Teaching is one thing, but sometimes the most educational thing is to see something in action – then learn how to do it! That’s where demonstrations and presentations come in.
I’m all for we civic geeks giving panels and teaching, for doing hands-on work. But sometimes the most educational – and fun – thing to do is to do demonstrations and presentations as part of an educational initiative. Show something in action, then tell people how to do it – it’s fun, and in some cases a lot easier to get educated after you have an idea of how cool the thing you’re doing is.
A good presentation/demonstration works like this:
- You actually show off something in action – like say a costume or repair skills.
- You demonstrate how it works and how it’s done.
- You get people involved in figuring out how to do it.
It’s more complex than a class or a workshop because you and your compatriots actually have to show stuff off – and if what you’re trying to teach people is something complicated, extensive, or acrobatic you’ll need space, time, talent, and possible insurance. A lot more preparation is involved.
The advantage of all of this is that it gets people’s attention, they learn quicker, and it’s fantastic publicity for your group, convention, and so on. It draws people in and that means they get educated and you get to be a good civic geek.
Here’s a few ideas to get you going:
- A cosplay group could not only demonstrate costumes, they could assemble one – then teach people useful and fun costuming and clothes skills.
- A group of computer enthusiasts could quickly break down or assemble a computer then show people how to do it directly.
- A writer’s group could demonstrate self-publishing and formatting – all you need is a good overhead and computer.
- Even if the skills you or your group want to teach are abstract you can act them out.
Good demonstrations and presentations take being a training-oriented civic geek farther. Give them a try.