Thursday, 10 April 2014

Complacency, failure, improvement cycle and #pearltrees #pkm14

For what ever reason, I seem to have a personal complacency => failure => improvement cycle. Which means that every few years something that I was good at turns into mush.

Messed up more then one presentation
The latest one concerns presentation skills. So I have been good at it (why do I know: feedback forms, mouth to mouth) and then it turns bad (why do I know? Again feedback forms). I did feel myself slip, but I simply told myself 'I had a day off' and soothed me into not worrying. So what is the typical decay of my presentation skills: I know what I know, I actually know quite a bit about certain topics (mlearning, cMOOC), but then I want to share ALL that I know in one hour slot of presentation AND I rely on my brain to come up with structure ad hoc. This does not happen.
There are multiple reasons, as every and any teacher/trainer will know:

  • pushing too much information forward to the public simply does not transmit the message
  • if you are not a naturally structured person, ad-lib will result in chaos and rambling
  • use simple slides for presenting, and use notes to elaborate on your slides, or add audio so people understand the pictures you use (this means: I always think that slides can be used as content booklets (see my slides for yourself)... but I think I will just need to step away from that. Either present, or offer booklets I guess). As Marshall McLuhan said: the medium is the message , and I scrambled both up resulting in a confused feeling in the heads of the listeners.
  • a starting point and relations or concepts that are obvious to me, is not obvious for others
  • practice, practice, practice to become really good, and aim for the moon while I am at it
  • there was even someone in the audience figuring out if I could be one of their future presenters... well I scared them away big time *sigh*
Actions taken
I want to make sure I do not get trapped in my own world of greatness again (apparently I come from a city known for its citizens to think they are great (Antwerp, Belgium). Those citizens even get called 'señor/a' as a nickname to describe that complacent ego phenomenon. Anyway, I searched for a way to improve:
  • get some pointers on how to present, i.e. expert knowledge
  • corner a future presentation occasion: May 2014 an online forum (which will be on related subject as the presentation I messed up, and the forum also has feedback forms) 
  • practice, practice, practice and get better. Why: I want to give pleasurable insights on topic into people's minds, not chaos!
Because of the personal knowledge management course I am following and its assignments. One of our current assignment is testing out new tools. In the past I have used content mapping as a way to organize and built content and information towards new knowledge. I used CMAP from the University of Florida, USA. But it missed some of the easy social media sharing options (but does have meaningful relational descriptions as an option between to sets of content). As such I strolled through Jane Hart's eLearning tools and I found pearltrees as a new tool to put together content in a jiffy, make it visual and retrievable and share it with others. So sharing my pearltree here ( a just started Coursera course, examples of great public speakers, good books, and presentation tips):

Presenting skills and books / Great public speaker examples in Inge Ignatia de Waard (ignatia_dw)

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