UPDATE: I am now doing a presentation on using Evernote and Postach.io
How do you make a presentation on project management exciting and worthwile to a group of teachers/administrators? This was the question I was faced with last week and into this week. Let’s be honest…project management is about as exciting as watching paint dry on a humid summer day. This whole discussion came about as I start work on prepairing for the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools (OAPCS) State Conference Nov. 14th and 15th 2013.
Project management is a critical piece of the puzzle in any setting but what I have observed is people lacking an understanding of the terminology and process assosciated with this critical element. I have also observed that people often lack a starting point in evaluating vendors that come knocking at their door.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I AM EMPLOYED BY OAPCS AND ASSIST WITH THE CONFERENCE
In between taking two classes this summer at Bowling Green State University for my Master’s in Classroom Technology, I also saw a number of people within my PLN discussing a book titled Teach Like a Pirate (#tlap). I downloaded the Kindle edition of the book and started reading away. You can follow the author Dave Burgess on Twitter @burgessdave and also particpate in the ongoing discussions using the hashtag #tlap
Early on in the book Burgess discusses creating a hook, an intrguing message before they even enter the room. Burgess has established this hook with his students over the years as his reputation for being “the crazy teacher” on campus has spread. His last final hook for the students happens as they approach the door to his classroom with a sign simply asking students if they are ready for the experience that comes with being in his class. This is a powerful message achieved in limited words and it had me puzzled as to how I could create that excitment in my presentation.
My only possibility to hook attendees into my session would be through the title and description in the conference guide. I have crafted the title and description to read much like a wrestling bout main attraction. It starts off with the following “Multiple vendors enter the arena to vie for your bussiness…only one emerges victorius” and it continues on. After I wrote the description I still didn’t feel as though I had enough hook in the presentation.
I went in search of a few project management videos that poke fun at the process and the results we have all witnessed in past projects. It was through these videos I kept hearing industry buzzwords and the light bulb went off. My presentation is currently outlined and has text going in different directions. I created my own Buzzword Bingo playing card courtsey of Buzzwordbingogame.com. The words found in my game were placed by taking my outline and pasting the text into Wordle and saw which words were the most popular.
During the presentation the idea is that the attendees in the audience will play along, listening for the buzzwords found on their cards. I changed the game up a little and added a “Bonus Word” that was in no related to the topic at hand. This “Bonus Word” will show who is really listening. The “Bonus Word” I added was avoacado. I also changed it so that instead of saying Bingo…you have to say the word jalapeno. I will allow either pronuoncation of the word. Prizes will be awarded for the first 3 people who fill 5 buzzwords. There will also be a larger prize if someone can fill the entire board.
Buzzword Bingo is my hook. The game and the promise of prizes will hopefully keep the audience engaged and listening for those keywords. It is my hope that by being engaged and listening for the words on the card, they will retain the content that I am discussing which as we established before is not the most exciting. Will this work? I have no idea. Could this work in a classroom? I have no idea. You won’t know if something will work until you try it so why not give this a shot and see what happens.