Learning from Others

There is so much we can learn from observing other people when they facilitate.  In meetings, presentations, lectures and facilitated workshops I am sometimes distracted.  This may be due to daydreaming, but is more likely to be because my brain is operating on another plane.  On that plane I am asking questions like:
  • What did they just do?
  • Why did they do that?
  • What will they say in response to that interjection?
  • Will they address this obvious problem with their statement?
  • What will they do next?
  • Could or would I do what they just did?
  • When would it be appropriate to do what they just did?
  • What could they have done differently then?
I am not completely somewhere else when I am doing this, but I couldn't say I am strictly attending to the topic in hand either.

I recently came across some notes I took at a seminar a couple of years ago - I was not writing this blog at the time, but I had been developing a Presentation Skills workshop. I wrote down:
  • Use the names of people in the audience, lots of people.
  • Don't stand in front of the screen.
  • Don't look at the screen.
  • Don't just acknowledge VIPs, have something to say that is relevant to their portfolio/interests.
  • Start the session with a question or a confrontational statement.
  • DON'T read from the slide.
  • Check the size of the text on your slides (at the venue, on the venue's equipment)!
Pay attention, there is a lot to learn from other people's performance.