The way you strike me now
It’s sparking my imagination
You got to like me now
You’re causing me such excitation
Don’t you like it now
Supplication Songwriters John Barlow and Bob Weir
I spent the last three afternoons watching students present designs and plans for a “Unity Garden”. The teams were contracted by the SSN Program at our school, and these were their first presentations to a client beyond our classroom walls.
I was struck by two main observations during the presentations and my reflections afterward.
Of the eight final presentations, both Ms. Stephanie Hill, the SSN Lead teacher, and I came to similar conclusions about why some were so much better than others. While all teams need to learn what makes a good presentation (a later post), the best presentations were process oriented not product oriented.
Ms. Hill asked each team to meet and collaborate with her students in order to get their input as to what they want and to provide feedback as they worked. Three teams met quite often, interacting with both Ms. Hill and her students. They brought designs to be critiqued and plans to be reviewed. They processed the information, but even more importantly, they created relationships. Through those relationships they were motivated to provide not only the best presentation, but the best product as well.
Those teams who focused on the design only – their ideas for a space meant for others – proved unsuccessful in both final product and in the quality of presentations.
The goal? Let the process drive the product. Leave them wanting more. Cause some excitement in the idea or plan. Make them need you to finish what you started. Leave them begging for more.