Online Northwest 2010: What TV chefs can teach librarians about presentation style

Continuing with Anna Johnson.

Rachael talks about basically nothing while she gets the peanut butter open: enthusiastic paean to p.b.  Fills time, makes people like her, get to know her.

Next clip:  willingness to share stories about own experience.  Sunny Anderson also talks about peanut butter, with an anecdote about dating her boyfriend and getting to know food preferences.  Her boyfriend likes peanut butter.  This results in PBJ pancakes.

Sunny Anderson

Anna:  use stories as fillers, when walking around classroom in between people who aren’t interacting.  If you use a database a lot, tell a story about using it.  Tell users what Summit book you have out, while demo-ing Summit.

Next clip:  Expert knowledge from getting paid to do what you love.  Giada de Laurentiis goes nuts for pancetta while she cubes it.  Expertise is assumed.

Next clip:  Ability to explain what you’re doing (and why) while you’re doing it.  Bobby Flay talks about how to smoke a turkey.  Narrating step by step while doing lots of things at the same time.  Sells us on smoked turkey while setting up the bbq.

Next clip:  explain what you’ll be demonstrating and why your audience should try skills themselves.  Alton Brown explains why sunbathing is the secret to roasting chickens.  (Flatter, more uniform birds cut in butterfly roast faster and better than uncut birds–with graphic chicken-cutting footage!)

Next clip:  During demonstration, explain why you do things the way you do (and what to avoid.)  Sunny Anderson discusses gravy.  Anna points out that cooking shows work like library instruction:  the idea is that you watch now, store information, and try the skills yourself later.  (“Lumpy gravy!  We all have it at some point in our lives.”)

Next clip:  Prepare examples ahead of time.  Alton Brown trusses a turkey, using purple tightrope.  Includes a demonstration of how to tie a surgeon’s knot.  Anna:  be open to stopping in the middle of what you’re doing, and demonstrating a particular skill in a more understandable way.  Zoom in on the part of the screen you want students to see (Ctrl+ on Firefox, or mouse wheel).

Next clip:  Be prepared to skip a few steps to maximize your time.  Chefs use mise en place already prepared–we don’t need to see it all.  Don’t recognize this show host, but she has Muppet hair.  (per Anna…)

Posting now, time for Q&A…


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