Friday, January 14, 2011

Presentation Skills - The Length of the Program

The most important consideration in determining how long a technical seminar or workshop should be is the time required to cover the subject in sufficient detail. Some subjects require two or three days to tackle the complexities of a topic, while that amount of time would be superfluous in others. The burdens placed on the presenter(s) should also be considered. In a single-day program, chances are that one individual can handle the entire presentation. If it is longer, either more presenters will be necessary or more participant activity must be scheduled to ease the strain on the presenter.

In the world of speaking, there are speakers and there are trainers, and the two differ greatly in their content, styles, and goals. Trainers are far more concerned with the accuracy and relevance of the material content than a speaker will ever be and yet, they must be as entertaining and motivating as any other. Technical trainers can seldom count on standing ovations, peals of laughter, or thunderous applause. What you can count on is being followed to the restroom and being asked questions, people standing around waiting to tell you of their experiences on the same topic, and serious questions about the topic you just presented.

Evaluations of trainers by attendees are usually sparse as well. Most trainers have discovered that the attendees have their own agenda when they arrive and their acceptance and satisfaction is totally dependent upon whether or not you live up to those preconceived expectations, whether they are a part of the program or not.

Evaluations will most often be extremely critical of facilities and temperature and will reflect learners' representations of what they think the trainer should be, irrespective of the material content.

Nevertheless, technical training can be one of the most rewarding of all presentations because you may have the opportunity to observe the participants taking "hard skills" with them that they can apply immediately to make their lives and businesses a fuller and richer medium for their personal growth and happiness.

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