Putting a Polish on Presentations

Outdoor summer events are a wrap for the year. Gatherings of small groups are starting to form indoors where it is warm and dry.

What a perfect time to try offering presentations!

Tabling is a great way to connect people to resources, answer quick questions or help people through a small challenge and then send them on their way. Presentations, on the other hand, allow you to dive deep on your favorite Master Recycler topic.

Here are four tips to help your presentations shine - whether you are a seasoned Centurion wanting to branch out or you’re feeling a bit timid about the idea of being in front of a group of people.

Cristi Morales Muñoz (Class 48) engages kids in recycling.

Cristi Morales Muñoz (Class 48) engages kids in recycling.

 
Elizabeth Erickson (Class 52) telling her story at Oregon Green Schools.

Elizabeth Erickson (Class 52) telling her story at Oregon Green Schools.

1. Don’t have to go it alone!

Nicole Hernandez-Marrs (Class 55) offers a Metro Classroom Education presentation.

Nicole Hernandez-Marrs (Class 55) offers a Metro Classroom Education presentation.

Start as an assistant for Washington County staff who invite Master Recyclers to join them at dozens of presentations of the Eat Smart, Waste Less Challenge. Help folks learn about meal planning, food storage and committing to make a change. Presentations are already scheduled all over the county at garden clubs, PCC, Jackson Bottom, New Seasons and many more settings - all with staff taking the lead (until you feel ready to try it yourself). Check the Master Recycler calendar to find a presentation near you.

Another option is to invite a Master Recycler to join you. There are likely others who want to try presenting, but are feeling like the first time would be easier -and more fun- if they had a partner. You can send an email to your classmates or post an invitation on the calendar/newsletter.

If you are already an old hat at presenting, pass on the know-how to new recycling enthusiasts by using the calendar to invite others to join you. To post volunteer opportunities email the details to MasterRecycler@PortlandOregon.gov.

 

2. Use visual queues

Betty Benson (Class 47) brings lots of props.

Betty Benson (Class 47) brings lots of props.

Mary Healy (Class 57) dresses her audience up as demonstrated here by JAC Conlu (Class 60).

Mary Healy (Class 57) dresses her audience up as demonstrated here by JAC Conlu (Class 60).

Make complicated ideas simple by using examples. Beaverton, Clackamas, Gresham, Metro, Portland and Washington County offer Master Recyclers a fantastic array of kits to engage people on all your favorite topics: recycling, composting, worm bins (bring your own worms), toxics reduction, food waste and sustainable consumption. Those of you who have mastered the recycling kit in your area can explore these links for new ideas and topics.

Or you can make it really simple and just bring a bunch of examples of materials that are accepted in recycling, composting and garbage containers. Bring your worm bin and samples of compost or supplies to make your own green cleaners. Some creative types have even brought costumes to help make their point.

 

3. Make it interactive

Cecelia Warner (Class 47) encourages group to share what they know. 

Cecelia Warner (Class 47) encourages group to share what they know. 

Rob Kappa (Class 37) has kids feeding his worms.

Rob Kappa (Class 37) has kids feeding his worms.

Instead of telling people what to do with their waste, have them guess which is the right container – or have them decide together in smaller groups and then have them report back what they decided.

Try the new Resourceful PDX game. The campaign is all about sharing simple ways to get the things you need by using four categories: Buy Smart, Reuse, Fix or Maintain and Borrow, Rent or Share.  

New Resourceful PDX game.

New Resourceful PDX game.

Each of the objects in this new kit has one match that is related to the four categories. They might be related because one is better than the other. They might be related because one is a tool that can be used so that you can Buy Smart, Reuse, Fix or Maintain and Borrow, Rent or Share the other item. Class 63 tried it for the first time and found it to be fun and informative. If you don’t live in Portland, you can still use the kit without the literature since it is focused on Portland resources.

 

4. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Practice the full presentation in real time in the mirror or with a friend or family member so that you can get comfortable with what you have to say. Presenting is so much more fun when you are able to play with your ideas rather then focus on what you are going to say next. If you have props, practice with the props so that you can think through how they should be used and troubleshoot potentially awkward handling. If you are practicing with a person, have them ask you questions so that you can practice answering them. And always time yourself when you practice so that you know that your presentation will fit within in the time.