Soliciting tips and advice

So, one of the things I am going to do this semester is throw myself into the deep end of the pool and do some instruction at the Tech Lab. By “instruction” I mean conducting an actual workshop in which people will (theoretically) learn useful and interesting skills. I haven’t ever given this sort of presentation, and in fact hate giving presentations — the last time was a disastrous attempt to conduct a 15-minute introduction and discussion on “To A Mouse,” by Robert Burns, in my “intro to being an English major” class freshman year.

Anyway, before I sit down and start thinking about putting together a presentation, I plan to try to talk to a couple of people at school who do a lot of this sort of thing, and see what tips and advice they have. But, I thought I’d see if any of you have suggestions as well. I don’t want to get into the topics yet because they are still pretty vague/broad/nebulous, but I will tell you that:

  • The topics will be tech-related issues with which I am quite comfortable, and they will take place in the Tech Lab classroom (equipped with computers for every attendee as well as a podium with a computer for the speaker, a white board and a projector)
  • One of them will definitely not work as a slide-driven presentation — the entire point is for the attendees to do something along with me
  • I could use slides for the other, but I think it will make more sense not to — partially to encourage people to surf along with me, but partially because I think I would wind up with a slideset full of screenshots of webpages, which just seems silly since we will be in the computer lab, and the attendees will in fact be sitting at computers

Anyway, any advice on developing and delivering workshop/presentation content would be much appreciated. I may or may not have a partner or two for these, but that is a detail that has yet to be worked out.

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