Embrace your inner Rachael Ray: What TV chefs can teach librarians about presentation style

Embrace your inner Rachael Ray: What TV chefs can teach librarians about presentation style

By Anna Johnson, Mt Hood Community College, presentation notes (video clips)

Topics covered in the presentation: Public speaking is emotional (how do you feel?).  Who is the public speaker of the library?  How to improve your public speaking skills?  There are two main tools covered in this presentation: 1. The personality of the TV chef 2. The structure of a TV cooking show (30 minute meals = 30 minute presentation time.)

Recipe for tasty library presentations.  Good public presenters are good at being:

1. Eager and able to teach with what they know
2. Skilled at step-by step demos
3. Energetic and enthusiastic presenters

There are four personality traits (ingredients) that help make a person successful and fun to watch as public speakers:

1. Energy and enthusiasm (can substitute equal amount of passion for the subject matter.  About topic — talks about nothing–people think its cute)
2. Expert knowledge acquired through years of getting paid to do what you love to do.
3. Willingness to share relevant stories about your own experiences with the subject  (it helps people relate, stories help fill time, some personal flavor adds to presentation)
4. Ability to explain what you’re doing (and why), while you’re doing it

How to assemble your presentation:

  • Explain what you’ll be demonstrating and why your audience should try it themselves
  • During demo explain why do things the way you do (and what to avoid)
  • Prepare examples ahead of time, and be prepared to skip a few steps
  • Every 10 minutes or so, recap what we’ve learned so far and what’s coming up.
  • Share a personal story relating your interests in and/or experiences with this topic
  • Encourage your audience to try it on their own, and tell them how to learn more
  • Experts knowledge from getting paid to do what you love. (they know you know more than they do and they expect it.  Expertise is assumed.).
  • Ability to explain what you’re doing while you’re doing it (sometimes come naturally.  how walk & talk at the same time)
  • Explain what you do and encourage your audience to try these skill (you soak in info while they talk instead of cook along side of tv show).
  • During demo explain why you do things they way you do (what things might go wrong).
  • Prepare examples ahead of time (sometimes on the fly searches work, but if you aren’t familiar it might go astray.  Open to stopping in the middle to give more detail–see screen to see context).
  • And be prepared to skip a few steps to maximize your time (think about prior to what needs to be discussed or prepared ahead of time — canned search to maximize time.).  How do you learn to teach and present at conferences?

Follow up question and comments from audience:

  • What about building credibility with faculty to come to presentations (give pizza to faculty to demo new database)?
  • You need to have some entertainment involved to engage them.
  • Why should students listen to us?  I use metaphors (ride like a toddler vs ride like Lance Armstrong = learn how to do really good searching)
  • Should our professional training include public speakers? (Yes!) Where does this training come from? Professional development, training, etc. Some schools are including and requiring public speaking classes.
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About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on February 5, 2010, in Education, Libraries, Online NW, Presentations and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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