Quiet reflection can be a productive learning and problem solving strategy, especially for introverts. In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain provides a compelling argument for our need to seek ways to more proactively include employees who are not as extroverted or assertive about their ideas.
Collaborative Annotation, also known as trio annotation, is a structured approach for sharing thoughts without the cacophony of a group discussion. Here’s how it works:
I have used this strategy twice in the last few weeks and found that the resulting discussion and ideas were richer and more productive than would have occurred if we had gone right to discussion first. It clearly made it easier for the introverts in the group to have their voices heard.
Looking for an easy, novel approach to brainstorming?
A way to get all of your participants actively engaged?
How about a strategy that requires NO PREP?
If so, then Blanket the Table is for you.
The August 21st solar eclipse will be the biggest American weather event to hit the US in a very long time. Everyone is talking about it – at the water cooler, at schools and over family meals. It will be exciting and unforgettable – exactly what public speakers want from their moment on the stage.
However, one definition of an eclipse brings a different perspective.
Eclipse - the loss of significance, power or prominence in relation to another person
Should presenters want to be in the spotlight or, instead, develop parity with their audience? Malcolm Knowles, considered the father of androgogy, posited that adult learners need recognition of and respect for their background experiences. When presenters make the learning all about themselves as the experts, we dishonor the expertise in the room. Instead, intentionally allowing an eclipse of your prominence can engage adult learners in significant ways.
Here are 3 simple ways to foster a presenter eclipse:
For more ideas about increasing audience engagement, click here.
True or False? Two heads are better than one.
My answer is “it depends.” Co-presenting is a wonderful opportunity to utilize the talents and experience of two people to increase engagement and learning of the audience members. However, this only happens when both trainers are actively engaged in the teaching process. Frequently I find that one is lecturing while the other is seated, just waiting for their turn to talk. How much better the experience can be when both are supporting the learning simultaneously!
How does this work? There are three prerequisites for success:
There are unlimited ways that two adults can co-present. Here are five of my favorites. For my entire list, click here. I keep this list on my presentation table as a reminder card when I am co-presenting.
Click here for more ideas on great presenting.
Interested in active, engaged adult learners? Work with me to improve training and facilitation skills. Click here to see the ways I can support you.
I recently had the chance to attend a motivational keynote given by a woman with a very inspiring story. Her storytelling skills and content message were excellent. The audience was pin-drop silent as she commanded the stage.
As a talent developer, I am always pleased for a presenter’s success, but also try to learn from them. I pay attention to the things that work for me as an audience member and the things that don’t. Sometimes the don'ts leave more of an impression, so let's start with a few that were reinforced during my recent experience.
Don’t advance to text-heavy slides that differ from what you are discussing. As an audience member, I immediately begin to read the slide and miss your message. It is a distraction from the story and disrupts the emotional buildup. The text can confuse your learner – “Is this more important than what she is saying?”
Do tell your story with an image or one key word on the slide. If you want to share longer text, such as a quote, either show the slide and read it aloud immediately or pause and let the audience read it silently. Simplify so that your message is strong and inspirational!
Don't stand behind the podium the whole time. A podium acts as a physical and psychological barrier between you and your audience. Don't pace back and forth across the stage.
Do move purposefully. Choreograph your movements so that your audience is pulled into your talk. Think about when to move toward them, when to stand very still, when to use large gestures or when to change position. Your position and movement on stage can greatly enhance your message.
Don't forget to call your audience to action. Inspirational stories are meant to motivate. But some audiences need to hear a specific suggestion or call to action in order to change their behavior.
Do offer simple ideas for how your audience members can support your cause. Make it clear that we don't all have to be the superhero that you are, but instead can make a difference by taking small, easy steps.
What are your don'ts and dos for motivational presentations? Please share so that we can all become more inspiring!
When I was a kid, I was told by parents and teachers that "cheat sheets" were forbidden. It seems to me now that cheat sheets have a place - just not during test-taking times! Because of their bad reputation, I call them "Sweet Cheets," and I usually have two of them on my presentation table at all times.
One of my sweet sheets is a list of simple ways to get participants responding beyond the overdone "Raise your hand if..." The second sweet sheet is a list of on-the-spot activities that boost engagement and retention. While I usually plan for activity throughout the day, occasionally I recognize that it has been too long since the last activity. I can quickly glance at my Sweet Sheet and insert an energizer.
Click here to download your free copies of my two favorite cheat/sweet sheets.
An over-packed mini-van was stopped by a New Hampshire State Trooper last week and cited for negligent driving. The driver had strapped a bicycle, shopping cart, a rake and a television, among other items, to the top of his roof. While the vehicle was being towed in, items fell off onto the highway, causing State Police to issue a friendly reminder to motorists that over-packing your roof rack can be dangerous.
On the exact same day that this occurred, I was coaching new presenters through their first practice presentations. They were asked to create a 15-16 minute presentation on a topic of their choice. Of the nine presenters, about half managed to choose just the right amount of content for the time frame. The others over-packed, rushed through their final points and skipped the opportunity for a strong closing.
Why do so many presenters over-pack their presentations?
How can you avoid over-packing? Try these five proven strategies.
For more time related tips, click here.
Jessica Swart, a participant in one of my recent seminars, wrote the following on her end-of-the-day feedback form.
“Love how you have page numbers on the slides to go along with the book. Your attention to detail is HUGE!”
Attention to details, specifically those that make the learners’ experience go more smoothly, is critical for effective learning facilitation.
One simple way to do this is to place the corresponding page number from your printed material in the top right hand corner of every slide.
Near the beginning of the session, mention that each slide will show the corresponding page number so that participants can more easily stay with you throughout the material.
Not only will you have their gratitude, you will also decrease wasted time while people are searching for the right page and increase learning time.
For additional suggestions about slide design, click here.
Gamification is all the rage in talent development. But what about old-fashioned game boards? Are they a thing of the past? Should they be?
Here are 5 ways that game boards add value to any training class or learning experience.
There are many resources that simplify the process of creating a game board. SparkleBox is the site I used to create the game board in the photo above. Click here for an editable game board template.
Here is another site with several different templates.
A few tips:
Looking for more games to add to your-person classes? Check out this idea from my Caffeinated Learning archives.
On a recent hike in Colorado, my husband and I spied a beautiful lake in the distance. We hiked off trail to get closer and came upon this sign. Needless to say, we did not go any further! The sign was very clear about what we should do – turn around! The sign not only saved us from harm, but saved the property owners from unwanted trouble.
Explicit directions or guidelines are also essential for learning sessions. By setting clear expectations right at the start of a class, facilitators can save everyone from unwanted problems.
One key topic to address is how the group will transition smoothly and efficiently. Effective learning occurs when participants are actively engaged with the material and each other. Because the best facilitators encourage small group discussion and activities, the best facilitators also have explicit methods for how to quiet the group and bring them back together quickly. Here are seven methods you can use. Whichever you choose, be sure to review the method(s) with the group early on in your session.
Your learners will appreciate your clarity and the fact that you are honoring their time by being efficient. For more ideas, check out Caffeinated Learning - the book, the webinars or the in-person sessions.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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