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March 11, 2010 Making the Most Out of Presenting & Attending Conferences By Eric Antuna

    Hi All! I am so happy to share that myself and a few other teachers had a successful presentation at the California Association of Bilingual Educators (CABE) conference this week. As you can imagine it has been quite a hectic week (we had conferences last week, got our things together for our presentation, and drove here to San José, CA). Here are some tips that may help with presenting and/or the getting the most out of conferences.


    If you are presenting at a conference, here are a few ideas to keep your attendees engaged:

    1. Keep it simple. Getting down to the point for attendees helps them understand what they are going to be learning in the session. Session times seem to fly by for those sessions when people are focused and engaged in the content.

    2. Keep slides or other media free of clutter. Having too much on the page can be a bit overwhelming and may turn some people off. 

    3. Provide handouts. This will help your attendees remember your presentation (don't forget contact information!)

    4. Get out there and introduce yourself. Making personal connections with the attendees helps them remember you and helps to 

    5. Give them treats! Attendees will always remember when you bring that simple treat (or if you can get a hold of some free goodies, that works, too!)


    When attending a conference, you can maximize learning and new knowledge by:

    1. Read the program. The program has tons of information! Make some time to just sit and digest the different sessions. Some of the larger conferences have volumes of information - you may want to start with an overview of the daily sessions and go from there. For those of you like me, you'll sit and read through each session until you find the ones you like the best.

    2. Introduce yourself. It's always nice to make a connection and that may help the presenter to spend more time on an issue or strategy that you'd like more information on.

    3. Ask questions! Make sure you're understanding what they're trying to present!

    4. Not a good fit for your situation? Leave. It may seem rude, but if there are other sessions that may be better, go ahead! There's no need to sit in a session that's not appropriate for your level or content area. Presenters know and understand this.

    5. Take handouts and write on them. Take notes about the presentation to make the information more meaningful for you or your classroom.

    Here's an excerpt from our presentation at CABE:

    Discover how to develop a solid infrastructure of interventions at your school site. Presenters will describe the process of utilizing resources to meet the needs of English Learners. A detailed outline on how to identify target students and develop support systems will guide the presentation. This process encompasses the school’s vision of “Every Student Proficient: The Responsibility is Ours.”

    Here are our conference notes:

    Download CABE Handouts

    Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment!



    In response to a comment, here is what was attached to the chairs:



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