Presentation Topics

Contact Dr. Kiewra







“It is diffcult to imagine anyone whose work is more widespread or who is more committed to bringing educational psychology to the people than Dr. Kiewra.”

—Dr. Dharma Jairam, Morningside College







“Dr. Kiewra has exhibited an extraordinary commitment to disseminating valuable instructional-strategy information through his school and community presentations. In that sense, he represents the very best exemplar of an educational psychologist, or one who adapts the findings of psychological research to the improvement of educational practice.”

—Dr. Joel Levin, University of Arizona

Title: How to Become Extraordinary: Secrets to Success

Description: How do Olympic athletes, champion chess players, professional musicians, leading politicians, and business tycoons get to be so good? Their extraordinary talents are not born; they’re made. This presentation explores the lives of extraordinary people and reveals the secrets to achieving extraordinary talent and success—at any age.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • State the key factors to becoming extraordinary.
  • Derive a plan for improving one’s talents.

Presenter Qualifications: Dr. Kiewra is an expert on talent and expertise. He has interviewed dozens of extraordinary people to uncover their keys to success. His interviewee list includes: Olympic gold medalists, famous musicians, chess grandmasters, NCAA athletic and coaching champions, National Spelling Bee winners, productive research scientists, world champion baton twirlers, rodeo champions, and more. Dr. Kiewra has published about a dozen articles on this topic.



Title: SOAR to Success

Description: Effective instruction and learning depend on four vital processes: In any learning situation, critical information must be Selected, Organized, Associated, and Regulated. Engaging these four processes helps people SOAR to success. Anyone in a teaching or learning role can and should apply SOAR strategies. For example, cues can signal what information to select. Graphic representations such as hierarchies and matrices can organize information in ways that make veiled associations apparent. And, techniques such as self-testing can help regulate one’s understanding and mastery. This presentation describes and exemplifies the SOAR processes.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Design a lesson to instruct others based on SOAR processes.
  • Use SOAR methods to learn new information.

Presenter Qualifications: Dr. Kiewra developed the SOAR Method. He has published four research articles that document its superiority versus one’s preferred methods or other established methods. The SOAR method has proven effective for learning from oral, text, and computer presentations. Dr. Kiewra has authored two books pertaining to the SOAR method and has spoken on this topic dozens of times including talks in China and Germany.



Title: DIFS—Do It For Success

Description: Success in any job or endeavor requires skill and will. Skill involves learning strategies like the SOAR strategies covered in another presentation. Will involves motivation. Motivation includes four components: Desire, Intention, Focus, and Sustainment, which together form the acronym DIFS. You can remember that DIFS makes the difference when you Do It For Success. This presentation describes and exemplifies the four DIFS components.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • State the methods necessary to increase desire, intention, focus, and sustainment.
  • Apply the DIFS motivation method to a professional or personal goal in one’s own life.

Presenter Qualifications: Dr. Kiewra developed the DIFS motivation method. He has written a chapter about DIFS in two of his books—one for students and one for educators. He teaches the DIFS method to hundreds of college and graduate students every year in his university classes.



Title: How to Write Right

Description: How you write says a lot about you. Unfortunately, most correspondence and professional writing is weak and casts a pallor of incompetence upon its author. Good writers, though, are made, not born, and it’s never too late to improve one’s writing. This presentation identifies and offers repairs for common writing pitfalls that doom many writers, pitfalls such as: inappropriate comma usage, sentence fragments, poor word choice, inactive voice, lack of subject-verb agreement, and many more.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and repair writing errors.
  • Write more correctly and powerfully.

Presenter Qualifications: Dr. Kiewra failed the English Writing Exam in college three times. He only learned how to write while in graduate school when his advisor provided Dr. Kiewra with detailed, corrective feedback about his writing. Since then, Dr. Kiewra has published more than 100 articles and books, served as an editorial board member for a dozen professional journals, and served as editor for a major scientific journal. He has since counseled dozens of his own graduate students about their writing.



Title: Time Is on Your Side: Oh, Yes It Is

Description: Time is money. Both are valued, earned, and wasted. That’s why this presentation adapts recognized money management principles to time. Participants learn to (a) invest time, (b) invest in time, (c) invest early, (d) invest daily, (e) invest wisely, (f) monitor time investments, and (g) enjoy time investments. Participants also learn from the time-management practices of those who have accomplished extraordinary things.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and repair time management errors.
  • Develop a personal time-management plan

Presenter Qualifications: Dr. Kiewra has investigated and written about the time-management plans of highly successful people. He has authored textbook chapters and delivered many presentations on this topic. Moreover, time management is a central topic that he and his graduate teaching assistants stress in the success course taught to hundreds of university students each year.



Title: Memory Mastery

Description: If you are like most people, you have memory problems that range from, “Where did I leave my keys?” to embarrassing introductions, “I’d like to introduce you to…um…ah…oh yeah, my Mom.” These memory snafus probably extend to the workplace where you forget important people, facts, and figures. This presentation provides a simple overview of how the memory system operates and offers powerful strategies for acquiring, maintaining, and retrieving information, based, in part, on the techniques of those with legendary memories.

Presenter Qualifications: Dr. Kiewra was trained in the area of cognitive psychology and has never forgotten the names of his parents or children. He has written chapters about memory techniques for his teaching and learning books and has delivered dozens of presentations on information processing and memory.



Title: How to Record Useful Notes

Description: This presentation describes my background as a note-taking researcher, documents the importance of note taking, identifies common note-taking problems, and offers practical, research-based solutions for better note taking both from oral and written presentations.

Learning Objectives:

  • State common note-taking problems and practical, research-based solutions
  • Demonstrate effective note-taking practices for oral and written material

Presenter Qualifications: Dr. Kiewra has published dozens of note-taking studies and is among the world’s foremost authorities on note taking.