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The Wow! Factor

Read “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs” (Carmine Gallo, Columnist at is the author) Copyright 2010. It is a great find and has much practical advice on marketing and presentations. I recently applied some of the strategies with excellent results. Here are a few of the highlights:

1. With Powerpoint slides DO NOT use bullets. Instead, think of a minimalist, zen approach, with a few key words, and perhaps some beautiful visuals. Create an atmosphere for the audience.

2. Consider a factor of three and do not have more than 3 points for any concept.

3. Set the stage by naming an antagonist early in the presentation and then deliver the fix. For many educational presentations, the antagonist will be AYP and factors interfering with student achievement.

I encourage teachers to apply these strategies when working with students and to create an air of mystery or a challenge to pull students into the assignment. For example, one could say “Columbus was the first explorer to sail to the new world” or the lesson could begin with a “hook” such as “Imagine that you are approaching the Queen of Spain, planning to set out to make a journey that has never been done before. You know that others set out and did not return…” We want students to be engaged with the topics, to put themselves in the scene.

From my work with yoga and meditation I have also learned the importance of working with energy and creating a classroom where students and teachers are energized. If yawning sets in, teachers may need to shift activities. One way to stay ahead of the boredom is to pay attention to time and note over a few days when the boredom or restlessness starts to occur. With this information, teachers can then shift subjects a minute or two before. This will vary with each class as classes have unique personalities and needs.

I am challenging teachers to create at least one “wow” lesson a day.


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