What's the most dreaded question for most facilitators? It is usually the one you don't know the answer to. But don't panic! Instead, throw the question back to the audience by saying, "Thanks for the question. Take a minute and talk with someone nearby about how you would answer it." This allows you some quiet think time, perhaps even a chance to do a quick Internet search, and honors the potential contributions of the participants. If no one in the audience knows the answer, and you have come up blank, promise the group that you will research it and get back to them.
Find more tips for encouraging and facilitating questions in my new book "Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Learning."
You've arrived early enough to your presentation site to set up all you materials, check your technology and have a cup of coffee. The first participant is likely to walk in the door any moment, followed by groups of people as the room fills up. What are you feeling?
Many presenters want to take these last moments to hide in a bathroom or wander an empty hallway. Don't do this! Instead, maxi-mingle.
Maxi-mingling lets you maximize the success of your training or presentation by greeting people with a smile, introducing yourself and asking key questions. As you do this, you are gathering valuable information, developing rapport and even getting to know where your trouble spots might be.
Tailor the following 5 questions for you particular content for maximum impact.
While you might not love mingling, you will love the results that maxi-mingling brings to your training and your business.
What other questions do you ask that reap valuable information?
One of the newest entries to interactive slide presentations is PearDeck. This free web tool (with a paid version) allows you to create live sessions for your slides and invite up to 50 participants to join in. As the instructor, you control the flow while they use their devices to respond to questions you have previously designed or add in the moment.
The free version includes 10 different response types, from multiple choice to drawing on a grid. You can then choose to show anonymous results in real time. For data analysis, upgrade to the paid version.
I used this recently and was impressed with the intuitive interface for myself as an instructor, and and for my participants. Learners were highly engaged with my content and I was able to adjust the talk based on the formative, immediate feedback I was receiving. This tool is definitely on my "must have" list!
Why is there still so much lecture when we know that it has limited utility? Try using one of these alternative methods in your next class!
Last week I had the pleasure of providing several technology-based training sessions in locations around the country. Each location was new for me and included a variety of unattractive challenges – spotty wifi, lack of sound proofing, firewalls, etc.
I am not a digital native, but instead a Boomer for whom technology causes anxiety, unless I remember the 2 most important words: BACKUP PLAN
· my own hotspot in case of firewalls
· a portable IPEVO document camera that can show my iPad
· Reflector and AirServer – two different software programs that reflect my iPad
· screen recordings of various web sites I like to show in case I can’t access the internet
· a complete set of spare cords for all my devices
· AND plans for how to run the class if all the technology has failed.
When I have these backups in place, my anxiety disappears and my classes go well, no matter what happens.
What backup plans do you have?
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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