|Disaster Assessment - Trainer's Guide - 1st Edition (Disaster Management Training Programme, 66 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 experiences. You should first look over all of the material available and 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 give them more relevance for the individual participants.
Also remember that the discussion may go far afield from the material presented despite your best efforts to "keep on track." This is not necessarily a problem as long as the discussion covers the areas that are of concern to the audience and are related to the material at hand. It will be up to you to decide if the material being covered is of value to the group. Remember that 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 what 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. Small matters of detail can often make a training run smoothly if properly attended to and planned for. The following are a few of these "small things" 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 out the markers to make sure that they are in good working order (not dried up).
· Make sure that the stand or stands are stable.
· Bring tape and pins if you need to attach sheets to the wall.
· Remember 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. Will you need extension cords?
· Be aware of window and door locations. 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 of this training session are your colleagues. They bring with them many insightful experiences that may 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 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 the basic thrust of the session. The participants have various learning styles, but they are attending this session to learn about this topic.
The ice breaker
Often the most difficult and the most 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 and have them interview each other. After a few minutes have the interviewers introduce their counterparts to the group as a whole.
Another idea is to ask the participants to introduce themselves and to each give a short statement of their expectations of the course or give a short narrative about experience they have had with the topic to be covered.
Whichever method you decide to use, the point is to quickly get all of the participants to actively participate (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. This is one way of getting started.
1. Welcome the participants and introduce yourself and the topic to be covered.
2. Use your icebreaker to get everyone involved in the process.
3. Review the learning objectives of the session. Ask the participants for additional objectives that they may wish to pursue.
4. Make it clear to the group that the session is to be interactive and 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 that they have had personal experience with.
5. Outline your schedule (and strive to keep it). You may want to appoint or 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 are a follows:
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 the "plenary."
Pose a general question to the group as a whole and then "brainstorm" the issues using a flip chart or the overhead projector to record the results. If the question serves as a "pre-test," preserve the list and then review it after the material has been covered in the session.
Role playing 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.
Audio visual aids
Audio visual 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 has a complete set of overheads included which can be used to present the topic. You can add to 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 follow these reminders:
· Clean the lens and surface in advance
· Set up the screen and the projector in advance, if possible, then 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