10 tips for workshop presenters any teachers…

I once spent a whole day in a professional development workshop for second language teachers and I learned how to make a fold-up book. That’s all. Nothing else.

When I’m not stimulated and challenged in a learning context, I tend to get impatient and have to watch my body language, so as not to make my dissatisfaction obvious to the whole room. As an educator, though, there should always be something I can learn. If the content doesn’t engage me, I can learn by observing the presenters…

Throughout the excellent IB Workshop Leader Training, the trainers, consciously and unconsciously, modelled presentation techniques. Trainee workshop leaders were encouraged to stand out front and present in groups. It was inspiring to see such passionate educators find creative, engaging ways to share their knowledge and learning. It was an opportunity to observe, watch, listen… and learn.

Ten tips for workshop presenters  any teachers…

1. Speak in your own voice.

Be genuine and natural. Don’t use a ‘presenter voice’.

2. Don’t speak too much.

As lovely as you might sound, less is more. Keep it simple. Get to the point.

3. Share your passion.

Inspire others with your enthusiasm. If you’re excited by what you’re saying, the audience will be too.

4. Be sensitive to your audience.

Are they yawning? Have they tuned out? Are they checking their email? (Draw your own conclusions!)

5. Listen responsively.

Listen and respond to participants. Show that you value their input.

6. Have a sense of humour.

Laugh at yourself. Laugh with (but not at) your audience.

7. An image speaks a thousand words.

Dump your Powerpoint if it’s overloaded with information. Don’t read from your slides. Use powerful images and as few words as possible as prompts.

8. Provoke the participants.

Make them think. Challenge them. Keep them active.

9. Encourage reflection.

Include thinking time. Allow enough time to talk and construct meaning.

10. Be humble.

You don’t know it all…

IB Workshop Leader Training Day #4

14 thoughts on “10 tips for workshop presenters any teachers…

  1. Thanks for sharing these 10 tips that really are good for anyone! I’m a presenter, and I have to keep reminding myself just these things you’ve mentioned! It’s easy to get wrapped up in the content and miss the ‘read-out’ on the audience!


  2. I always believe that I get a lot from workshops and enjoy them (more than colleagues as far as I can see). I can say that I do not enjoy the ones where presenters tell you to do the most of it, such as “regroup according to …. and prepare a 5-min-presentation on …., and the workshop is over without getting much. I know everything might make you think, but sometimes it is too much fun but little thought for 2 or 3 days.


  3. My name is Jamie Cunningham and I am currently enrolled in an Education Media course at the University of South Alabama. The university has a student blog you can access it Here . I have also recently started a blog.
    Feel free to check it out. I really enjoyed your post. I am not a teacher.. Yet, but I am working on it. I loved the top ten tips. I think the one I like the best was “Be Humble”. A degree does not mean that a person knows everything and if they are to humble themselves they may just learn something new. Feel free to contact me on Twitter


  4. I couldn’t have found this post at a better time. I was making the move to becoming a presenter and had just been to a workshop where I learnt the name for something I already do and got a flowchart that I hadn’t seen before. Nothing else. Needless to say this post really struck home!

    They are truly wonderful ideas in that list. I followed the advice and the feedback for my first presentation was unanimously positive. Thanks, Ed, you’re a lifesaver!

    Your blog has been in my sidebar for a while but I’ll be sending people from my blog to read this one ;).


  5. If teachers are checking their email and texting, maybe that’s the participant’s problem. Sometimes teachers are the WORST audience. They display to a greater degree the behaviors they wouldn’t tolerate from their students.
    As a presenter I’d like to list ten tips for participants. Some teachers are rude and need it.


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