James Sturtevant Ep.10-Present to Students Like a Zen Master

The Awakened One by David Sturtevant

The Awakened One by David Sturtevant

Presenting to kids in the 21st Century ain’t easy! It’s hard to engage them…then maintain their interest. When I presented in the past, I was always hypersensitive about my student’s engagement level. I’d worry…Did I lose him? Is she listening? He looks like he’s nodding off! How can I cover what I need to in the next 5 minutes? I consider myself an engaging presenter, but I was struggling! I needed a new way to do things.

My fascinating educator Voxer group made a remarkable book recommendation last summer. I was guided toward Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. Occasionally, I’ve run across books that alter my paradigm fundamentally! That was certainly the case with Garr’s!

I teach World Civilization. We study China, India, Islam, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Mesoamerica. The ZEN part of the title really intrigued me!

Please listen to this episode and learn how I transformed my presentations. Problem solved!



This is a compelling and descriptive image I created for my classroom movie trailer presentation. It is the epitome of a Presentation Zen slide. An intriguing image, situated on a simplistic background, and coupled with bold, but meager, text. This slide just begs for explanation!

flip 38

And finally, here’s a lecture. Every slide in this flipped presentation is Presentation Zen inspired. I mentioned on the podcast that it was 20 minutes…it’s only eleven. WHOOPS!

Episode Template

The Problem:

Students zone-out during presentations.

The Solution:

Apply the ideas in Presentation Zen.

What You Can Do Tomorrow: 

  • Visit Garr’s website.
  • Alter one of your presentations using Garr’s ideas.
  • Conduct a public domain image search. 
  • Create a leave behind. 
  • Debrief your students.

Listen to the episode for more details: 

 Please check out all of the episodes of the Hacking Engagement Podcast on iTunes!