First time presenting at a Tesol convention-feelings and some tips…


My first time as a presenter at a Tesol convention

My first time as a presenter at a Tesol convention

After years of active membership in both Tesol Greece and Tesol Macedonia-Thrace-Northern Greece, I finally decided to deliver a presentation ,in this year’s Tesol MTN Greece annual convention in March!

As I planned  my  session, I thought  about programs I had attended that had worked well and followed those examples. Similarly, if I recalled a session that I had  attended in the past that was not successful, I learnt from those mistakes!

Tesol conventions: networking is precious!

Tesol conventions: networking is precious!

I had in mind that ,when speeches and presentations are poorly organized, the impact of the message is reduced and the audience is less likely to accept the speaker or the speaker’s ideas.

Truth is, TESOL wants speakers  to do well. I knew, I would have all the support I would need..!

Of course, I must admit  I  was a bit nervous, before the big day! It’s normal to get nervous about public speaking, I guess…

I made sure that I used my notes to help me  remember what I wanted to say. (I actually, used my notes more  than I should have ….)

I also rehearsed a LOT!

Meeting old friends and making new ones! With a bunch of amazing Tesolers and speakers!

Meeting old friends and making new ones! With a bunch of amazing Tesolers and speakers!

Last but not least, I made sure that I read  the TESOL list of best practices to help me  create a successful session. I am sharing this  list here ….

 In your opening remarks, introduce yourself and mention the name and the purpose of the session.

 Attendees expect your presentation to reflect the description used to promote your session. Please ensure that it does.

 Stand up when presenting, even if you are part of a panel discussion.

 Always use your microphone, and repeat all questions from attendees.

 Engage session attendees as active learners rather than passive listeners.

 Provide plenty of opportunities for attendees to ask questions, interact with each other, and apply the concepts you are presenting.

 Provide resources and handout materials in advance of your session.

 Be energetic and enthusiastic! Attendees will feed off your energy, which will make the learning experience more useful and rewarding.

 Comply with all program-related deadlines provided by TESOL, including but not limited to deadlines for handouts, A/V orders, etc.

 Agree to notify TESOL immediately in event that an emergency should prevent you from meeting your obligation to present.

With a star speaker whom I admire: Ken Wilson.

With a star speaker whom I admire: Ken Wilson.

Know Your Audience

Who attends the TESOL convention? The attendees are primarily from higher education and elementary education, and they represent all job functions in the field. Consultants and exhibitors also attend.

What do attendees expect?

All attendees value openness and diversity of thinking as they tackle real issues in the classroom. They want substance and knowledge they can immediately put in to practice. All are looking for new ways to solve their current challenges and for ways to push their students, programs, and institutions toward better outcomes.

What your attendees will remember

 What they actually did in your session, not what they saw or heard

 Exercises that demonstrated your point

 Stories and examples that painted a mental picture

 Particularly powerful metaphors that can serve as reminders

 Small group discussion of key points

 Interaction with peers

What your attendees won’t remember

 Your incredible statistics, even though such facts will build your credibility

 Most of your jokes, although giving them a few laughs will make them more receptive to your information and thinking

 How eloquent you were, although your clarity of thought will help them comprehend what you are trying to say

My presentation topic and...crazy me!

My presentation topic and happy me!

Quick Tips:Things to Consider


 Smile, relax, and have fun—the audience will feel it

 Use an ice-breaker to get your audience interacting and engaged from the beginning

 Be energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate

 Use appropriate humor or other ways to engage your audience

 Know your topic well enough so that you do not have to read it from your slides

 Define any acronyms that your audience may not know

 Move around—don’t trap yourself behind a laptop

 Allow the audience to ask questions

 Try to add stories, anecdotes, testimonials, or demonstrations that emphasize your point

 Repeat questions asked by the audience so that everyone will hear

 Stay on track and within your allotted time

 Close your presentation by summarizing your key points

 Provide tools and information that audience can implement

 Remember that the audience is very interested in what you have to say and they want you to do well!

Me, presenting with confidence...

Me, presenting with confidence…


 Read your presentation from your slides or your notes

 Use acronyms that that audience might not know

 Look over your shoulder at the presentation screen (PowerPoint)

 Use slides that contain nothing but text

 Engage in distracting conversations with other presenters while someone else is talking

 Answer questions without repeating questions first

 Use conversation fillers like “umm,” “you know,” and “like”

 Speak so quickly that your audience has trouble understanding you

At the end of my presentation, with a bunch of dear friends and colleagues!

At the end of my presentation, with a bunch of dear friends and colleagues!

If your question now is, whether I managed to follow all those quidelines during my presentation, my  answer will be ” not really”!…

But, this is not what really mattered! The important thing was, that I finally did it!! I accepted the challege and decided to share my teaching  practices and class experience ,in public! I am no expert, I am just an ordinary teacher, who sometimes  does…..extraordinary things in class!

And because my motto is ” Sharing is caring”, I had to dare , share and inspire other teachers the same way, I have been inspired by amazing educators out there ,throughout me teaching career ! Tesol has been my major source of inspiration all these years!

I am a proud Tesoler and so happy to be able to offer something back!

Thank you Tesol Mac.Thr. N. Greece for the opportunity to share and show how much I do care!

After all, SHARING IS CARING! Dare to share!