Edutainment

My approach to instructing is to make my presentations as entertaining as possible.  (Scroll down to see an example.)  One purpose is to capture the audience’s interest so they will give me their undivided attention.  Another purpose is to make the important content immediately understandable and memorable.

Doing a stand-up presentation is an opportunity to be a story teller.  Drama and theatre are available tools.  These involve choreography, stage management, and rehearsal.

While other Trainers and Presenters in the same workplace make considerable use of Power Point slide shows and videos, I make great use of my voice, my face, my hands and my body to seduce my audience and draw them into my narrative.   I have been told many times by Subject Matter Experts that my presentations are the best they have ever seen.  (My ego gets even bigger, then.)

I use emails to the entire workforce here (about 1000) to advertise the Workplace Education Program offerings, and to share useful and relevant information.  I learned early on that many workers immediately deleted any email they got from me, because they had no interest in learning anything at that time.  My mission became to develop a reputation for sending emails that were guaranteed to be entertaining, so everyone would read all of my emails, all of the time.

Now all of my site-wide emails contain multiple aspects of content.  The core message that only a few people actually care about is bundled with one or more items of interest to a much larger audience.  Formal learning information is piggy-backed on informal learning information, and vice-versa.  I am now often told by people that they read all of my emails and save them and send them on to others.   (Again, my head swells.)

Below is the text of a message I sent out to announce my return to site on Monday. 

I routinely include at least one directly relevant image, and one piece of music that is in some way relevant (which is sometimes a stretch).  I try to connect the workplace related item to personal interests, especially with regards to family and parenting concerns.

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Colleagues,

The Workplace Education Program at McArthur River will be active now until April 7.  The WEP will next be active from April 21 – May 5.

Occupational Health Committee Training

  • Level One, April 22 or April 29 (Friday), 07:30 – 18:00
  • Level Two, April 23 or April 30 (Saturday), 07:30 – 18:00  
  • Ten Seats Available:  First Come, First Served.
  • Please Register by Email Reply.
  • Location:  McArthur River Camp Learning Resource Centre

Note:  OHC Training will be scheduled for other dates upon request, where numbers warrant.

Decibel Hell: The Effects of Living in a Noisy World (Chepesiuk, 2005)   …   The effects of sound don’t stop with the ears. Nonauditory effects of noise exposure are those effects that don’t cause hearing loss but still can be measured, such as elevated blood pressure, loss of sleep, increased heart rate, cardiovascular constriction, labored breathing, and changes in brain chemistry. According to the WHO Guidelines for Community Noise, “these health effects, in turn, can lead to social handicap, reduced productivity, decreased performance in learning, absenteeism in the workplace and school, increased drug use, and accidents.”

OHS & Personal Well Being:  Database

Attention deficit after kids’ critical illness linked to plasticizers in medical tubes   …   “Phthalates have been banned from children’s toys because of their potential toxic and hormone-disrupting effects, but they are still used to soften medical devices,”

 meetingsh

Meeting up   …   New research hints at ways of making meetings more effective.

Decluttering the Company   …   Bain says a manufacturer it studied made savings equivalent to cutting 200 jobs by halving the default length of meetings to 30 minutes and limiting to seven the number of people who could attend.

Leadership:  Getting it Right   …   A recent review of the academic literature concluded that “one in every two leaders and managers” is judged “ineffective (that is, a disappointment, incompetent, a mis-hire, or a complete failure) in their current roles”. 

Team Spirit   …   Team-building skills are in short supply: Deloitte reports that only 12% of the executives they contacted feel they understand the way people work together in networks and only 21% feel confident in their ability to build cross-functional teams.

The collaboration curse   …   Why have organisations been so naive about collaboration? One reason is that collaboration is much easier to measure than “deep work”: any fool can record how many people post messages on Slack or speak up in meetings, whereas it can take years to discover whether somebody who is sitting alone in an office is producing a breakthrough or twiddling his thumbs.

Benjamin Voyer on the psychology of teamwork   …   What makes things go wrong?

There are two big phenomena. One is “group think”—when the group develops its own mind, so that group members stop being critical. The Challenger disaster is a good example of this. The issues were all dealt with at a group level and most of the information should have led any group member to say, “We have a problem and should not launch the shuttle.” It was a mixture of being part of an organisation where you didn’t want to voice your concerns and a very hierarchical organisation that meant that the people closest to the problems had no access to higher levels of command.

The other thing that can go wrong is “group polarisation” or “group shift”. Sometimes when you put people in a team they take a more extreme decision than they would have taken individually, either more conservative or more adventurous. A lot of decisions are based on this group phenomenon, one that produces a distorted perception of reality. When you stop thinking in terms or “I” and start thinking “we” things can change dramatically.  

The optimal number of people in a team is five. If you have large teams of 10 or 12, people don’t have the same impression of accountability. 

 chicxulub

At Chicxulub, researchers will look for evidence to explain how a 14-kilometre-wide asteroid could have punched a hole that pushed rocks from the surface down some 20–30 kilometres. Flowing like liquid, the rocks then rebounded towards the sky — reaching as far as 10 kilometres above the original ground level — and finally splattered down to form a peak ring.

Unravelling a geological mystery using lasers from space   …   “Drumlin hills are the most studied and yet the most enigmatic ice age landform….”

 Frédéric Chopin – Marche Funèbre – Funeral March   …   Music for contemplating an apocalypse….or a meeting.

 

Enjoy your day, Folks, and stay safe.

Yours,

awasis

*** 

See also:

Edutainment (Wallden & Soronen, UTA, 2004)

 


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