Thursday, December 27, 2012

Backup photograph

Over the past few gatherings, where we have had so called professional photographers at functions, I have seen this trend of taking more than one picture at a time. The photographer takes a picture and holds up the hand with the index finger and clicks one more picture.

Now, back in the days of analog photography, there was no way one could be sure, but yet, very rarely, we took backup pictures. And of course, the film storage method was price intensive, and the results were not visible until the film was 'washed' and 'developed'. But in the age of instant gratification, the picture takers tend to take up back up pictures - when in reality that is not needed.

Why does this happen? One possibility - is that the picture takers are not 'professional' photographers. And in many weddings, 5 year olds crowd around with digital cameras taking pictures - so it is not a big deal for anyone to be taking pictures - even with an SLR - and many of them rarely adjust the settings.

The second is just a behaviour thing - just to be sure, take two pictures of every scene and pick the best. Not sure why this should be so, but people do it.

Third, not sure, if this is an India specific thing, but this idea of taking back up pictures is amusing...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Facilitation Skills

Yesterday, I had a privilege of attending a lecture by Dr. Simon Priest on facilitation organized by the good OELT.

The title of the session said, How to Design better experiential training programs, though I read it as How to design better training programs. The event even had a Graphic Facilitation alongside.

But more important was what I learnt about facilitation skills. Even though the context of Dr. Priest was about experiential learning, what he said would be useful to practically any type of training.  His classification of experiential learning types was an eye-opener (and how people mix one for the other or ask for one type of session and expect the results of another session, and the level of facilitators required for each of them). As was the way he expounded many a 'facilitation skill'. And the techniques used to generate the appropriate response. Perhaps many of us know this intuitively, but knowing the technique is a great thing (As I have learnt across different situations over the past many years - technique and intuition are not at all mutually exclusive as some people make it out to be. Indeed technique sharpens intuition, is my view and there is no way to learn something new and practice it than by technique).

Facilitation skills, like Consulting skills is probably the most misused word in the training industry. A lot of people talk, deliver sessions, preach, but I suppose, very few facilitate.

But what were those things he said ?

 That, well, will be a separate post, when I get around to learning them :-)


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Presentation skills

One of the most asked for, repeated and perhaps most pedestrian of all trainings is the Presentation skills. In terms of numbers it is possibly the most delivered session across the service industry. And yet, it remains one of the trainings that can be continuously re-imagined. Those two words, Presentation skills are more two words - they are a world of stuff to do there. There are many who deliver it using theatre, art and many more technology oriented modes - while there are others who help it the traditional way - including the Toastmasters. So, this is also not an easy session to deliver since the audience knows a lot of things anyway.

The last time I did this was a few years back. As I went through the slides of that time now, I found myself cringing at the quality of the presentation. And that is the beauty of presentation skills - each time there is scope for it to be made more contemporary.

So, this time around, I put some thought to it and am thinking how to make it more contemporary and meaningful for the participants. I have got some ideas on how to make it happen...I have about 3 weeks to prepare and think about it...

Evolving thought...