Thursday, January 19, 2017

What is wrong with this seminar?

This week we were invited to be the featured speaker at a Roadtrek rally. Roadtrek are the top of the line camper vans. People who travel in them like to get together. That's a Roadtrek rally.
Our big rig looks like a mama duck and her flock of little Roadtreks!

We've presented seminars at these Roadtrek rallies many times and this time they gave us a whole day of their schedule. That's a first! You look at the schedule of rally events and, on Tuesday it just said 9-4: Geeks on Tour.  We used the morning to present our seminar called Technology for Travelers, and Google Photos. Then we took all afternoon to teach What Does This Button Do, a Primer on Using Smartphones and Tablets.

With all afternoon to  present a seminar we often have to squeeze into an hour, you'd think I'd feel like we really covered the waterfront, but it was the opposite. At the end of the day as I'm reviewing in my mind, all I could think of was all the stuff we didn't teach. "Oh, darn! I didn't show them xx. Or yy, Or zz. They spent all day with us, and they didn't learn about __________"

You see, we teach a weekly class via YouTube called What Does This Button Do and we're on episode 106. I think I want to cram all 100 hours of that show into our seminar. Obviously that's not possible, so maybe the focus of our seminar should be showing people how to find topics in our archives of online shows?  I was especially distressed on Tuesday night that we didn't show examples of that show. There were many people in the audience who had never seen us before and after spending all day with us, they still didn't know about our weekly show? 

Ok, so I should redesign the seminar to focus on excerpts from the show and teach them how to find their desired topic in the archives, right? 

No, people come to a live presentation to see, you know, a live presentation? Not a bunch of recorded clips. We need both.

  1. Acquaint the audience with our show,
  2. teach them some good stuff in the live presentation. 
  3. this needs to fit in a one hour time slot because, sometime, that's all we get. 
And, our audience is of various levels. I don't want to talk over the heads of the rank beginners. I also don't want the more advanced folks to be bored.

Back to the drawing board. I change the class nearly every time we teach. 

p.s. I spent nearly 3 days re-writing the seminar handout. Take a look here:


Tom Van de Bussche said...

Chris, you are not alone. It the end of every class/session, I always felt that I left something out or did not have enough time to cover subject X and so forth. That feeling comes from a good instructor that wants the attendees to receive maximum knowledge and benefit from their class. Sad to say there are some presenters that just don't care. They just throw out information to fill a set amount of time and good luck if the attendees pick any thing up from it. I always tell our RVing friends if you have a chance to attend a Geeks on Tour seminar at a rally make certain you attend, because you will learn a lot. Best to you and Jim.

Tom Van de Bussche

Chris Guld said...

Thanks Tom! It does seem that our biggest fans are other teachers. You understand what's involved. We'll keep trying to improve.