Monday, 19 July 2010

Presentation is NOT facilitation

This was a well attended session suggested by Tobias Mayer. The people that I remember in the session were: Manav Mehan, Petri, Petra, Dave Draper, Simon Kirk, Dave Harvey, Simon M, Paul D and Laura. Apologies to those that were there but I can’t remember.

The session was inspired by a book I am currently reading – Training from the back of the room which is one of the two reasons I decided to join this session. The other reason is that last year I learned a lot from one of Tobias’ sessions.

It began with Tobias setting the scene and explaining a little bit about what he meant by this title. Learning should be a shared experience and slides are a prescription. Slides effectively are anti-agile, they often are corrupt and wrong.

People come with knowledge so we should not stand as experts. As a trainer or presenter – leave your ego at the door. The experience should be learner centric. For example: don’t put the slides first up. Use a flipchart for the topic (flipchart could still be about me – but helps build some trust in your ability – as you do stuff – e.g. write on the flipchart not just flick slides)

Someone mentioned a useful training “Think on your feed” which resembles the same practices. We then split into groups of 4. Smaller groups mean more people are likely to contribute. We discussed “why do we have slides?” Someone say they are the equivalent of the Gantt charts. We have charts because the business sees them as the product (training) that they sell/buy.

We then talked about how we teach Scrum. People seem to teach Scrum as a process, not its values and this is why it often fails. Most people learn by doing or discovering for themselves. We don’t have to talk about values – instead demonstrate them..
Training must be seen as a holistic process. People walk out with about 10% of the training – however value changes stick.

Tobias said that he has removed his Q&A sections. How would you do that? When training from the front of the room people resist and argue with trainings and this usually goes nowhere.

People’s brain is most open at the start and at the end of the sessions. For example use 5 flipcharts with different questions. The moment someone walks in ask them to go to a flipchart, find a partner and start answering questions to each other.
Tobias also said that he printed his slides and put the around the room rather than showing a slideshow.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’

How to engage people at the beginnings and endings?
- Game straight away? E.g. lego pieces
- Ask people to explain to each other – they’ll remember more.
Overall it was a good discussion. I perhaps expected a little more based on my experience from the year before but still a good value and some excellent ideas.

Thanks All!

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