Give an Online Safety Presentation

One way to spread the word about protecting kids online is to give a group presentation. It might be a PTA meeting, a community forum, or a classroom discussion. You may want to schedule a meeting to talk about the importance of online safety – or put it on the agenda of an already scheduled event.

OnGuardOnline.gov has developed a PowerPoint presentation that you can use to present to a group of adults in your community. Each slide has talking points to help guide your presentation. To view the talking points in PowerPoint, click the "View" tab on the top toolbar and then click "Notes Pages."

Length

Going through these slides takes about 10 minutes. You may want to include one of the videos or a question and answer session.

Setting the Stage

  • Consider the size of your audience and their interest in online safety.
  • Know the start time of your presentation and how long you're expected to speak.
  • Think ahead about set-up needs (speakers, display screen, available electrical outlets, etc.).

Preparing for the Presentation

Think about what you are asking your audience to do. Perhaps you're encouraging parents to talk with their kids about safe and responsible online behavior. Maybe you're talking to kids about making smart decisions online. Identifying the message and goal of your presentation will help you determine how to structure it and what information to have for your audience.

Prepare your leave-behind materials.

Presenting to kids? You can order free copies of Heads Up at bulkorder.ftc.gov. Please allow four weeks for delivery. Need copies sooner? You can print Heads Up directly from OnGuardOnline.gov.

Practice.

  • Rehearse out loud.
  • Time your presentation.
  • Think about questions that may come up and how you will answer them.

Engaging the Audience

Starting your presentation can be as easy as showing a video and asking for reactions. If you'd like to include some recent statistics about kids' online activities, check out the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project at pewinternet.org. Or, try a few questions to break the ice:

  • Raise your hand if you think your child knows more about the internet and technology than you do.
  • Raise your hand if you think you know more about communicating respectfully off-line than your child does. (Parents know a lot that's relevant to this conversation with their kids, even if they're not tech-savvy.)
  • How much time do you think your kids spend online each day? Each week? That includes time on their phones!
  • What are your kids' favorite websites or online games?
  • Do your kids have their own computer? Do they have cell phones?
  • What are your main concerns about online safety?
  • Do you text? Do you text with your children?

After your presentation, you may want to take questions from the audience. The articles in Protect Kids Online can help you prepare for questions about a number of topics, including:

  • Social networking sites
  • Protecting kids' information
  • Sexting
  • Cyberbullying and online harassment
  • Cell phones
  • Security software and parental controls

Presenting to Kids

Talking to kids about online safety? To kick things off, use the videos — or ask a few questions:

  • How much time do you spend online?
  • What do you like to do online?
  • Do you sleep with your cell phone in reach?
  • Raise your hand if you post pictures online. Have you ever posted or sent anything you later regretted?
  • Raise your hand if you or one of your friends has ever received a text message that was hurtful or mean-spirited.
  • Have you ever talked to your parents about something that bothered you online?
  • Have you ever talked to another adult about something that bothered you online?

Consider making your presentation interactive. Prepare scenarios to discuss with the group—news stories can be good starting points. Ask the kids how they might have handled an incident that involved sharing too much information, cyberbullying, posting embarrassing photos or sexting. You also can break into smaller groups and ask each to discuss a scenario and develop a list of their top five online safety tips. You may want to invite the small groups to present their work to the whole audience.