Presentations for Librarians is the companion blog and site to my 2008 book, Presentations for Librarians: A complete guide to creating effective, learner-centred presentations published by Chandos Publishing (now an imprint of Elsevier).
Why I Wrote The Book and Started the Blog
As an audience member attending presentations at library conferences and workshops, I often had to endure endless series of text-laden slides, made worse by presenters who narrated them verbatim to me (as if I couldn’t read). When these abysmal presentations were over, I rarely remembered what they were about and often threw away the accompanying handouts because they made no sense without the speaker’s narration.
Since presentations are an integral part of the professional life of a librarian, I often wondered why the presentations I attended actually hindered my learning rather than enhancing it. Speakers (both within and outside of the library world) routinely deliver presentations that ignore the basics of human learning, overload our memory capacity, and set up obstacles to efficient learning of the material.
While there are dozens of books on presentations, few of them incorporate theories of human learning and the best possible instructional design to help presenters deliver an effective learning experience for their audience.
My book and this blog attempt to bring you evidence-based and theory-backed guidelines and principles you can use to drastically improve your presentations and make them more learner-centered. As an added bonus, giving more successful presentations helps you build your confidence in your skills as a presenter, which are increasingly in demand in the workplace and in the classroom.
I look forward to your comments and suggestions!
2014 Update: More work needs to be done in making the world safe from awful presentations!
I am currently the Head of Information & Access Services at the University of Houston Libraries in Houston, TX. Prior to assuming this role in 2010, I spent my library career in the Interlibrary Loan departments of Rice University, the Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center Library, and the University of Houston. Before finding sanctuary in academia, I worked for KR SourceOne in New York, NY as chief librarian. If you’re curious, you can view my entire CV.
I hold a Master’s degree in Education (Instructional Technology) from the University of Houston and a Master’s degree in Library & Information Science from the University of South Carolina. And if you really want to know, I also hold a double-major in French and Spanish language/literature from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. In 2014 I began to learn Danish, because I like a language challenge and I’ve always wanted to visit Denmark. Hej!
Born and raised in Charleston, SC, I’ve made Houston my home, living here for seventeen years! When I’m not making the world safe for presentation audiences everywhere, I do normal stuff like hike, read books, bake pies and play video games.