Growth in Presenting: reflections on “combating fake news”

Yesterday I presented Combating Fake News: Critical Consumption and Digital Citizenship during Capital University’s Martin Luther King Day of Learning. It was really exciting to dig a little deeper on one aspect of digital citizenship rather than just give a broad overview. This is such a tricky topic because it is not about “fake news” really.  Or at least not the way I see it. It is about critical thinking, diversity of thought, and yes self-discovery. I mean how are we defined if it is not based on our perception of reality?

It was one of my better presentations and I was really proud of myself because if you know me at all then you know that presenting is not one of my strongest skills. I think teaching last term helped a lot. I also reached out to some colleagues who are really knowledgeable about this topic, but who also happen to be amazing presenters, for advice and that helped me feel more confident.

I was under quite the time crunch and had to do things differently than I normally would but I think that actually made the presentation better. Considering I just wrote about imperfection with Maha and Rebecca I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

Normally, I try to have very visual presentations. I start with lots of text but then I move all or most of the text to the notes section and replace with images. There was no time for that this time but I actually think that it made the presentation more of a resource – especially because there are a ton of links in there.

That was another thing that was different; I knew going in that I had way too much. Too many big topics, too much media, just too much stuff overall. However, I found this allowed me to be more spontaneous. Because I had all that stuff – I was able to flow more smoothly and just skip around. Sometimes I only played part of a video or had to skip a slide or two but I was able to take more comments from the participants and let the thing go where it wanted to. Of course I had to reel things back in a few times because of the clock but it was so freeing.

I generated a bit.ly link for an online version of the deck and pointed it out to everyone before and after the presentation. I also put the bit.ly link on the bottom of almost every slide. After the workshop a bunch of folks are still accessing it so I think that may have actually worked out. It may not be as pretty as many of my other presentations. It might break all the rules of how you are supposed to do a slidedeck these days… but I think it worked out for this particular presentation as a resource. What was key was that the conversation in the room was the centerpiece not slidedeck. Now, the slidedeck is more than just a collection of pictures. It is a collection of idea snippets, yes, but most useful it is a collection of links.

Not that I’m giving up my pictures in the future mind you ;-P but it is nice to know this kind slidedeck is not automatically a disaster.

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Image Credit: Autumm Caines. Underwood, CC-BY