Interview with “experienced” presenter Kim Gill

Today’s interview is with  “experienced” presenter Kim Gill, she is a teacher with WRDSB – @Gill_Ville

Q  What advice would you give to a first-time presenter?
A:  Tell your story!  We learn so much from shared experiences. Put your personal touch on your presentation with examples from your practice.  As audience members, we don’t expect everyone to be an expert, but we do expect to see different views and experiences.

Q:  What tools do you use to prepare / present you presentation?
A:  I’ve used slideshow software such as Keynote, PowerPoint, and Google Slides.  I’ve also use sites such as PollEverywhere and Kahoot to gather information from the audience or to encourage participation.

Q:  How do you practice for a presentation?
A:  I don’t!  I tell my story, share my examples, and sometimes change it up on the spot depending on where the participants’ interest and questions take me.  I find that more I practice, or prepare, the less likely I am to “stray from the main path”.  While that doesn’t sound so bad, sometimes you need to be able to go with the flow and be flexible in your presentation.  You need to be “ok” with skipping some prepared slides or to leave your presentation (slides) to go elsewhere.

Q:  Have you ever had AV problems during a presentation? How did you resolve it/them?
A:  Yes!  One time I was presenting in a location with horrible wifi access.  I learned to save a backup of my presentation that can be viewed offline (just in case – however, not an issue at the ScotiaBank Convention Centre).  Another time, the sound did not work at all for demonstrations in a presentation.  A brief explanation of what was missed, and a shared link for participants to access later, was how I was able to move on in my presentation.

Q:  How much time do you think you should leave for questions? Do you take them as they come or prefer them at the end of the presentation?
A:  I personally feel that taking questions as they come is more beneficial to participants as they get the information as it is relevant. I try to leave a few minutes for comments and questions, but always fear the crickets if I end too early!

Thank you Kim.

Peter McAsh

Interview with “experienced” presenter Aviva Dunsiger

Today’s interview is with  “experienced” presenter Aviva Dunsiger, currently a Kindergarten Teacher in HWDSB –  @avivaloca

Q  Tell us about your first ECOO / BIT presentation.
A:  I did one of the Pecha Kucha presentations with Jamie Weir. It was great! I liked that it was a finite amount of time, & I could really prepare well in advance. Made me feel more comfortable — especially with a big audience.

Q:  Have you ever done a presentation that didn’t go over well?
A:  Yes — It was a back-to-back presentation a couple of years ago. I think that I have so much to the first presentation that I was worn out by the second. It was a really small group, & people weren’t interacting much. I think I lost my spunk.

Q:  How do you practice for a presentation?
A:  I go through it to myself … Looking at the slides and saying what I might say. I do this a number of different times to get comfortable with the content and with my delivery. This also helps me see if anything’s missing.

Q:  What was your inspiration for your favourite presentation?
A:  My classroom experiences — actually most of my presentations stem from this.

Q:  Does it bother you if someone gets up and leaves in the middle of a presentation?
A:  Not really — & I always tell people that it’s okay if they do, but I sometimes wonder why they do. I wish I could always hear the reason why.

Thank you Aviva.

Peter McAsh

Interview with “experienced” presenter Jonathan So

In an effort to encourage people to submit session proposals, especially first-time presenters, we interviewed a number of “experienced” presenters.  This interview is with Jonathan who is a teacher at Ray Lawson PS in Brampton –  @MrSoClassroom

Q  Tell us about your first ECOO / BIT presentation.
A:  Three yrs ago someone suggest I apply and I did. Co-presented and it went great.

Q:  What makes a good presentation?
A:  A balance between information, connections and application. Be honest and personable. Speak from your heart and what makes you passionate you cannot go wrong.

Q:  What topic do you think is HOT and TIMELY for Bring IT, Together 2016
A:  Coding, tech in mathematics, purposeful tech integration, 3D printing, GAFE, Minecraft

Q:  What advice would you give to a first-time presenter?
A:  Have fun and relax. You are the expert.

Q:  Have you ever had AV problems during a presentation? How did you resolve it/them?
A:  Yes and you once again roll with the punches.  Just present and have fun.

Thank you Jonathan.

Peter McAsh

Interview with “experienced” presenter Danika Tipping

In an effort to encourage people to submit session proposals, especially first-time presenters, we contacted a number of “experienced” presenters.

Danika Tipping, spending her March Break in Denmark, took time from her trip to answer 5 questions related to her experiences making presentations.  

Danika is a secondary school English teacher with Thames Valley District School Board – @DankiaTipping

Q:  What makes for a good presentation?
A: Humour, practical examples, resources, authenticity–share your struggles not just your successes.

Q:  What advice would you give to a first-time presenter?
A:  Don’t put a lot of text on a slide. Stick to big, high res images. Honour the time limits.

Q:  How can you make a “sit ‘n git” session interesting?
A:  Make sure the audience can access slides and additional material. give real life examples (ideally with pictures/video) from your classroom. Use humour. Use something like Todaysmeet for a backchannel

Q:  Do you use humour/jokes in your presentation
A:  Um, yes. I can’t NOT use humour.

Q:  Have you made any connections that have extended beyond the conference because of your presentation?
A:  ABSOLUTELY! Too many people to name

Thank you Danika.

Peter McAsh


WANTED: First-time presenters

With a conference like BIT that attracts a large number of session proposals, if you have never presented at BIT, you have to ask yourself, “Why should I even bother to submit a proposal?”  I’m going to tell you why!

The BIT Organizing Committee recognizes the importance of having new voices, first-time presenters, at BIT. It is a goal of the Committee this year to actively encourage and accept proposals from those who have never presented at BIT in the past.

The first step in the process to attract new presenters was to include a question on this year’s submission proposal that identifies proposals from first-time presenters. This will allow the Presentation Committee to easily identify “newbies”

This blog post is the next step.  If you’ve never presented at BIT, consider submitting a proposal.  There are a variety of opportunities to participate from Wednesday full / half day sessions, 50-minute sessions on Thursday and Friday, to hosting an Innovation Station.  If presenting by yourself seems daunting, encourage a colleague to co-present.  The committee especially welcomes presentations that represent both the IT and classroom perspective; so if you are an educator, team-up with an IT person and vice versa.

The Organizing Committee is still discussing the specific details for selecting first-time presenters. But regardless of what the process is, if you haven’t submitted a proposal, you won’t be selected.

Review some of the previous blog posts about the types of presentation opportunities available, getting ideas from the BIT social media feeds, and especially the helpful hints from Doug about writing a successful proposal. Then go ahead and take the plunge by submitting a proposal.

Prior to the submission deadline of March 31, there will be a series of blog posts with advice from some of BIT’s more “experienced” presenters. We are hopeful that these blog posts will assist presenters both new and old and we encourage you to visit the blog regularly.