Dr. Robin DiAngelo filmed talk on White Fragility – The most impactful thing you will watch this year.

Let it in.

If you only look at one long learning video this summer to get better informed about a vast problem that can be changed – you’ve found it.

Dr. Robin DiAngelo talking about the content of her book White Fragility. (90 minutes.)

Dr. Robin DiAngelo White Fragility

Here is the link; http://seattlechannel.org/videos?videoid=x93076

Punchy, intelligently delivered to break patterns, disrupt and pierce the armour of racial comfort, this film names many of the false victim scripts that maintain a conspiracy of continuation and deliberate dominance by all white people – old timers, woke whites, progressives and millenials.

Obligatory viewing for anyone in the diversity, community or intercultural space.

Surrender to the reality and see how you feel.

 

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Classroom Training for Companies is NOT Dead! And, here is the business case.

10 reasons why classrooms beat screens – An opinion piece by Matthew Hill

At the moment I am battling with a large client to “save” classroom face-to-face training against the passionate arguments from a few of their senior directors who wish to take ALL content on-line and deliver educational content via virtual E learning packages.

Their logic for this centres on time, money and travel.

Time Management Course

The way they state it, in the long run, if the company builds, say, 100 units of virtual training, the job is done – There will be relatively little further expense. In their utopian vision of the future for education, the company will not have to move people around, book flights and hotels, repeat live training or pay for group suppers and trips to the local town amusements etc. From a purely financial perspective this is both understandable and correct.

But, What is missing here, and what is going to be lost?

Save the Classroom – 10 Things to Consider…

  1. Realism

The classroom affords a much more realistic representation of a corporate meeting, a heated discussion or a simple live pair dialogue. It is this realism that will adds educational value later when the participants are locked in conflict and combat for real.

Studies in learning impact mostly conclude that the closer a learning simulation is to reality, the greater the transfer is, making the new competence ready for use in an actual live and important work scenario.

So, the 3D simulation of realistic soft skills, leadership and change exercises found in classroom encounters is going to almost always be more fresh, alive and more nuance that its virtual equivalent.

You don’t learn to ride a bicycle by reading a book.

  1. Stimulation

A half decent facilitator will bring the room to life, the group to life and the material to life. They will add energy, manage the group dynamic, warm up the participants and use humour, drama and stories to illustrate many key points and, at just the right moment. This makes a difference in driving home the learning and makes any training session, special and memorable. Let us contrast this with many conversations I have had with corporate executives bored and frustrated with long, repetitive and “averaged out” on-line training materials. Just the delivery channel alone represents an unwelcome addition time tying the stressed executive to their laptop.

We are suffering from a plague of screen fatigue.

Change management course

  1. Tailored

A live training does not have to average out the talent in the room and cater for the median delegate. There will be the strugglers, the walkers and the sprinters too. They have different needs, separate learning style preferences and each has an ideal individual tempo. In a live encounter these subtleties can be serviced in many ways to help everybody to get to progress, satisfaction and a fuller understanding of the learning on offer.

One size does not fit all.

  1. Concentration

A great trainer will sense the corporate commercial context they are walking into and feel the energy in the room. Have some awful financial figures just been released? A round of redundancies announced? Has a product or service just failed? Or, is there a tension due to an on-going external threat such as Brexit or US trade protectionism?

The trainer is there on the ground and can shape the day and absorb concerns whilst leading the group to the commercial and educational objective via adapted strategies and behaviours that respect the bigger picture and the current perceived reality.

And, they can respond to the energy levels in the room by scheduling a break or putting in an extra exercise to manage the concentration or mood of the group live, as opposed to guessing the concentration span of the average participant months in advance and having to ignore any real time distractions.

Live energy management adds to great transfer outcomes.

Diverse group of people at a community center. Meet and greet.Group exercises

  1. Exercises

Spending live time with people gives more possibilities – Role play, team building initiatives, group discussion, feedback – giving and receiving, physical breakout groups and the live reconciliation of differing opinions, learning styles and behavioural preferences as experienced when any two or more people get down to business.

Dynamic simulation exercises leads to excitement leads to retention.

  1. Questions

The effectiveness of the classroom is realised when dealing with magic learning moments that are thrown up by a group interacting around critical topics in the intimate and personal space of the classroom.

With on-line delivery, exceptional cases beyond the obvious ones cannot be catered for, as the learning piece must, by definition target a lowest common denominator of material and methods.

When an average person gets stuck, they represent more than themselves. Live, the teaching can be paused as the facilitator illuminates the troubling topic from a new perspective to ensure understanding. It can be in these simple moments that the “aha” breakthrough occurs for many. Or, when the genius delegate spots something that even the experienced facilitator has not come across before. These incidents can be special and make the live event stand out in the memory of the participants and lead to the company attaining a level of awareness or breakthrough.

More,

Those break-time chats or questions can save lives and careers, starting when a quieter member seeks out help. They can do this because the facilitator has established a safe space with sufficient levels of trust and confidentiality for the confession or enquiry to occur. Early intervention can make a significant difference to outcome.

Cater for the exceptional, the quiet and the cautious to help the whole corporation.

  1. Networking

The opportunity in the classroom to meet new people, experience the philosophy of other departments and gain knowledge of alternative points of view from a variety of counterparts can be a major contributor in gluing together a disparate multi-site organisation of virtual workers so creating an esprit de corp that will produce a lasting benefit experienced in elevated levels of cooperation and exchange during a project or around the creation of a new product in the future.

Inspiration can be all around us.

  1. Retention

When pre-reading is assigned, this can be tested for comprehension in the room. During the session, simple memory techniques can be applied to help the learning stick. When a trainer asks what have you learnt to each participant, something powerful and effective occurs. There is a richer processing of the materials, a personal commitment to owning content and a chance to challenge any part of the material just covered.

Profound and intense exercises are the way to max the stickiness of material, and, a post training conf. call can further aid retention with 3 questions; What do you remember from the day? What have you applied and it is working? And, what have you attempted to apply and it is not working?

Deeper interaction leads to greater retention and better application.

  1. Collective Mistake

The best argument for the live classroom comes in the training moment when a collective company-wide misapprehension is revealed. If everybody at Company X believes something to be true and the trainer can show that an alternative explanation or method is valid, there can be a step evolution in outcome. The magic of modern time management or leaving the comfort zone during change are two excellent examples of this, where the majority view does not always represent the “truth” of the matter.

Live training can challenge group-think in a unique and powerful way.

  1. Cost

The number one reason for the shift to on-line learning platforms is cost. But, classrooms do not have to be so expensive and a more dynamic version, blended in with any pure on-line can really make a difference.

When training days are attached to regular conferences or regional meetings, the travel costs have already been apportioned. When the benefit of constructive networking, trust building in reducing escalations or the forming of profitable collaborative partnerships is added back in, the cost per head becomes more than attractive again.

And, in the spirit of constructive compromise, when a summary film is made, pre-reading materials are edited to boost charisma and energy, and, follow up training is delivered by live webinar, the live and virtual costs can be averaged out. When we otimize the cost of classroom and virtual live exchanges and create better non-live materials, we help the finance department to approve investment in training. This then helps generate exceptional knowledge retention to please the L&D department and stimulates and helps create competent and connected workers who now enjoy training sessions put on by the company.

A networked, trusting and collaborative team will beat a siloed one, every time.

Action

Please like and share if you agree with the arguments we have put forward, if you enjoy classroom training, or if, you feel that the classroom is a relevant space for learning, development and business improvement. Thanks.

Have I missed anything?

Can you add to the business case?

Please add any constructive comments that will add value to this piece. Thanks.

About the Author – Matthew Hill is a soft skills trainer working in Europe delivering dynamic group training live in the classroom.

 

How to Give a Really Bad Webinar by Matthew Hill

7 Tips to actively avoid the burden of success…

It is remarkable that, after 10 or 15 years of webinars becoming established as a mainstream from of communication, more than 50% of broadcasts still break most of the simple rules of education and entertainment and thus deliver a disappointing experience that, in turn, leads logically and directly to a poor audience outcome and commercial failure.

Person Video Conferencing On Mobile Phone

Helping the audience is not a crime

Here we take a light summer look at 7 webinar crimes and offer some heart warming and desperately needed remedies for the worst behaviours on air.

And,

If your crime sheet is long or you are a serial offender, good news. We offer you an amnesty. Just don’t do it again.

7 Webinar Crimes

  1. I will deliver a formal slow start for my intellectually limited audience

What assumptions have we made about our audience? That they have never attended a webinar before? That they cannot navigate around a webinar platform to find and type something in a chat box? That the person repeatedly typing in “My headphones don’t work”, “I can’t hear you” and, “Will I get the slides?” is the key decision maker from IBM?

They are NOT.

When we spend 7 minutes on etiquette, gentle set up and settling into the programme ourselves, like a cricketer starting out in a 5-day match, we miss the point by a mile. The aim is not to drive your delegates straight to their E Mail inbox.

The audience need meat and drama. They crave information and entertainment and they desire it NOW.

The attention span of your target corporate audience member is measured in seconds not days. They need a “hit” in the first minute of your show in order to have faith in your abilities to help them and, therefore, stay for the first 5. And they need a great first 5 to stay for more. And, you can still loose them with any subsequent 3 minute flat spot in your delivery.

Positive assumptions

Let us assume that the audience segment that matters consists of dynamic, proactive volunteers who enter bringing curiosity, intelligence and a willingness to participate and they are willing to challenge you in your programme.

Get to the point, cut the “We are X and have been established for 36 years” and, “Thank you for joining” stuff to a minimum and hit the spot quickly. It is not about you – it is about connecting valuable content to the ears and hearts of your audience, quickly. Did I mention speed?

  1. It’s so novel, I use it every time

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Many newbies know that you must draw your audience in and get them typing. This normally leads to DJ crime 101, “So, do tell me where you are listening from.”

Great the first time, but really. We have all heard that one a dozen times or more – Move On. Change up. And, the debriefing of this exercise is normally painfully thin. So, probably better to skip it altogether.

Provocation

How about something a little more intellectually challenging than finding the lost child at the zoo “And where do you live little Johnny?” Something more substantial – an unconscious bias question or something emotionally provocative and broadly related to your topic.

And polls – Whilst we are at it. Polls have a place but, they take time, they can kill the flow and, when you have a small audience, the percentage results give that away. 25% of the audience chose A (you have an audience of 4. Ouch.)

  1. It’s best to play it safe

Here we come to a profound philosophical point – remote education v tailored face-to-face interaction. Are we catering for the average? Do you feel the need to play it safe, especially as you know the recording will live on? Is your primary objective NOT to offend? Or are we tailoring the content and interaction to the amazing needs of the high potentials?

Many opt for the supposedly safe formula that uses a lowest common denominator pap programme. Actually, this satisfies no one and probably offends the sensibilities of everybody.

The audience are the stars

Great radio shows have interaction. Maybe we can learn from these and not just fire hose the listener with established versions of the main models in our field.

When we receive a question – can we break it down or challenge the assumptions that it contains in such a way to awaken the rest of the audience to think, “Wow, I never thought of it that way before.”

To me, that is the point of webinars in particular and education in general. And, it’s compelling, entertaining and exciting too. Not something that can be said of most webinars out there at the moment.

  1. For pace advice, I follow Forest Gump

There are 2 schools of thought here. One is that you should imagine you are talking to a deaf aunt and need to articulate slowly and clearly and compensate for her cheap hearing aid with some enthusiastic shouting.

In contrast, studies into reading and comprehension tell us that people can process language very quickly indeed.

Most presentations are delivered at 150 words a minute. We can actually listen at up to 450 words a minute. And we can think at 600 words a minute. So let us have a little more faith in the core demographic. They can keep up with the content.

Webinar word on the blackboard as laptop screen. 3D illustration

The Audience are the stars

  1. You can’t have too many words

You know what I am going to say here. Don’t write the show out on the slides. Don’t read the words, and don’t stick to the script.

When you do that you will seem unnatural, forced and dull, dull, dull.

It would take you too long to learn the advanced skills necessary to read a script in an animated way that sounds natural to be worth it.

Use key words and learn your patter walking up and down the office. In this way you will programme in your content and can access it when you need it. The key point about freeing yourself from the script is to respond to the audience.

When you focus on them you create a valuable LIVE experience and your audience will love it, love you and engage with the content.

P.S. When you write the show on the slides, the audience will probably prefer to read your text and then, upsettingly, find your voice an irritating interruption. Not cool.

  1. I hate large audiences

Have you experienced being a participant when there is almost nobody sharing your grim webinar audience journey with you? I remember once an American man asking his audience of half a dozen to open up their mics and share – because there we so few present – excruciating.

Get people to attend

Grow a legal, targeted, GDPR compliant list and invite them by constructing a compelling long copy invitation to show up, bring a friend, reflect on their needs, develop curiosity and anticipation and throw themselves into the show – They will then add to the buzz, the energy and the level of interaction.

I like the crescendo model where you start out even and get a little more hyped up and dramatic, especially during the Q&A.

A great measure of your broadcasting success is quickly seen when 90% of your audience stay for an extended Q&A session – that is evidence of engagement.

  1. I don’t want to be too demanding

Relying on hope and telepathy is not a sales strategy.

How many times have we experienced a decent show followed by…absolutely nothing?

Remember, the audience are silently and secretly begging to be lead. And, lead by you. If you have done your job correctly you will get post show interaction. Or, if you have the will, you can generate sign ups or even payments in just 90 minutes from cold.

That is the power of great webinars.

They represent, at their best, an accelerated experience of you, your credo, values and offer. They concertina time and lead to dynamic and welcome audience ACTION.

Webinar

Get to the point please 

Summary

I don’t know why broadcasters deliberately set out to gather small audiences, bore them and leave them dissatisfied. It is a mystery. Delivering platitudes slowly and hoping for a miracle will require one.

So, Top Tips Time…

*Get to value quickly

*Quick and clear spoken words

*Engage the brain to entertain

*People don’t buy boring

*If you’ve heard it elsewhere, it is old and tired

*You don’t have to target everybody – hit the best of your audience not the rest

*You won’t get a medal for slide word count

*An empty webinar is an empty webinar

*Lead your audience to ACTION – And they will say THANK YOU

*The webinar is a starter. Have them come back and look at your menu and order more

And,

*Practice, practice, practice

WEBINARS Colourful Vector Letters Icon

I hope you have enjoyed this provocative summer rant. Please like and share, now. (That is a command – see above.)

All the best,

And check out our Growth packages…

Author Profile – Matthew Hill is an experience trainer, coach and broadcaster helping others to market their services to get higher rates for the work they love doing.

Check out the next Going for Growth Bootcamp being held in the Hague, Netherlands, 17th to 19th August 2018. Just click on the link;

https://culture99.wordpress.com/business-growth-bootcamp-hague/

Please like and share. Thanks.