Saturday, 26 May 2012

Delivering a better presentation / training course. No. 3. The Daily review.

This is the third in a series of posts where I plan to discuss my ideas, tips and best practices for delivering a great presentation / training course. This one can easily be dismissed as a bit of a time waster. Don’t. This one is gem!

This one is probably the most important part of any training day.

Review sessions are quite common at the end of chapters to evaluate how much the delegates have learned. This often involves asking the delegates questions. I find that technique too challenging for some delegates. In so far as it puts them on the spot and they feel uncomfortable.

Instead, I set aside 10 to 20 minutes first thing every morning after the first. The setup is the same. I create a Powerpoint slide with everyone's name on it in advance. I then work around the room asking each person to name one thing that they know now that they didn't know the morning before. i.e. something related to the course and not something that they read in the Metro paper on the train.

It can be a fact, a technique or an anecdote that I used the day before. It can be something important or trivial. By the end of the review we have usually covered all of the ground from the day before.

This technique allows me an opportunity to ask questions both open and closed. If I want to expand on a theme, I am also able to ask reflective questions such as "so why was that the recommended best practice?".

This daily session is very powerful. Particularly on the longer 3-5 day courses as it acts as a reminder to the delegates of all the things that they have learned.

Not only does it reassure me as the trainer that they are taking on board everything I have said, it also acts to reassure them that they are actually learning new things (and retaining them). It also encourages delegates to ask questions they wouldn't have asked during the actual lesson as the review session is ideal for engaging with otherwise unresponsive groups.

On longer courses, it is quite common for delegates to become weary and lost track of what topics have been covered. However, a quick review in the morning brings all the key points flooding back.

I have been tempted to drop the review sometimes when the course has been running behind and I want to make up time. I am glad to say that I haven't done so too often.

Delegates often get into the spirit and start to note down one or two (someone else might get their first one) key points so they are prepared for the following morning. Furthermore, one or two delegates per course will sometimes ask for a copy of the review slide deck to take away as they value the information and ideas that they contain.

So if you haven't tried a technique like this, why not give it a try? At the very least, I am sure that you find that it helps you to engage with the group and improve the dynamic. Who knows, the delegates might even find the course more satisfying!

Delegates will be able to recall more facts.

You will be reassured of their learning.

They will be reassured of their learning.

You will be more likely to engage with quiet groups.


Trust me. This one is a gem!

See you soon

Phil Stirpé
"I don't do average!"

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