Are you a good audience member?

Today we had a speaker on the implementation of Google Apps into our school. Although I have learned most of the information presented prior to the meeting, it was great to have all of the faculty and staff on the same page with Google Apps.

From my perspective, it is also challenging to present to a group of adults who have differing backgrounds or experience. How do people cater presentations to effectively meet this dynamic? How to you present basics while challenging advanced learners? There is a paralell to the classroom. Many times, we have students with differing levels with differing amounts of comfort in the classroom. The main difference between the two groups is the age. When presenting to adults, it seems (to me) adults are a more challenging audience. Adults are more hesitant, less patient, and easily offended or annoyed.  Case in point…today I personally was a little bored with the presentation. At the same time, another one of my coworkers was upset at the speed of the information being delivered. Adults must learn to learn as children. In the presentation, I looked for opportunities to learn. Instead of complaining in my head about the waste of time, I reflected on how students feel in the classroom. How do I feel while I’m presenting to adults? It is stressful! To my peers who were stressed about the pace of the material….How can you learn the information in your own time? How can you ask questions when you are struggling in a workshop? Do you feel any empathy for students who sometimes to understand your class content?

All and all, I still prefer presenting to adolescents. They are so much fun.