
Know Your Audience
Who attends the TESOL convention? The attendees are primarily from higher education and elementary education, and they represent all job functions in the field. Consultants and exhibitors also attend.
What do attendees expect?
All attendees value openness and diversity of thinking as they tackle real issues in the classroom. They want substance and knowledge they can immediately put in to practice. All are looking for new ways to solve their current challenges and for ways to push their students, programs, and institutions toward better outcomes.
What your attendees will remember
What they actually did in your session, not what they saw or heard
Exercises that demonstrated your point
Stories and examples that painted a mental picture
Particularly powerful metaphors that can serve as reminders
Small group discussion of key points
Interaction with peers
What your attendees won’t remember
Your incredible statistics, even though such facts will build your credibility
Most of your jokes, although giving them a few laughs will make them more receptive to your information and thinking
How eloquent you were, although your clarity of thought will help them comprehend what you are trying to say
Quick Tips:Things to Consider
Smile, relax, and have fun—the audience will feel it
Use an ice-breaker to get your audience interacting and engaged from the beginning
Be energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate
Use appropriate humor or other ways to engage your audience
Know your topic well enough so that you do not have to read it from your slides
Define any acronyms that your audience may not know
Move around—don’t trap yourself behind a laptop
Allow the audience to ask questions
Try to add stories, anecdotes, testimonials, or demonstrations that emphasize your point
Repeat questions asked by the audience so that everyone will hear
Stay on track and within your allotted time
Close your presentation by summarizing your key points
Provide tools and information that audience can implement
Remember that the audience is very interested in what you have to say and they want you to do well!
Read your presentation from your slides or your notes
Use acronyms that that audience might not know
Look over your shoulder at the presentation screen (PowerPoint)
Use slides that contain nothing but text
Engage in distracting conversations with other presenters while someone else is talking
Answer questions without repeating questions first
Use conversation fillers like “umm,” “you know,” and “like”
Speak so quickly that your audience has trouble understanding you
If your question now is, whether I managed to follow all those quidelines during my presentation, my answer will be ” not really”!…
But, this is not what really mattered! The important thing was, that I finally did it!! I accepted the challege and decided to share my teaching practices and class experience ,in public! I am no expert, I am just an ordinary teacher, who sometimes does…..extraordinary things in class!
And because my motto is ” Sharing is caring”, I had to dare , share and inspire other teachers the same way, I have been inspired by amazing educators out there ,throughout me teaching career ! Tesol has been my major source of inspiration all these years!
I am a proud Tesoler and so happy to be able to offer something back!
Thank you Tesol Mac.Thr. N. Greece for the opportunity to share and show how much I do care!
After all, SHARING IS CARING! Dare to share!