Forgive me but I need to rant: Your presentation slides suck. That was the thought going through my mind when I was searching for good examples of presentation slides for a course I am teaching. All I wanted to find were slides that were clean, simple, and readable. Sounds easy, right?
A band geek for life. Yes, that's me. I was 11 years old when I picked up the clarinet for the first time. I joined the school band and officially became a band geek. Eventually, I played in all kinds of bands: concert, jazz, Dixieland, symphonies, musicals and church choirs. It was a blast! And everything they say about "band camp" is true.
Conversations matter. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago over coffee with my husband Sam. Saturday afternoons have become our date time. Our youngest daughter Charlotte attends a local theatre program for three hours and during this time Sam and I usually go grocery shopping and run errands. But one afternoon of late, we ran out of things to do and ended up at Starbucks for a coffee. We grabbed our drinks and headed for a table in the corner. And we began to talk.
Like many of you, I love to read. Last year, I started keeping track of the books I read and shared them with you. I decided to do the same for this year. So here is my list for 2018.
There is no end to controversy these days. You don't have to look far to find heated, prolonged, and public disagreements. I am not sure about you but I am getting weary of it all. It's like we are getting stuck in the deep, thick muck. So stuck, we can't move or even see how we can escape. Like a little child, we are crying for someone to lift us out and put us back on solid ground. But sadly...
I like a good burrito every now and then. Some chicken, black beans, rice, cheese, and salsa - yum. But, when you overstuff it - the results are not pretty. You can be sure that after a few bites in, the stuffing will be everywhere. Today, I was doing some research for a client...
In 2008, I completed my Certificate in Adult Education. Three years later walked across the stage to receive my M.Ed. in Studies of Lifelong Learning. They opened both my mind and the world to new ways of thinking about learning and teaching. Learning never stops for me. I am committed to lifelong learning and looking back, always have been. I am also a teacher. Sometimes I am training or facilitating in the workplace. Other times I am presenting at a conference or coaching my clients. But I am always teaching. As I work with my clients and continue to grow and learn, I have come to adopt some core beliefs about the work I do. These principles guide my work and my life. I practice what I preach. Here is my Learning (and Teaching) Manifesto:
I was eager to attend the very first Social Media Day here in Halifax and it did not disappoint! I set the day aside for my own professional development and was content to be on the audience side of things - which isn't always easy for me to do. Armed with a go-with-the-flow mindset, I showed up to absorb some learning nuggets and be inspired. There were close to 300 people from various backgrounds and interests sharing one thing in common - a desire to get better at social media.
On the weekend, I attended WordCamp Halifax 2018. It was a great event and I learned a lot despite being out of my comfort zone. And I almost didn't go. Even as I am typing this on my WordPress site, I admit to not being WP literate. I can add blog posts, and change some of the content, but this is where my savviness ends.
Over the weekend I moved my office to another larger space in my home. What I love about "moving" is the purging that goes along with it. Gosh, it felt good to get rid of the stuff that I had been hanging on to and was cluttering up everything. Today I am starting a fresh week in a clean, organized space. I must say it does a lot for a clearer 'headspace' too. Some of the stuff I was purging were lots of old and outdated printed training material such as handouts and guides. It was a good reminder to update my materials and make them fresh too.
Lifelong learning is a term we hear a lot. But have you thought about what it really means to learn throughout your life? Lifelong learning seems to be important. For instance:
Last week, one of my junior high teachers passed away. He was a good teacher, and when I heard the news I reflected on my time in his class. They were good times. Like many other teachers, he made a positive impact on me and influenced who I am many years later.
I am obsessed with the movie The Greatest Showman. I like musicals in general but I fell instantly in love with this movie from the opening scene. The colours of the costumes...the toe-tapping music...the roller-coaster of emotions...the positive message...all wrapped into one of the most vibrant movies I have seen in a long time.
I love reading. Books have been cherished friends ever since my 4th-grade teacher Miss Hinchey introduced me them to me. She would read novels to us by reading us a chapter as a reward for getting our work done and transported us to such places as a ranch near Colorado in the early 1900's or to the magical factory of Willy Wonka. Every day, I carve out some time to read...
Last week I busted the creativity dam. Ideas just flowed and flowed. It was awesome. Most days I sit staring at a blank computer screen waiting for a bolt of creativity. Many days it passes me by. So what was different this day?
On the weekend I attended BlogJam which is a day-long conference for bloggers. Normally, when I attend such an event, I write about my top takeaways. Although I learned lots, this time I left with a stronger impression of the day. It was amazing to see Bloggers from all over connecting and learning from each other. My A-Ha moment was...
In Canada, we are celebrating Small Business Week. Government and organizations that support small business are holding events that recognize the contribution we make to the economy. Yes - we. You see I am a small business owner although it has taken some time to embrace that term.
As presenters, we make many mistakes but do you know what the number one mistake is? It is not tailoring our presentation to our audience. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Then why don't we do it? I believe it comes down to one thing....