Communicating Concepts

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San Diego Figure Skating Communications
  
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Training Feedback

Trainer, teachers, & coaches need to assess their connection with the audience and transfer of ideas
       During the actual presentation, it is crucial to know the warning signs of losing the attention of the audience. A common mistake presenters often make is to drone on, unaware that people are tuning them out. The warning signs are easy enough to spot if the speaker is aware of the audience's body language. For example,  are members of the audience:
  • Fidgeting, shifting and squirming,
  • Checking their watches,
  • Heading for the exit,
  • Focusing on you,
  • Sitting still and upright in their seats,
  • Alert and taking notes?
      The above signals can be obvious or subtle. Speakers who fail to react quickly by making positive adjustments tend to get flustered, conveying impatience, and appear to blame to the audience for its inattention — a response that only making matters worse.

Preparation
       A speaker who focuses on the topic's objectives and key messages is well prepared, but they still will rehearse their presentation. Ideally they are able to test their presentation in front of a focus group to obtain their feedback so changes can be make if necessary.
      
       It is the goal of a good presenter to grab the audience's attention from the start. Go for a bold opener that 's likely to get attention. The best opening remarks tie directly to your topic and lead seamlessly into the talking points of the presentation.  A strong opening creates a framework that sets up your listeners for what they're about to hear and why they should care.

       A presenter should naturally be familiar with the topic and never reads their presentation. The presenter should be able to immediate connection with the audience by using eye contact. This is the first step in initiating a person to person communication and it keeps your listeners focused on you.

       A person's voice as another tool of maintaining connection with an audience. The impact of your voice has on your listeners. Constantly speaking in a droning monotone does not have to occur You can learn how to vary the pace, loudness and pitch of your voice. There are warm up exercises for your voice that can be accomplish prior to the presentation.

       The body language of a presenter provides both a positive and negative image to the audience. A presenter's: 

Stance — The right stance conveys authority and confidence.

Gestures — Be animated to help emphasis to your remarks.

Facial expressions Can engage your listeners. Your facial expression should look natural, as if you were in an individual with each member of the audience. 

      Your body language becomes even more important when you need to re-focus listeners whose thoughts may be elsewhere. 

       If you're using a lectern, walk away, take a few steps, then return. If you are using a multimedia podium, use a laser pointer and a portable controller to advance the PowerPoint presentation.

Value and Purpose of a developing an Audience Questionnaire

      The feedback a student provides a teacher, coach, or trainer provides a means of evaluating:
  • Levels of communication,
  • Future training needs,
  • Improvements to training,
  • Modification of raining conditions/environment,
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the investment of specific training     
      In formal classroom or seminars the program leaders generally prepare a Likert scale questionnaire that measures the intensity of the respondent's responses to a series of questions about the course. The Likert scale type of question is probably the most widely used response scale that designers use in surveys measure attitudes and collect other data.

     A Likert scale is named after its inventor, psychologist Rensis Likert. Likert developed a scale which measures the intensity of responses to a set of questions (usually eight or more), and the format scores  along a range of odd numbered predefined responses (5 or 7 data points are used).

     The validity of the questionnaire depends on how the questions and responses are phrased/structured. A bias, of the designer, of the test instrument can determine the outcome of the questionnaire. However, if the items are developed appropriately, the results reveal a pattern that helps to clarify how the responders would act in the future.

A Uniform Response Scale
     Most people find it difficult to differentiate between “very good” and “good” – it is better to use “good” and “excellent”. Test designers seem to prefer a five point scale so respondents can have a “neutral” middle point; however, there are others who use a four point scale to “force” people to select a negative or positive position. The use of a “don’t know” option is not used as the term is inconclusive.  Some designers provide and option of "Does not apply" to avoid collecting data that clearly is false data.

     There is always a potential problem with collecting data from an individual whose emotional state may be extremely positive or negative due to an unknown reason that related to the event. Another possibility is that they choose responses to make a good impression or they are blasé and enter any response without considering if there is a basis that supports their answer.  This is frequently seen in school where the student answers all questions with a true or false response because the assume that this insures 50% of the answers will be correct.

     The following is a "Mock up" of a Questionnaire that could be administered on-line or as a written handout given to participants as they enter the room at the beginning of each training session. Credit for the course would be given only to those who hand in their questionnaire -

Sample: On-Line Training Feedback Questionnaire

Please provide us with some feedback on the training you recently took with (insert Instructor's name).
All answers are strictly confidential and will allow us to assess the effectiveness of the training.

1.
What did you think of the following?







Excellent
1
Very Good
2
Good
3
Satisfactory
4
Poor
5

The quality of the course

The workbook and other prepared materials

The facilities

The classroom

Food Service/Catering

The trainer/course leader

Relevance of course to you

2
Did the trainer involve you and the rest of the attendees in discussions? 

 No

  
Briefly enter comments and suggestions


3
What topic(s) did you find most useful in this course?

Briefly enter comments and suggestions

4

How was the pace of the training?




 
   
Briefly enter comments and suggestions
 

5
Did the trainer tie theoretical concepts to the real world aspects of the training?

Briefly enter comments and suggestions

6
Which materials did you find most useful to help you with the training?

Course Manual
Briefly enter comments and suggestions

Developing Training Plan

Code of Ethics

PowerPoint slides and notes

On Line References

7
Would you recommend the course to others?

No
Unlikely
Possibly
Yes. with reservations
Definitely
Briefly enter comments and suggestions

8
How much of a change do you feel this has made to your abilities within your training role?


9
Do you feel more confident in this area as a result of participating in this course?

Briefly enter comments -

10
Did the course meet its stated learning objectives?

1. Not met needs
2. Slightly met needs
3. Partially met needs
4. Met most needs
5. Fully met needs
  
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

11
How was the duration of the course?

1. Too short. Too much
     content
     in a short time of time.
2. A little too short
3. Just fine
4. A little too long
5. Definitely too long. The
    concepts could be learned
    in much less time.
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

12
How helpful were the lecture materials?

1. Not helpful. Made things  
    more difficult to learn and
    understand.
2. Somewhat helpful
3. Helpful for many topics
4. Helpful for most, but not
    all topics
5. Really made things easier to
    understand and learn.
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

13 Will you recommend these materials to others?

1. No. Not helpful without
    the "hands on" sessions.
2. Possibly
3. Most likely
4. Very likely
5. Definitely
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

14 Will you use these materials in your future training projects?

1. No. I will look for other
    sources of information.
2. Possibly
3. Most likely
4. Very likely
5. Definitely
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

15 How knowledgeable was the instructor?

1. Much less than my own
    technical expertise.
2. Less than my own
    technical expertise.
3. On par with my own
    technical expertise.
4. More than my own
    technical expertise.
5. Highly experienced!
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

16 Did instructor's oral explanations add value to the lecture materials?

1. No added value to reading
    the materials.
2. Possibly
3. Most likely
4. Very likely
5. Yes. The instructor really
     made very useful oral
     explanations.
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

17 How well did the instructor answer questions from the audience?

1. Poorly. Didn't try to
    understand the questions
    well or rarely managed to
    find useful answers.
2. Possibly
3. Most likely
4. Very likely
5. Answered very well to
    questions from the
    audience.
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

Don't hesitate to suggest things that could help the instructor
improve his or her oral message and skills!

18 Was the instructor helpful in the "hands on" practical sessions?

1. No, not enough time
    available and little help
    during the sessions.
2. Possibly
3. Most likely
4. Very likely
5. Yes. The instructor
    definitely helped to make
    the "hands on" sessions a
    learning opportunity.
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

19 How useful were the "hands on" training sessions?

1. Not useful. Didn't add
    significant value to the
    lectures.
2. Possibly
3. Most likely
4. Very likely
5. Very useful. Helped to
     highlight things not under-
     stood and build useful
     experience.
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

20 How difficult were the "hands on" training sessions?

1. Too difficult. Didn't help
    or encourage a beginner to
    get more familiar with the t
    tools and concepts.
2. A bit too difficult. Would
    be better if the instructions
    gave a bit more details and
    explanations.
3. Just fine. Prompted me to
     look for answers, get my
     own experience and find
     my own solutions.
4. Too easy for my own
     technical level.
5. Too easy for everyone.
    Should challenge
    participants more and
    help everyone to practice
    on real issues.
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

21 Was enough time dedicated to the "hands on" sessions?

1. No. More practice is
     needed
2. A little bit more time would
     help.
3. Just fine
4. A little bit less time would
    be enough.
5. Don't need to spend so
    much time on these sessions. 
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

22 Were provisions made for those unable to physically participate in "hands on" sessions?

1. No
2. A few
3. Somewhat
4. Yes, but could be improved
     on
5. Yes, completely compliant
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

In the below three questions, you also rate the training environment. This can help people in charge of the training facilities to improve their service and training conditions for future sessions.

23 How do you rate training conditions (room size, equipment, ...)?

1. Poor.
2. Fair
3. Acceptable
4. Good
5. Excellent - first class
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

24 How do you rate the training environment?

1. Poor. Not powerful
    enough demonstrations
2. Fair
3. Acceptable
4. Good
5. Excellent. Very little time
    standing around, more time
    learning.
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

25 How well was the course organized (program, registration, schedule, etc.)?

1. Poor
2. Fair
3. Tolerable
4. Good
5. Excellent
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

26 How much did you learn?

1. Nothing - a total waste of
    time
2. A few things
3. Acceptable
4. More than I expected.
5. Excellent - first class
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

27 How useful should this course be in your daily job?

1. Nothing - a total waste of
    time
2. A few things
3. Acceptable
4. More than I expected.
5. Excellent - Will make my
    job easier and more
    productive.
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

28 Would you recommend this course to others?

1. No.
2. Unlikely
3. Possibly
4. Yes - with reseervation
5. Yes, definitely.
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

29 Overall rating

1. Very disappointing
2. Disappointing
3. A little bit disappointing
4. OK
5. Pretty good
6. Very good
7. Excellent
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

30 Would an extra session be valuable?

1. No.
2. Possibily
3. Why not?
4. Depends on content
5. Yes, definitely. Would you
     be interested in an extra
     session covering more
     topics? If so, which topics?
Briefly enter comments and suggestions.

Recommended Reading:
References:

Relationships:

Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

The System of Learning
Topics of Learning
PDF  Attentional Focus
   
   

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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