As I looked over my audience, I saw a range of ages represented. Some were young, with eager, unlined faces while others had salt and pepper hair and smile lines. I love a diverse audience, but I also know that these generational differences can impact their learning and application of content, especially if we are working in teams.
Taking an idea from Jennifer Abrams, author of The Multi-Generational Work Force,
I decided to weave a new activity into my typical content. I hung color-coded ABC signs in four corners of the presentation room. Then I created a few slides containing multiple-choice items, such as the following:
I asked everyone to stand, and answer the question by moving to that spot in the room (A, B, or C.) Once they were gathered under the signs and had a moment to chat about their answer, I asked them to notice where their co-workers were standing. We did the same for a handful of questions, with lots of laughter and fond memories shared.
I then asked them to return to their seats and discuss how they felt generational differences might influence their work. Participants talked in small groups before we shared as a whole group, identifying possible implications. You might consider creating a table like the one I created, with your content or topic in place of Professional Learning Implications..
Because generational differences can impact every new learning, no matter the topic, I am planning on adding this to many of my future training sessions.
The best $30 I have spent in the last 5 years was on Doceri, a software program that enhances your presentation skills. When paired with the Doceri iPad app, anything that it is on my computer screen mirrors to my iPad. (Picture this as the opposite of Apple TV.) This includes documents, spread sheets, apps, web sites, etc. Once I have mirroring set up, I become untethered from the podium and can move freely around the room. Not only can I control my presentation from afar, but I can mark on anything I am showing. I really love this for real-time annotation on web sites!
Here are just a few of the things you can do with Doceri.
For more tech tips, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training.
Checking my inbox, I find the following email:
I am the Director of Curriculum in a small, suburban school district in Indiana. We have a professional learning day for our teachers and staff scheduled for February 13th. Someone recommended you as a speaker. Would you be available to provide us with some training that day? If so, please let me know your fee and what topics you could provide.
Red flags immediately pop up in my mind. Is this day just filler? Do they have any direction? Why is this so last minute?
I know that my ability to be effective as a facilitator of adult learning is based, in part, on having content that addresses an actual need of my participants. If the boss is simply trying to fill a six hour time slot with someone who is entertaining, then the odds of making a meaningful impact on their work are pretty low.
What would be better? I always hope that the agency has already done a thorough needs analysis before they call me. Then, in discussions, we decide if the learning objectives they articulate match the expertise I have to offer. But because this is not always the case, I am prepared with a list of questions to clarify the need. As we talk, I quickly evaluate which questions are most appropriate to the situation and add or delete on the fly.
Here are 7 that I think are essential.
For additional questions to guide your training design and delivery, go to Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Deliver Rich, Robust Professional Training.
Everyone’s calendars seem overbooked these days. We schedule travel, meetings, doctor visits, webinars, lunches, exercise – I even schedule “downtime” on my calendar, just to make sure it happens.
With all that busyness, I still appreciate it when I am asked to make Give and Take Appointments during a professional training session. Here’s how the strategy works:
Three great reasons make this strategy one you should add to your repertoire as a trainer or facilitator.
For more ideas to increase audience engagement, check out Caffeinated Learning
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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