Workshops

My goal is to meet your learning needs, flexibly and creatively. That means workshop modules can be customized, content can be combined, and sessions can vary in length from one hour (in my local area or webinar format) to two days (on site). I also offer personalized coaching and consultation on these topics and more.

Below are a few of my workshop titles and descriptions. My specialities include:

 

  • Presentation Design including modules on:
    • Audience Engagement
    • Effective Slide Design
    • Selecting and Using Images and Icons
    • Data Visualization
  • Survey Design (check out my book Designing Quality Survey Questions – due out Summer 2018!)
  • Program Evaluation

 

Do you need to develop professional learning programs for your colleagues? I can help with that too!

Audience Engagement Strategies for Potent Presentations

Presentations are ultimately about audience learning. Successful presenters work in service to their participants, whether they are presenting an evaluation report, giving a keynote speech, facilitating a professional development workshop or training session, or even running a meeting with stakeholders. Participants in this highly interactive workshop will learn fundamental principles of audience engagement by experiencing each activity as they consider how it can inform their own presentation planning. They will experience more than a dozen ways to engage adult audiences with activities and minilessons that flow together coherently, while allowing time for processing and reflection throughout the course. Participants will come to understand the WHY, the WHAT and the HOW of audience engagement, explore purpose distinctions for audience engagement strategies, and receive instruction on how to effectively integrate these strategies into presentation planning. During demonstrations the instructor will also share how each principle and strategy can be used in an evaluation specific context.

The guiding principle of this course is, as marketing guru Seth Godin claims, ”Every presentation worth doing has just one purpose: To make change happen.”

PARTICIPANTS WILL LEARN:

  1. Fundamental principles of audience engagement that can inform presentation and professional development planning.
  2. To articulate several purpose distinctions for audience engagement strategies.
  3. How to effectively integrate audience engagement strategies in their presentation and professional development planning.
  4. To use a variety of interactive strategies to engage audiences for maximum participant satisfaction and learning.

What people are saying:

I don’t normally mark all Strongly Agree but you did a fantastic job. I learned so many new techniques. Thank you Sheila.

Brilliant session. I learned so much & all of it was relevant to my practice. You raised the bar for me.

Sheila, thank you for such a wonderful session. My facilitation will improve starting immediately.  

Very engaging, practical knowledge & easy to implement strategies.

Got more out of workshop than I expected.

-Workshop participants

Designing Quality Survey Questions

Surveys are a popular data collection tool for their ease of use and the promise of reaching large populations with a potentially small investment of time and technical resources. But as survey fatigue grows, survey designers must be increasingly judicious in using surveys and craft richer, more concise, and more targeted questions to yield meaningful data. Successful surveys require an understanding of the cognitive processes that respondents employ in answering questions with accuracy and candor. Using rich examples and an interactive approach, I’ll demonstrate why we must engage in a rigorous, intentional survey design process in order to craft high quality questions, arguably the most critical element of any survey. Participants in this session will learn about the survey design process through a series of activities, developing an understanding of the cognitive aspects of survey response and question design. This a highly interactive session where participants will work together to increase their ability to craft high quality survey questions, use a survey design checklist published in my book, and leave with additional resources to further develop their skills.

PARTICIPANTS WILL LEARN:

  1. WHY a rigorous, intentional question design process is key to an effective survey
  2. WHAT cognitive processes involved in answering survey questions and their implications for question design
  3. HOW to identify common problems with survey questions and ways to address them
  4. HOW to craft high quality open and closed-ended survey questions with appropriate response options
  5. HOW to employ the facilitators’ checklist to ensure the development of high quality questions.

 

Look for the book – Designing Quality Survey Questions – due out in Summer 2018!

Not Just a Pretty Face: The WHY and HOW of Presentation Slide Design

We are deep in the age of visual communication. Presenters, challenged to keep up, face criticism for poor and ineffective use of slides to support their messages. It’s not about making slides beautiful, but rather designing them to be effective in advancing the purpose of the presentation – informing, teaching, persuading, or selling. Seth Godin says “make slides that reinforce your words, not repeat them.” 

Slide design is one aspect of presentation design often overlooked or misunderstood. Arguments against devoting time to slide design include that it is not relevant, not necessary, or that it detracts from the serious nature of the presentation. Not so. Research on multitasking’s ineffectiveness (and even ill-effects) that highlights the fact that our brains are not well-suited to attend to two things at once, such as reading and listening, and in fact are poorly designed to rapidly switch between two tasks also points to the importance of good slide design.

Most people can easily recognize poorly designed slides and know that text-heavy, bullet-laden slides are ineffective at supporting a presenter’s message and delivery. They know these slides can lead presenters to read slide content to the audience – one of the most common presentation complaints. However, many of these same individuals are at a loss to design slides that maximize the effective use of visuals and diminish the role of text. Poor slide design can cause audience members to tune out, thus not receiving our message at all. This is a high stakes endeavor and presenters cannot afford to lose.

PARTICIPANTS WILL LEARN:

  1.  WHY slide design is an essential skill for presenters to master.
  2. HOW to design effective slides using the visual elements of images, icons, color, whitespace, and text along with concepts including arrangement, unity, and hierarchy to complement their presentation’s message and delivery.

What people are saying:

It was a really powerful presentation. 

I attended your session on The WHY and HOW of Presentation Design during the AEA conference and was truly inspired.
 
-Workshop participants

Special Edition! Workshops for Educational Leaders

Do you create presentations for your staff, the board, community stakeholders, or other groups? Do you need to report out to these groups on educational programs and policies?

I have a special set of workshop modules specifically designed for educators and educational leaders. 

We often use surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather the data we need to evaluate our educational programs and policies. We need to use data visualization to communicate information clearly and efficiently using charts, graphs, images, and infographics. And we need to use principles of effective slide design, messaging, and presentation delivery to engage audiences and move them to insight and action. 

Do you want to:

  • Improve your presentations with top notch slides that support your main messages?
  • Create up-to-date charts and graphs that make educational data easy to understand?
  • Develop surveys that reach the right people with the right questions and result in useful, actionable data?
  • Understand how to effectively evaluate your educational programs and policies?

These workshops are for you! As with all of my courses, you can get as much learning as you need with the combinations of learning modules that work for you.

Contact me and we’ll talk details!

 

I want to thank you for being such a great teacher–I would be totally overwhelmed, even this year, if I hadn’t had the good fortune of having you work with me and TCTRC’s Policy Board. What you were able to teach us has helped me immensely especially when SED added writing the abstract to our plates. I feel you have helped TCTRC be able to look at the data we receive from our feedback forms in a different light and you’ve helped us “up our game” as far as how we are looking at our offerings. The way you make Program Evaluation make sense and easier to accomplish is truly amazing. You are truly a gift to the Teacher Centers of NYS. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
-Pat, Director, Tri-County Teacher Resource Center