The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies - LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

Tips for Giving a Great Presentation

Microphone by Master isolated images/Courtesy Freedigitalphotos.net

Microphone by Master isolated images/Courtesy Freedigitalphotos.net

By Kathy Holland, PLCGS

Putting together a workshop presentation can be a daunting experience. Presenting the workshop can be downright frightening! But it doesn’t have to be daunting nor frightening. It’s just like talking “shop talk” with co-workers. As genealogists, we are each other’s co-workers, and we all know genealogy. A presentation is just a well-constructed conversation with our fellow genealogists. So, what makes a great presentation? Here are some tips:

Know your audience. Yes, we are all genealogists. Although we may all have different experiences, we have a common thread that connects us all. Some of us are beginners, while others are more experienced. Some of us do client work, others write books and blogs. Others are speakers, and others teach. And some do all of these things. But we are all doing genealogy, no matter what. So, be aware that all types of experienced genealogists will be in your audience—and know that even the most experienced are open to learning new things!

Watch other presentations—both online and in-person. What techniques are the speakers using? What works, what doesn’t? What techniques can you incorporate into your presentation?

Choose your topic. It should be one that you are especially passionate about. One in which you can spend hours talking about. The one that you can become an expert on. One classic example is The Legal Genealogist—that’s Judy Russell. When genealogists think of all things legal in the genealogy community, we immediately think of Judy. She’s that go-to person, and the classic expert on genealogy and the law. What topic will make genealogists think of you?

Plan ahead your timeframe. How much time do you have for the presentation? Thirty minutes? An hour? Even ten minutes can make a difference on how much you can cover.

  1. Tip #1: time yourself with your topic: how much can I cover in 10 minutes? 20 minutes? 30 minutes? And so on…
  2. Tip #2: Keep adding material until you have one topic that you can do as a 20 minute talk, then add more material until it becomes a 30 minute talk. Then add more to make the 60 minute talk—and now you have one topic, times 3 versions that you can do on a moment’s notice.
  3. End result: you have created a time-flexible topic that you can take to any society or conference as a speaker. Societies and conferences may ask a lot of flexibility from you as a speaker. Your 60 minute talk may be reduced to 30 minutes, due to unforeseen circumstances beyond anyone’s control.

Write an outline of what you want to cover. Do some extra research on that topic.

  1. Tip #3: go back to Tip #2 and write an outline for the 20 minute talk. Expand that to 30 minutes, then 60 minutes. Now you have three versions—one for each time frame.
  2. Tip #4: this outline is the basis for your power-point presentation!

What documents will you include? Don’t skimp too much here—genealogists LOVE documents of all kinds—birth, death, and marriage certificates, church records, civil records, census records, newspaper articles, obits, photos and so on. Documents from other countries are great—many of us want to do international research, and the more we learn how to find and read those documents, the better!

  1. Tip #5: know your documents well—and spend quality time showing your audience the important information you found in that document. And what’s missing or incorrect from the document.
  2. Tip #6: compare your documents against each other—you want to demonstrate how to resolve conflicting information.

Now that you have an outline and documents, start building your power-point presentation. Incorporate the following:

  1. Slide 1 is your title page, and include your name, contact info, and a gentle reminder that your presentation is copyrighted and not to be used by others without your permission.
  2. Use proper terminology and Genealogical Proof Standards (GPS) standards when applicable. It’s okay to quote the GPS.
  3. Cite your sources, especially for your documentation and quotes. Use Elisabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained as a guide.
  4. Use images—cartoon images, photos, clip art, animations, etc. It’s okay to blend images with your content on slides. It brightens up your presentation. And there are plenty online that you can use without violating copyright rules. If in doubt, cite the source!
  5. Clean up your images. Do not show blurred images—try to clear them up by using photo-shop software programs. Otherwise, choose another photo. Crop the photos so that unnecessary borders are eliminated. The cleaner the photo, the better your presentation will be.
  6. A recommendation: FastStone Image Viewer software. There’s a free download, and you can clean up photos, straighten them, and so on. I use Version 5.3 and it’s FREE.
  7. Spell check and grammar check your content. It’s disorienting to your audience when they have to spend more time deciphering your slides rather than learning your material. If you’re not sure, ask a friend to spell and grammar check for you.
  8. Use quotes from other genealogists and authors. It’s inspiring to do so! Just remember to cite that source.

Create your handout. Yes, you may use your original outline. Your handout is resource material for your audience. Include basic information—terminology, concepts, resources, websites, etc. that your audience can use after the presentation to further their own research. Your audience wants to go home with something they can use themselves!

  1. Tip #7: No, you do not need to include everything from your presentation. Do not include your photos, documents, and copies of your slides. No need to give away everything. That’s your material and you do NOT want someone to plagiarize you!
  2. Tip #8: Now that I mentioned plagiarism, DON’T DO IT. Always cite your sources and give credit where credit is due. It’s always proper and professional to credit others for their contributions to genealogy. They’ve earned it. And it protects your reputation as well as theirs.

During the presentation:

  1. Tip #9: BREATHE. Yes, breathe in and out. Several times, if needed. It’s okay to feel nervous—that just means you’re normal.
  2. Tip #10: Talk slowly and enunciate. It’s okay to read from the slides—you don’t say every word. Instead, explain the content so that the audience understands the importance and relevance of the material.
  3. Tip #11: Take your time—this is not a race on how fast you can talk.
  4. Tip #12: Do NOT read from a script. The audience will figure that out—especially when suddenly your slides no longer match what you are saying.
  5. Tip #13: It’s okay to have a glass of water with you—but use a straw. Remember, you are on a microphone and the audience will hear you swallow. So, sip through a straw rather than gulp!
  6. Tip #14: Keep a distance between your microphone and your mouse and keyboard.
  7. Tip #15: Get a USB headset with an attached microphone. There are several good ones to choose from, with a range of prices. It doesn’t have to be expensive—I bought mine for $30.00 at the local office supply store and it works great.

Anticipate questions from your audience. Yes, there is always the risk of being asked an unanswerable question—and it is okay to say “I don’t have an answer for that, but I will research that for you” and get their contact info. Find that answer. And then incorporate that answer into your presentation. If nothing else, you’re flexing your research muscles!

Take a deep breath and relax. Enjoy your presentation. Get a good night’s sleep beforehand. Genealogy audiences are wonderfully generous people. They’ll thank and applaud you. In short, have fun!

 

Bio:

Kathy Holland. Used with permission.

Kathy Holland. Used with permission.

Kathy Holland is a native Californian—born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She has been searching for her ancestors since 1984, and found them all the way back to the mid-1600s. On the education front, Kathy completed the American certificate program at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (earning the PLCGS certificate), started the German certificate program, and completed the Pro Gen program and the DAR genealogy courses. She has attended the SaltLake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) every year since 2013, working on German studies and methodology skills.

As a professional genealogist, Kathy is the sole proprietor of Gates to the Past Genealogy. She is a member of NGS, SCGS, APG, the APG virtual chapter, and the So Cal chapter of APG, the DAR, and the DUVCW. She volunteers on the 4th Saturday at the SCGS library and participate the German Interest Group and the FTM users group.

Kathy has a BA and MA degree in Political Science and currently teaches part-time at Pierce College and Glendale College.

Student Presentation: Building Evidence

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies course, Lecturing Skills Including Preparation, teaches the skills needed to present genealogical-related lectures. It is a “hands on” course where the student presents a lecture via our Virtual Learning Room. We invite you to participate and hear your fellow student. This is a 30-minute lecture, followed by a 10-minute Question & Answer period and a short poll to provide the student with feedback on her skills. Please come and support your fellow students!

This is an excellent learning experience for all involved–the student presenter and the audience! We all can learn new and interesting tidbits, even from topics that are not in our area of research.

Christene Hoffert. Used with permission.

Christene Hoffert. Used with permission.

Christene Hoffert will present: “Building Evidence: How To Go From Searching For Sources To Researching For Your Ancestors

Building Evidence explores the use of sources, information and evidence with examples to evaluate whether a proof is possible using citations and notes for Genealogical Proof Standard.

Tuesday, April 5 – 1:00 PM EDT

MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(NOTE: No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

Christene Hoffert loves not only the challenge of genealogy’s “missing pieces” but also is willing to share her knowledge of genealogy skills and methodology.

Join us!

 

 

 

Student Presentation: Using Census Clues: Building a Blended Family

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies course, Lecturing Skills Including Preparation, teaches the skills needed to present genealogical-related lectures. It is a “hands on” course where the student presents a lecture via our Virtual Learning Room. We invite you to participate and hear your fellow student. This is a 30-minute lectures, followed by a 10-minute Question & Answer period and a short poll to provide the student with feedback on their skills. Please come and support your fellow students!

This is an excellent learning experience for all involved–the student presenter and the audience! We all can learn new and interesting tidbits, even from topics that are not in our area of research.

Cheryl Levy. Used with permission.

Cheryl Levy. Used with permission.

Cheryl Levy will present: “Using Census Clues: Building a Blended Family”

Learn to glean the clues necessary to search for the documents needed to identify members in a census household, using a case study to build blended family relationships.

Thursday, March 31 – 7:00 PM EDT

MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(NOTE: No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

Cheryl Levy, PLCGS, completed the Canadian Records Certificate and is currently pursuing Professional Development courses. She is Webmaster/Social Media Coordinator for Quinte Branch, OGS.

 

Student Presentation: Medals In The Attic – What Story Do They Tell?

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies course, Lecturing Skills Including Preparation, teaches the skills needed to present genealogical-related lectures. It is a “hands on” course where the student presents a lecture via our Virtual Learning Room. We invite you to participate and hear your fellow student. This is a 30-minute lectures, followed by a 10-minute Question & Answer period and a short poll to provide the student with feedback on their skills. Please come and support your fellow students!

This is an excellent learning experience for all involved–the student presenter and the audience! We all can learn new and interesting tidbits, even from topics that are not in our area of research.

Spencer Linington will present: “Medals In The Attic – What Story Do They Tell?”

 

Spencer Linington. Used with permission

Spencer Linington. Used with permission

Many genealogists do research on their military ancestors and can tell you where they were at what time. Do they have the whole story? Learn where you can discover the day to day details of your ancestors time during World War I and how to interpret what you find.

Wednesday, March 30 – 7:00 PM EDT

MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(NOTE: No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

Spencer Linington is a professional genealogist with 15 years of experience in family history research specializing in Canadian Military and Ontario research.

 

 

New Course: Organizing a One-Place Study

Typical English Village House by Stuart Miles/Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Typical English Village House by Stuart Miles/Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

The newest addition to our Professional Development Certificate is here! Organizing a One-Place Study begins December 7th.

One-place studies are the study of the people in a community within the context of the place they live. Unlike a local history, which focuses on the past as described by residents, a one-place (or community) study uses a statistical approach and resources often used by family historians. Because a one-place study brings family and local history together, various analysis methods can be used to reconstruct the community and gain an insight into the lives of the people who have walked the streets, ploughed the fields, worked and worshipped in a place. This course will suggest ways in which this could be done.

This course will examine the sources of information available to researchers, how to access them (on- and off-line) and the fascinating details which can be uncovered.

Read more about Organizing a One-Place Study on our website.

New Course- Photography: Clues Pictures Hold, Editing, Digitizing & Various Projects

Pile Of Old Film Slides Of Art And Culture Memories by varandah/Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Pile Of Old Film Slides Of Art And Culture Memories by varandah/Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Photography: Clues Pictures Hold, Editing, Digitizing and Various Projects is the newest course offered by The National Institute.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so photographs are an integral part of telling a story. This course is designed to help students use and identify photographs to document their family history. Students are encouraged to apply the methods in this course to make the best use of their own family photos and/or those of their genealogy clients.

Assignments  focus on practical applications. Students learn ways to obtain family photographs, archive them physically and digitally, determine the photographic processes used, date the photographs, and identify people and other details in the images.

Although this course is part of the Professional Development Certificate program, it is suitable for students participating in the Personal Historian program or those with a general interest in family photographs.

This 10 week course begins December 7th. To learn more and to register, see our website.

 

Student Presentation: Afraid of the Water?

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies course, Lecturing Skills Including Preparation, teaches the skills needed to present genealogical-related lectures. It is a “hands on” course where the student presents a lecture via our Virtual Learning Room. We invite you to participate and hear your fellow student. This is a 30-minute lectures, followed by a 10-minute Question & Answer period and a short poll to provide the student with feedback on their skills. Please come and support your fellow students!

This is an excellent learning experience for all involved–the student presenter and the audience! We all can learn new and interesting tidbits, even from topics that are not in our area of research.

Join us on July 16, 2015 at 7:30 PM EDT when Brenda Wheeler presents: “Afraid of the Water?”

Why do so many researchers stop at their migrants? Researching another country is possible when you know how to find information about the records and language aids which are available.

Brenda Wheeler. Used with permission.

Brenda Wheeler. Used with permission.

Presenter bio: Brenda Wheeler PLCGS, researches Australian, English, Dutch and Irish records. An instructor for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, she also mentors two genealogy study groups.

 

MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(NOTE: No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

Remember, to join a Virtual Meeting … anyone can participate. Hope to see you there!

To enter the Virtual Learning Room for a session you would like to attend, please click on the Location link or enter the Location URL into your browser. (No user name or password required; “Enter as a Guest”)

NOTE: Please sign in with your first AND last names when joining a Virtual Meeting. This will help everyone differentiate between individuals with the same name. (No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

Student Presentation: Is Your GPS Working?

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies course, Lecturing Skills Including Preparation, teaches the skills needed to present genealogical-related lectures. It is a “hands on” course where the student presents a lecture via our Virtual Learning Room. We invite you to participate and hear your fellow student. This is a 30-minute lectures, followed by a 10-minute Question & Answer period and a short poll to provide the student with feedback on their skills. Please come and support your fellow students!

This is an excellent learning experience for all involved–the student presenter and the audience! We all can learn new and interesting tidbits, even from topics that are not in our area of research.

Join us on July 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM EDT when Diane Barbour presents: “Is Your GPS Working?”

Using a case study, we will see how the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) applies and helps your genealogical research.

 

Diane Barbour. Used with permission

Diane Barbour. Used with permission

Presenter bio: Diane Barbour, PLCGS  is active in volunteering for local societies, Denver Public Library and the National Archives. She attends conferences and Institutes and specializes in USA and Great Britain.

MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(NOTE: No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

Remember, to join a Virtual Meeting … anyone can participate. Hope to see you there!

To enter the Virtual Learning Room for a session you would like to attend, please click on the Location link or enter the Location URL into your browser. (No user name or password required; “Enter as a Guest”)

NOTE: Please sign in with your first AND last names when joining a Virtual Meeting. This will help everyone differentiate between individuals with the same name. (No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

Student Presentations for July

Laptop With Tablet And Smart Phone On Table by jannoon028/Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Laptop With Tablet And Smart Phone On Table by jannoon028/Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

We have a couple of student presentations coming up in mid-July. Join us to show your fellow students support!

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies course, Lecturing Skills Including Preparation, teaches the skills needed to present genealogical-related lectures. It is a “hands on” course where the student presents a lecture via our Virtual Learning Room. We invite you to participate and hear your fellow student. This is a 30-minute lectures, followed by a 10-minute Question & Answer period and a short poll to provide the student with feedback on their skills. Please come and support your fellow students!

This is an excellent learning experience for all involved–the student presenter and the audience! We all can learn new and interesting tidbits, even from topics that are not in our area of research.

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Join us on Tuesday, July 14th at 7:00 PM EDT when Diane Barbour presents “Is Your GPS Working?”

Presenter: Diane Barbour, PLCGS, is active in volunteering for local societies, Denver Public Library and the National Archives. She attends conferences and Institutes and specializes in USA and Great Britain.

Presentation Description: Using a case study, we will see how the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) applies and helps your genealogical research.

Time zones: Tuesday, July 14th7:00 PM Eastern; 6:00 PM Central; 4:00 AM Pacific;Wednesday, July 15thmidnight in London, England; 9:00 AM in Sydney, Australia

MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(NOTE: No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

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Join us on Thursday, July 16th at 7:30 PM EDT when Brenda Wheeler presents “Afraid of the Water?”

Presenter: Brenda Wheeler, PLCGS, researches Australian, English, Dutch and Irish records. An instructor for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, she also mentors two genealogy study groups.

Presentation Description: Why do so many researchers stop at their migrants? Researching another country is possible when you know how to find information about the records and language aids which are available.

Time zones: Thursday, July 16th7:30 PM Eastern; 6:30 PM Central; 4:30 AM Pacific;Friday, July 17th12:30 AM in London, England; 9:30 AM in Sydney, Australia

MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/lecturing/
(NOTE: No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

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We would like to thank Kathy Holland for hosting these student presentation.

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Remember, to join a Virtual Meeting … anyone can participate. Hope to see you there!

To enter the Virtual Learning Room for a session you would like to attend, please click on the Location link or enter the Location URL into your browser. (No user name or password required; “Enter as a Guest”)

NOTE: Please sign in with your first AND last names when joining a Virtual Meeting. This will help everyone differentiate between individuals with the same name. (No user name or password required. Please type in your first and last name; then click “Enter as a Guest”.)

New Course: Business Skills: Marketing Your Services

Open Sign Shows Grand Opening And Advertisement by Stuart Miles/Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Open Sign Shows Grand Opening And Advertisement by Stuart Miles/Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ask anyone who has tried their hand at running a small business. If you start it, they (clients) won’t necessarily come.

Marketing is the way to get the word out about your business, so that potential clients or customers will find you. As with most professionals, you may prefer to spend your time and energy doing what you do best—whether that is writing books of families’ histories, making video-biographies, or capturing oral histories for a business history—but in order to find clients, you must give adequate attention to marketing.

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies is proud to announce a new course by Personal Historian Diane DassowBusiness Skills: Marketing Your Services is the latest course offering in the Professional Development Certificate to help you start and be successful in a genealogy business.

In this course, we will present the basic methods and topics in marketing, geared toward a small business owner like a personal historian or professional genealogist.

You can read more about the course on our website. The first offering of this 8-week course is April 2015. It is recommended that you have taken the course, Business Skills: Creating a Genealogy Business, or at least have written a business plan and started a business.

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