Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why I Present and You Should Too

The first time I did a presentation for a CSLA event, during a Southern Section Workshop, I have to admit that I was extremely nervous and I promised myself on my way there that I would never put myself through that stress again. Well, I broke that promise less than a week later when I submitted a proposal to speak at the next CSLA Annual Conference. Why? Well, here are just a few of the reasons why my very first presentation at a school library professional event got me hooked:
  • I learn so much about my topic every time I prepare a presentation.  Whatever I may know about a topic before I start planning my talk, I always develop further expertise as I do more research, look for additional resources to share, and ponder how I am going  to organize what I say. If there is something you want to become an expert at, volunteer to do a presentation about it; you will grow into that expertise as you prepare.
  • I learn so much during the presentation itself. I learn which delivery techniques work, which don’t so well, and what I can change the next time. I learn from the questions members of the audience ask that may make me think about the topic in a new way. Questions also give me the validation of realizing how much I really know about my topic that others want to hear about from me.
  • I learn related new skills, such as how to better exploit the capabilities of presentation and graphics software. I first learned, which is now my favorite presentation application, because I set myself a challenge to use it for a presentation that was coming up.  
  • I meet new friends and my PLN (personal learning network) grows. There is nothing more gratifying than having people introduce themselves and tell me they enjoyed hearing my talk.
  • And, yes, I definitely get an adrenal rush from the stress beforehand, a few moments in the spotlight during it, and the satisfaction afterwards of a job well done. And, yes, I bet you will too. :)  

So, treat yourself to some fun, hard work, and a growing experience: prepare a proposal to present a concurrent session at the CSLA 2012 Conference in San Jose. Concurrent Session Chairs Ellie Goldstein-Erickson and Sandra Lane await your submissions! Proposals are due on April 14. Visit this link for information.

If you are reading this and have already had the great experience of presenting, please share a comment about why YOU choose to present.

(cross-posted to