Resources for Trainers

Presenting Effectively

Provide chocolate

Aaron Schmidt and Peter Bromberg posted recently about delivering effective presentations and I’ve been thinking about the topic, too. I second the great ideas they share and would like to add a couple of ideas, too. I do more small group workshops than large group presentations, but I think there’s a great deal of overlap in ways to be effective.

  • Two voices are better than one. I love to partner with someone to train or present. I think the back and forth of two voices, two personalities, can make a session so much more interactive and energized. It takes some behind-the-scenes discussion about who will do what and when, but it’s so worth it.
  • Be interactive. I think you can do this when talking to a group of 5 or when talking to a group of 500. Ask questions. Poll the audience. Get people thinking about what you’re saying and how it relates to their own experience. Someone smart once told me, if you could walk into a room and deliver your presentation without the audience being there, don’t do it. Getting them involved is imperative.
  • If possible, make a connection before the session. Can you send a “pre-mail” to people, asking them to think about certain things or to bring an example from their library, or just to introduce yourself and what you will be talking about during the actual session?
  • And then, after the session, can you check-in with participants somehow? …with a follow-up email maybe (a great way to more completely respond to questions from the session or to refer people to specific resources, etc)? I have been sending follow-up postcards lately.  I ask participants to self-address the postcard during the session. I sometimes have them write a goal they would like to accomplish in the next 6 weeks or I ask them to use the postcard as a review card: what would they like to remember 6 weeks from now? I will then often add a little note to the postcard, too, and send them out 6 weeks after the session.

I plan to think about this some more and may post again, but I’m curious to know what others think. The golden rule of presenting is to do onto others what you would like to have done to you. From a participant perspective, what works?

Resources for Trainers, Tools for trainers, Train the trainer opportunities

That was fun!

For trainers
For trainers

MaintainIT hosts monthly webinars for trainers. We talk about MaintainIT resources and share ideas for using them in training.  Today’s session was really fun (recording here) — lots of great people there, chatting about what makes online training work. There were people at the session attending their first ever online event and others who have presented online many times. One of the things I was most impressed with was everyone’s focus on the user… on the attendee experience. I know it might seem obvious, but when I was researching online presentations, most of the information I found focused on fonts and graphics and really specific details about how to make the presentation look. Great info and important stuff, but secondary.

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The power of pictures

Take a dip into the libraries and librarians pool
Take a dip into the libraries and librarians pool

There’s a TechSoup online think-tank happening right now. The topic: “How can non-profits use Flickr?” Check out the socialmedia4change site for examples and watch the TechSoup site as that conversation develops, too.

I’m really intrigued by the potential images represent as a communication tool. PowerPoint has ruled the training and presentation world for years now, but even there, I think we’re seeing a move from “text-y” slides to slides that contain an image… something visually interesting… something that engages the brain rather than turns it off as a bulleted text list seems to do.

Do you use images in your training? Do you use Flickr for training purposes? I’m going to be hunting for examples of trainers doing exactly that and I’ll include them here, too.