Not A Presentation, A Participation!

I had one of those conversations this week with my dear friend Robin Dickinson. You know what I mean. Where your brain gets turned over in your head and the game plan changes in every way possible.

This conversation was about the presentation I’m giving next week at the International Youth Conference Festival in Pakistan. My speaker notes are here. What Robin basically did was take my own medicine and feed it to me. Watch:

So it’s no longer a presentation I’m giving. It’s a participation.

I’ll probably share a rehearsal with you over the weekend so you can see more, but these raising up some interesting points for conversation:

Your Leading Thoughts

  • Why we do default to presenting and not participating?
  • What is the benefit of shifting from one mindset to the other?

Archived Comments

  • http://www.sallyfoleylewis.com Sally

    Hi Scott
    So good to see your clip and, coming from a presenter/trainer perspective, I really acknowledge you for looking toward ‘participation’. I’m in a situation now where I will be giving some speeches and I’m having a constant internal debate about participation versus presentation. My default is participation and so I am pondering on how to pull back to more presentation, if I should and why?
    Have a great trip and enjoy your ‘participation’!

  • http://gearboxmagazine.com Brian Driggs

    To the former, because we don’t know any better. It hasn’t clicked that, however uncomfortable we might be as the center of attention, it beats the unknown result of trying to draw others into the spotlight with us.

    Hey. It’s a theory.

    To the latter, participation suggests to every member of the group that their opinions and experiences matter. It’s not about “Hey you, get up here on stage and help me do this,” rather, “What do you think about this?”

    It’s more conversational, and conversations connect people with ideas.

    Another theory, but I’m a bit more sure of this one.

    :)

  • http://gearboxmagazine.com Brian Driggs

    To the former, because we don’t know any better. It hasn’t clicked that, however uncomfortable we might be as the center of attention, it beats the unknown result of trying to draw others into the spotlight with us.

    Hey. It’s a theory.

    To the latter, participation suggests to every member of the group that their opinions and experiences matter. It’s not about “Hey you, get up here on stage and help me do this,” rather, “What do you think about this?”

    It’s more conversational, and conversations connect people with ideas.

    Another theory, but I’m a bit more sure of this one.

    :)

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Sally – thanks for stopping by.

    Strange to hear you want to move back to presentation. I guess I would say there’s a need for both preaching and teaching, the same way we need presentation and participation.- Right?

  • / Scott Gould

    Ego is a big deal. I wrote about it here: /let-attendees-be-participants/

  • http://jeffhurtblog.com Anonymous

    Scott:

    What is the benefit from shifting from one mindset to the other? It benefits the participant’s learning. That’s our goal, isn’t it? To help the learner.

    Learning is fundamentally social. True learning is an act of participation. The depth of our learning depends on the depth of our participation.

    Who learns the most from presenting? Typically the presenter, not the audience. Thus the depth of our learning depends on the depth of our participation.

    Engagement is joined at the hip with empowerment. If you want someone to feel empowered during your presentation, craft the presentation so that there is time for them to engage with each other as they engage with your content. Chunk your content into 10-min segments and then let the participants digest that content together through conversations and discussions for 10-20 minutes. Then repeat, wash and rinse.

    ;)

    Exclusion from active participation equals failure to learn.

    It’s about shifting from the being speaker-centric to the audience-centric. From a focus on sharing information to active learning and participation. From the sage on the stage to the guide on the side. From presenting to facilitating learning. From passive audiences to active participants.

    BTW, everything I wrote above is founded in andragogy, the science of how adults learn.

    Keep pushing those boundaries and focusing on what’s best for your audiences, the participants, the learners. That’s where you’ll find true success.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Jones/1587236899 Dylan Jones

    Interesting topic Scott, thanks for sharing.

    I’m intrigued, you mention one of the presenters at the event stood out with her participation approach, how did she achieve this?

    I like the idea of moving out of your comfort zone, putting down the slides and using the crowd to drive the discussion and learning, I guess I’m still confused as to exactly how people are delivering this.

    I often see presenters taking polls and asking questions from the crowd but that still strikes me as lightweight participation.

    Any more nuggets to share on participation you’ve seen or used that have worked in the past?

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson

    Excellent points you make, Jeff. So true.

    :)

  • http://www.sallyfoleylewis.com Sally

    Yes, it is just a few situations where presentation has been specified so I’m struggling with pulling back or staying with being my usual inclusive and participatory self. I prefer participation any day!
    I look forward to the post-participation wrap up !

  • / Scott Gould

    Jeff – I have of course learned this from you – and it comes as a surprise to me that despite al my learning from you I transgressed the basic lesson of what we say – ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT!

    Armed with a renewed vigor, I can’t wait to get these people participating and learning. Just can’t wait!

    BTW, active engagement worked very well at the last Like Minds – thanks for your continued encouragement and food for thought

    Scott

  • / Scott Gould

    Lol – thanks Sally – stay in touch!

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Dylan

    The answer to your question is right below – Jeff’s comments and his blog (jeffhurtblog.com) are the best resources I know on participation. I learned what I know from him and Robin.

2nd December, 2010

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