Interview with “experienced” presenter Susan Watt

Today’s interview is with  “experienced” presenter Susan Watt, OTF Moderator, Presenter/Speaker, Retired Educator – @susan_watt

Q  What makes for a good presentation?
A:  There are good presentations that keep me engaged and entertained for the time I’m there, but the BEST presentations, imho, have long term effects. These are the ones that I think about long after – that I quote … that make me try new things or change my practice … that inspire me to grow.

Q:  How can you make a “sit ‘n git” session interesting?
A:  I think an engaging, funny presenter can make it interesting, but is this really what we want?? I think it’s more important to engage people – make them think, talk, strategize, try something new, step outside their comfort zone. We should avoid ‘sit’n’git’ as much as possible.

Q:  If you were planning for 30 participants and ended up with 200, would you change your presentation? How about 6 people showing up?
A:  I would hope that the planning committee would ensure that if I were given a room to hold 200, they would give me a warning! In general terms though, it’s important to build in opportunities in any presentation for attendees to discuss, share and question. People are often less inclined to speak out in a large group, so it will take a little more coaxing by you. In your planning, imagine groups of different sizes so you won’t be surprised or thrown off.

Q:  Have you ever had AV problems during a presentation? How did you resolve it/them?
A:  With patience. And help from anyone in the audience. Don’t let it rattle you – use the opportunity to model to your group how to solve issues with technology. It happens to everyone, so seeing you use a calm, problem solving manner will go a long way.

Q:  What advice would you give to a first-time presenter?
A:  Try to record at least part of your presentation. Listen for ‘ums’, ahs, and overuse of any other ‘fillers’.
Be inclusive.
Avoid using the gender specific term ‘guys’ when referring to a mixed gender audience.
Don’t blame the technology when something goes wrong.

Thank you, Susan.

Peter McAsh
socialmedia@bringittogether.ca