Will a “No-Tech” Lecture Lead to THIS?

Photo by Gil Epshtein
Photo by Gil Epshtein

At the upcoming ETAI (English Teachers’ Association of Israel) conference I will be giving a no-tech talk for the first time and I’m somewhat nervous about it.

I’ve always* given talks using an overhead projector, both at conferences and at various other venues (such as teacher in-service days or evenings for parents). I do not read from notes at a talk. My transparencies always contain an abundance of pictures (“visualising ideas” person, after all!) and a sentence or two. That has kept me from getting confused and missing something when I’m nervous.

* About the always – there was one notable exception. It happened about 12 years ago. I had my transparencies ready, of course, but there was a power failure five minutes after the lecture began. I gave the rest of the talk to the 35 people who came by the light of a few emergency-lighting lamps. It was the first time I had (uncharacteristically) gotten my hair done before a lecture. Have never done THAT again!

At this conference BARCO projectors will be available in every room but the presenters must bring their own laptop.  Overhead projectors are “passé” and are no longer available. I don’t own a laptop and don’t intent to buy one in the near future. Ninety percent of the time I really don’t need one.

I’m working on  a talk with a situation similar to that of many teachers in the classroom – just me , the learners and the whiteboard. Trying to put some “dogme” in it too (we’ll see!).

Rationally, it sounds like a good plan.

Still, I’m nervous I’ll get confused without my picture prompts.

The lecture is at three fifteen in the afternoon. Will it be interesting enough without slides to keep the audience from yawning?

13 thoughts on “Will a “No-Tech” Lecture Lead to THIS?”

  1. Dear Naomi
    I do not know you but after reading your “about me” I was thinking how I would love to hear your talk.

    I have heard and seen so many presentations over the years and frankly, some of the best ones, the most memorable, did not have one bit of technology in them. Personality, contents, delivery and enthusiasm are the key ingredients and please let’s not believe that something cannot be interesting because no technology is involved. Excellent teachers and presenters have been working without it for many years and many still (have to) do without technology. Visual aids, as the word indicates, help but are not the main thing.
    Teaching and presenting are skills. I like to see them as a trade, a craft almost. If you really master that, you can do without any technology if necessary.

    You could print out the picture prompts just for yourself, or as handouts for the audience if that makes you feel more comfortable and a visit to the hairdresser’s might just give you that extra little confidence boost this time:-)

    Good luck!


    1. Mike!
      Glad to see that you think that in our high-tech era a no-tech talk will work! The encouragement means a lot!

  2. Naomi,

    For ages the OHP was my fave piece of tech in the classroom. I think whether you use technology or not is irrelevant really – the message is the most important.

    Mike =)

  3. Good luck, Naomi. =) I’m sure everything will go fine… but yes, OHPs are passe, though we still have them in every classroom at the university, along with blackboards and chalk. Very high-tech.

  4. Chalk?! That I don’t miss and I guess I will stop pining for the OVP.
    Thanks for so much for your encouragement!

  5. Brad and Sandy!
    Thanks for the support!
    The conference is July 5th and 6th (my talk is on the fifth). Still editing the talk and wondering why I wanted to give a talk I hadn’t given before…

  6. What makes me yawn is over-reliance on technology. Everybody uses slideshows. It’s easy to hide behind them. Even when people don’t have anything worthwhile to say fancy tech can blur this fact in the “oohs” and “aahs” of media. It’s like some of those ted talks. you see lots of pictures and videos but at the end you’re not quite sure what you’ve seen. Also, there are studies that people remember lectures better when they’re “boring” – can’t find the link at the moment – but yeah, All I can say is this: Go for it, Naomi! 🙂

    1. You made my day -thank you!
      The talk is a week from today, I’ll be posting about it and how the people at the conference reacted!
      Really aprreciate the encouragement!

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