The alarm went off at 6:30 am this morning because I had to get to Oakland for Jury Duty by 8:00 am. Waiting with a hundred and fifty other citizens, I recalled the feedback from Tuesday's webinar. I have issues.
Better speakers than I have cautioned me not to take participant feedback too seriously. No matter what the speaker says, some people are going to report on how they felt when they got out of bed that morning, regardless of what was said. Do I take my friends' advice? Of course not.
If feedback can help my next presentation grab just one more individual, I'll dig through the numbers to glean what lessons I can. The only thing worse than learning from experience is not learning from experience. Continuous improvement is simply one of my core beliefs.
Overall, I was quite pleased with the event and gratified by the feedback I received.
What was the feedback?
On average, most people say they were satisfied but not "strongly satisfied:"
I was glad to see that replies about the “most important thing learned” are all over the map:
The second open-ended question asked for additional comments about the presenter, the content, and suggestions for improvement. I’ll post all the replies. For years I attended conferences and never saw anyone else's evaluation. They are generaly not consistent.
At the Center for Creative Leadership, they teach that a negative comment has three times the impact of a positive one, so I sense some problems here. Trying not to be defensive, I’ll offer a few observations about my though process before our webinar together.
Whenever one puts together a presentation, the Law of Raspberry Jam kicks in: The more you spread it, the thinner it gets. I purposely chose wide rather than deep for this presentation. My logic was that if you wanted more, you could take a look at the essays and links I posted at internettime.com.
Interactivity is a similar trade-off: You can interact or you can present a lot of material but you can’t do both.
My first cut at this presentation was to recount an almost stream-of-consciousness story of the birth and evolution of eLearning. After the dry run, we decided it didn’t address the topic squarely. I proposed chopping the whole thing into memes. Participants would select a meme by polling, and we’d go back and forth on it. We feared that I might get only a couple of ideas out before the discussion degenerated into free-for-all. So, as much as I like give-and-take, we had fifty minutes of my yap and twenty minutes of Q&A. I think this was probably the right mix.
Going into this, we knew that we weren’t going to “write the next chapter of eLearning” in 90 minutes. I figured that at most, I could share a few new perspectives, provoke your thinking, and help you make wiser decisions. After all, I’m not writing the next chapter; all of us are. Let me tell you a secret: There aren’t any cookie-cutter solutions out there.
We had a few conflicting goals entering the session. Some wanted specifics and how-to’s; I was more interested in raising the uncertainty that engages the mind. Some wanted answers; I focused on process.
Finally, as to the comment that "Need a bit more visual material to go with the spoken presentation," sorry, sir, but you must have walked into the wrong room.
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