Extreme meta-training: the importance of size

A good training session doesn’t just lump participants into groups willy-nilly, driven by nothing more than the group size and the facilitator’s ability to divide numbers in their head. Splitting participants into groups is a well-thought-through process of considering the objective of the activity and the dynamics needed to make it tick.

Here is an imagined example, a training session using different group sizes to discuss using different group sizes in training sessions: extreme meta-training!

Imagined Example

The facilitator says: Split into fours and discuss on a flip-chart the advantage of being in a group of four

Why is this better than a three or a pair?

Why is it usually better than a five or a six?

Rather than bore the crap out of each other by reading out your flip-charts to people who aren’t really listening, a more bearable alternative is:

Just tell us one thing – the thing you thought was most useful or interesting and let’s discuss it a bit … what do the other groups think?

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Rather long mixed-up list of ten golden rules for presentations

I’m pulling together the presentation for an event I’m speaking at next week, and I’m starting to struggle, and so to keep myself amused, I put together this rather long and mixed-up list of golden rules for presentations:

1. PowerPoint is not a presentation

PowerPoint is a useful tool, but it is not the presentation itself.

It might form part of the presentation: showing visuals, capturing points, keeping the agenda clear etc. – but the presentation is, in approximate order of importance:

  • Your objective(s) (what do you want the audience to do/think as a consequence of your presentation?)
  • The audience (who are these people?)
  • The content (what is the story you want to tell?)
  • The presenter (who are you, what’s your style?)
  • The environment (where will this happen, what are the pros and cons of that?)
  • What tools can I use (not just PowerPoint, but anything else that would help me achieve my objective with this audience in this location …?)
  • How can I amplify this by making noise on other channels (Social media etc.)

That puts PowerPoint – a tool – in second-to-last spot, although I just made that list up with minimal thought, so it could be in the wrong order.

Continue reading “Rather long mixed-up list of ten golden rules for presentations”