I was honored to be included as one of the instructors for the Center for Health Leadership (CHL) at UC Berkeley 21st Century New Media Training Series, designed for health professionals to learn how to strategically use new media for public health practice and health care. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to facilitate workshops in the context of a leadership program.
My last deep dive into social media and health care was when I delivered this keynote for a health care organization so this was an opportunity to see how the field has progressed. But the best part was the chance to work with Ellie Schindelman, director of education, who is a dynamic trainer – on the design of the program. I got to learn a few new tricks and continued to polish approaches already in my toolbox.
1. Deep Analysis of Your Audience: I always (try) to do a thorough participant assessment before I teach any workshop or do a presentation. I conduct a survey that collects information that I can analyze against a maturity of practice model I’ve created called “Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly.”
I had a fairly large group and an excellent space to work in. So, I was able to get folks to self-assess where they were on the on the model and then group themselves in the room. For each group, I had them create a spectra-gram and interviewed them and gave advice on next steps. Having a metaphor, made it easy. For example, I asked the runners to line up from “just bought my nikes” to “training for my third 30 mile marathon.”
2. Living Case Study Technique: Assessment also helps find examples from the participants themselves. User-generated content for training can be powerful and also make participants more open to subject matter. I play a little PowerPoint Karoke. I pull out a few screen captures and then do an interview with the organization in front of the room. This typically unpacks more insightful information and nuggets of wisdom.
For example, Ana-Marie Jones from Card Can Help shared how her small agency has implemented an effective social media strategy. I was able to capture some of her story with a FLIP camera.
3. Role Playing Simulation For Making ROI Argument: . Many nonprofits are often faced with the question, “What the value of social media” from senior management. I introduced some concepts about Social Media ROI and steps to making a case. Then I used the Salt Lake County Public Health Department Social Media Case Study to do a simulation.
Participants worked in groups to identify the benefits, tangible/intangible value, and financial analysis. Next, we did a role-play. I pretended to be the skeptical executive director of the Salt Lake County and had called a meeting with staff person implementing social media to ask why they were spending so much time using social media when I thought it was clearly a waste of time. I had a brave volunteer from the audience and we did a role play.
These participants clearly understood the concepts of making a ROI case – and how to transfer those techniques to social media.
4. Audience Check-Ins and Real-Time Curriculum Tweaks: As a trainer, it is important to feel the room and verbally check-in with participants. Since this was an all-day workshop, after lunch – I asked participants to reflect on the morning and jot down the one burning question they’d like answered on a sticky note. These were posted on the board when they were finished.
I was able to do a quick content analysis and compare against the rest of the agenda to make sure I covered what the audience wanted without derailing my entire workshop.
You also need to use these techniques if you’ve planned too much content and you’re running out of time. Ellie taught a great trick. You tell participants you might not have time to cover all the content. Then ask them to review the agenda and then ask for feedback on what they want to hear most.
5. Active Learning Through Play: Another trick that I learned from Ellie was having toys on the tables for participants to play with. In this case, it was pipe cleaner. I used the pipe cleaner in a couple ways. I needed to distinguish between those who were hands-on with social media and those who were not. So I asked them to create a pipe cleaner decoration for their name tag if they were hands-on. Also, freely encouraging people to play with a small objective on the table might help some learners pay attention and not check out. In Beirut, we did another version of this by adding a ball to toss to each other while we were discussing a topic.
6. Creative Use of Energizers: Avoiding the 3:00 PM My Brain Is Full Slump: No matter how engaging your content or instructional technique is – people get tired towards the end of a whole day of training. That’s why you need energizers. Movement can really help.
I had participants do the chicken dance and gave away prize for the most creative chicken dance. (I learned this particular energizer from Naeema Zarif in Beirut last month. It is a well known fact that exercise helps you think better. (And I know a few participants are very relieved that I didn’t have my FLIP camera handy)
All in all, a great learning experience for me and it was fun! I got many new ideas for a workshop and peer learning program I’m designing on social media ROI and measurement.