Habitudes Chapter Summary (Part 3 of 4)

This is the third of four posts as I read Habitudes: Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes. Click here to read the first post in this series or here to read the second.

Chapter 9: Foyer to Basement
This chapter talks about the importance of making the first four minutes of your presentation compelling enough to entice people to stay for further details. In our work, we have many reasons to pay attention, but some of the most compelling “stories” to consider are the current drop-out rate (~30%), how society and our day-to-day life has changed but much of “school” has not, and forecasts of skills & knowledge our students will need when they leave us.

Chapter 10: Facebook or TV
This chapter focuses on the need for human, social interaction rather than sitting & listening to a speaker for 6 hours. I’ve gotten so much better at this from when I first started, (which is odd, considering that I was never a “lecturer” as a teacher), but I still have room to grow. It never fails that I watch so much learning happening as I walk around and listen to conversations or watch teachers work with a new technology and begin to create something they will use in their classrooms. I believe that lectures are fine to give quick snippets of new information or to orient the audience to the topic at hand, but it is the social conversations with the new information that cement the learning. I think this is important to remember with our students as well.

Chapter 11: The Thomas Nast Principle
I tied much of this chapter to what I’ve learned from reading Made to Stick by Heath & Heath and Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. Images speak more powerfully than words. Provide information on a handout or website, but use your presentation for powerful images.

Chapter 12: Bottled Water
This was an interesting chapter. It seemed to focus on the fact that audiences (and students) have changed. Whereas we may have once been more compliant to simply sit and listen, we now have a multitude of devices that allow us to look up a term or idea that the speaker has mentioned that we don’t know as much about. Or we may be sharing something we find of particular importance to our social connections. Accept that this is a new way of participating and create opportunities to use it. In my own work, I feel hindered when there is no wireless for me & the participants or when they don’t have their own devices. I feel much less able to use “teachable moments” in a paper-only environment and feel that there is little choice than to stick to a script. I imagine the audience must feel much the same.


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