- Announce at the beginning of your presentation that you will save the last ten minutes or so for questions and instruct the kids to save their questions until the then.
- During Q&A time, be sure to repeat the question that is asked so that everyone can hear. (I HATE it when people forget to do that....) If kids didn't hear the question, they won't care as much about the answer. If they don't care as much about the answer, they are more likely to squirm, fidget, poke the kid next to them, or fake a great burp.
- When you are asked "How much money do you make?" - turn it into a math problem (e.g., What is 10% of $16?) Trust me, that kid will never ask that question again and the next author to visit that school will thank you.
- The same goes for the "How old are you?" question. Give them the year and make them do the math.
- Be prepared for the occasional rudeness of teachers talking in the back of the room, teachers on computers, teachers leaving the room, teachers using the computer printer that is on the desk right next to you, etc. I'm not suggesting you need to do anything about this if you are not comfortable doing so - just prepare yourself mentally. Thankfully, this behavior doesn't happen often - but it does happen. I've learned to deal with it mentally and not let it distract me or irritate me to the point that it detracts from my presentation. Some authors have a wonderful ability to make a tactful comment. I am not one of those authors. I am a wimp.
- Let the kids know when you are approaching your last slide and nearing the Q&A period. This perks up the antsy kids and they will sit up and pay attention in anticipation of asking a question (or finally getting to go to recess).
- Include a few examples of your revised manuscripts with your visuals. Teachers will appreciate it and the kids will feel sorry for you.
- When you are finished with your presentation, tell the kids to please stay seated until they are dismissed by their teachers. Otherwise, you might have a chaotic stampede of sorts.
Part 4 of this post tomorrow....