|Logistics - Trainer's Guide - 1st Edition (Disaster Management Training Programme, 51 p.)|
Careful preparation is the key to any successful presentation. If you are familiar with your audience, it is important to tailor the material presented to relate to their experience. Look over all of the material available, then select those materials suitable to the time constraints of the training session and the needs of the participants. Try to augment the materials with items that are closer to home for the audience. Related articles from local newspapers and magazines can strengthen the points being made and increase their relevance for individual participants.
In spite of your best efforts to keep on track, the discussion may go far afield from the material presented. This is not necessarily a problem, as long as the discussion covers related areas that are of concern to the audience and are related to the main points of the module. It will be up to you to decide if the material being covered is of value to the group. Time is always in short supply and should be used to the best advantage of all concerned. To make these decisions, you will have to be familiar enough with the material to know which parts can be left out or covered very quickly with your particular audience.
The physical environment of the training and the visual aids that you use can either strengthen or weaken your presentation. When properly attended to, small matters of detail can make a training run smoothly. The following are a few of these small matters that should not be overlooked:
If you intend to use a flip chart for presentations or for group exercises, be sure to have an adequate supply of paper and markers.
Check the markers to make sure they are in good working order.
Make sure each stand is stable.
Bring tape and pins if you need to attach sheets to a wall.
Bring extra lamps for the slide or overhead projector.
Test equipment before setting up for the presentation.
Look over the room for the presentation and be aware of electrical outlet locations.
Find out if you will need extension cords.
Be aware of window and door locations, especially considering room temperature and ventilation.
Arrange the screen and projector to allow for exit and entry from the room without disruption of the session.
The basics of adult learning
The participants in this training session are your colleagues. They bring with them many insightful experiences to enhance the session. As such, the basic tenets of classroom learning do not always apply. Remember the following points when giving a presentation for an adult audience:
The participants will learn the material better if they can relate it to personal experience or to a daily use application.
As your colleagues, the participants will be more interested in the session as a whole if they can actively participate rather than simply listen.
As adults, the participants are responsible for their own learning, and should be encouraged to ask questions that will provide them with what they really need to know.
The learning objectives of the session should be defined at the outset.
You should be flexible, but remember to cover the main points of the session.
Often the most difficult and important part of the training session is the beginning. It is important to get off to a timely start and to set the proper pace in order to complete the session in the time available. Participants need to be introduced to one another and made comfortable in their surroundings. They also need to be quickly prompted to take an active role in the training. This may be done with an icebreaker.
One typical exercise is to divide the participants into pairs. Have them interview each other. After a few minutes, have the interviewers introduce their counterparts to the group as a whole.
Another exercise is to ask the participants to introduce themselves and to each give a short statement of their expectations for the course or a short narrative about experience they have had with the topic to be covered.
Whichever method you choose, the point is to quickly get all group members to participate actively, even if in a small way, as soon as possible.
The first ten minutes
You have your material, you have your audience, you even have an icebreaker ready to use. One way of getting started is listed below.
1. Begin promptly. Welcome the participants. Introduce yourself and the topic.
2. Use your icebreaker to get everyone involved in the process.
3. Review your learning objectives. Ask the participants for additional objectives they may wish to pursue.
4. Make it clear to the group that the session is to be interactive. Explain that active participation in the session is the norm. Encourage the participants to ask questions as they arise, and to freely add their own input on issues with which they have had personal experience.
5. Outline your schedule and strive to keep it. You may want to ask for a volunteer timekeeper to help keep the session on schedule.
To give some variety to the session and to keep the participants actively involved, you may want to mix in some group activities or exercises. Some of the basic types of activities recommended in this module series include:
Divide the group into smaller groups and assign a short question or case study. Have the groups identify the pertinent issues to the session topic and have them compile by consensus a list of their conclusions. Ask that one of the group members be the reporter who will then present their findings back to all participants.
Pose a general question to the group as a whole and then brainstorm the answers using a flip chart or the overhead projector to record the results. If the question serves as a pre-test, preserve the list, then review it after the material has been covered in the session.
Role play scenarios. Work up a possible scenario that might occur in the participants day to day activities. Have the group break into sub groups who will take on the role of agencies or individuals responsible for different aspects of the scenario and have them work through the issues in this way.
Audiovisual aids can greatly enhance your presentation. To be effective, they must:
Clearly illustrate the topic at hand.
Hold the attention of the participants.
Focus attention on the essential points.
Reinforce the message that the presenter is trying to get across.
This guide comes with a complete set of overheads which can be used to present the topic. You can add to or delete from this set of overheads as you see fit. Clear acetate sheets and colored felt tip markers will allow you to highlight areas on the overheads provided or to create instant overheads as needs arise. If you are going to rely on the overhead projector for your presentation, you should:
Clean the lens and surface in advance.
Set up the screen and projector in advance, if possible.
Set up the screen as high as possible and at an angle to the wall.
Face your audience, not the screen, and use a ruler or pointer to direct attention to the appropriate points as they are discussed.
Turn off the machine when not in use.