|Coordinating Among International Organizations in Complex Emergencies (Trainer's Guide, Draft 1st Edition) (Complex Emergency Training Initiative - Disaster Management Training Programme, 80 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 of coordination of the various organizations represented by your workshop group may go far afield from the material presented. This is not necessarily a problem since it indicates real interest in the topic. It will be up to you to decide if the material being covered is of value to the group. Time is always short 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.
Make workshop site arrangements
The physical environment of the training can either strengthen or weaken your presentation. When properly attended to, small matters of detail can make a training session run smoothly. The following are a few of these small matters which should not be overlooked:
Secure meeting room space that includes a main meeting room that will be large enough for plenary sessions as well as provide adequate space for small group sessions.
Look over the central meeting space and be aware of window and door locations, especially considering room temperature and ventilation.
Identify the location of electrical outlets.
Decide on a room set-up arrangement that best facilitates presentation and discussion.
Arrange the screen and projector to allow for exit and entry from the room without disruption of the session.
Test equipment before setting up for the presentation.
Set up stands and flip charts in each of the small group breakout areas that will be utilized.
Gather and prepare materials
If you intend to use a flip chart for presentations or for group exercises, be sure to have an adequate supply of stands, paper and markers. Make sure markers are in good working order and that each stand is stable.
Bring tape and pins if you need to attach sheets to a wall.
Make sure you have a blackboard and chalk or appropriate markers for white board if you do not intend to use a flip chart for plenary sessions.
Make sure you have a screen and overhead projector available with extra light bulbs and extension cords if they are necessary.
Bring name tags for all participants, sufficient copies of handouts you intend to use, paper and pencils.
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 includes a complete set of overheads which can be used to present the topic. You can add or delete from this collection 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:
dean the lens and surface in advance
set up the projector and screen in advance and test overheads for clarity and size
set up the screen as high as possible and at an angle to the wall
face your audience, not the screen; use a ruler or pointer to direct attention to the appropriate points
turn off the machine when not in use
Background on adult learning
The participants in this training session are your colleagues and you have much to learn from each other. Just as you bring knowledge and expertise, they too bring many life and work experiences that may provide helpful examples and insightful perspectives to the workshop materials. The more traditional didactic manner of education will not always be the best method to use. Consider the following points as you plan your presentation:
Participants will learn the material better if they can relate it to personal experience or to daily-use application.
As your colleagues, the participants will be more interested in the session 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.
Define the learning objectives at the outset of the session.
Be flexible, but remember to cover the main points of the session.
Remember that people vary in their preferred styles and methods for learning. Mixing educational formats and activities is more likely to meet the diverse needs of participants.
Dividing participants into small groups introduces diversity into the training process, facilitates the development of relationships among participants and creates opportunities for them to learn from each other. The process of utilizing small group breakout sessions requires the leader to provide clear instructions regarding small group tasks and to frequently check on their progress as they are meeting. The small group exercises suggested in this training module estimate the amount of time required for groups to consider the topic or issue they are to address. When small groups report back, the best practice is to ask for one example or one point from each group rather than a full report of their discussion. Without guidance and some limits on reports, the process can be time consuming and reporting back can become tedious and repetitious. It is, therefore, important to monitor the effectiveness of this process and not over-utilize it.