Let’s face it. Nobody likes to sit through a boring presentation. So, why do so many presenters put together information in a manner that is undeniably boring? If you are regularly presenting information to audiences or if you are working on a one-time conference presentation, there are methods to delivering the necessary information in engaging and interesting ways without compromising the message. In fact, following Madeline Hunter’s model for learning will result in an audience that takes away the information you’ve presented, tucked away in their minds and ready to be applied to the desired situations.
Madeline Hunter was an American educator who developed a teaching and learning model which was widely used by schools during the last part of the 20th century. Her model, the Instructional Theory into Practice teaching model (ITIP), is a direct instruction program which identifies seven components for teaching. These include knowledge of human growth and development, content, classroom management, materials, planning, human relations, and instructional skills. Hunter is most widely known for her instructional model.
You may ask how an educational strategy relates to your upcoming conference presentation. Any presentation is a means of educating an audience. Viewing one in such a manner and modeling it as a lesson will yield positive results, including better understanding and applicability of the information. Include the following components of Hunter’s Instructional Theory Into Practice (ITIP) in your next conference presentation, and it will be a success.
- Set (Hook)
The set is a tool used to gain the interest of the audience, while introducing the material to be learned. This is often presented as a handout upon entering the conference, an ice-breaker game which ties into the material, an overview of the material, or a video to give an overview. This aspect of the presentation is of utmost importance, as it sets the tone for the entire presentation. Set the stage for an interesting presentation with a clever opener.
We learn more effectively when we know what we are supposed to learn and why we should learn it. When you are presenting information, you will be more effective if you have the same information as well. The objective, or purpose, of the presentation includes why the audience needs to learn the objective, what they will be able to do once they’ve learned the material, and how they will be able to demonstrate that they have learned the material. The equation for the objective is: The Learner Will Do What + With What + How Well.
The new knowledge you are bringing to the table must be presented to the conference audience in the most effective manner. Some examples are discovery, discussion, reading, listening, and observing. Take a good look at the material you will be covering, the audience demographics, the setting, and the tone of the conference. Think outside the box with your presenting, or teaching, style. Discern which manner of information transmission will be the most effective for your situation. Each presentation should be unique, since the contextual circumstances are unique for each conference.
- Guided Practice/Mentoring
In this portion of the presentation, allow the audience to practice the new learning under your direct supervision. Lead the audience through the necessary steps in order to perform the skill you’re teaching using a tri-modal approach. More simply put, this approach involves hearing, seeing, and doing. Tailor this portion to your specific needs. This portion may also be omitted if the setting and material does not necessitate it.
Presenters often errantly fail to utilize this step, which is important in the learning process. Ask the audience to tell you or show you what they’ve learned. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, but the bottom line is that the audience is demonstrating the acquisition of knowledge. Interesting forms of this are mini-presentations, demonstrations, or skits by groups created during the presentation. Quizzes or tests also demonstrate this. It is important to view this as not necessarily an end point, but more of a final check for understanding used at the conclusion of the presentation.
If you employ the model introduced by Madeline Hunter when preparing for your next conference presentation, you will surely create a successful experience for everyone involved. ~Tricia