Held the first of my tips and tricks for journalists sessions last week.
The aim of the session was straightforward – for delegates to set up an RSS reader (Google), to start populating it with feeds and to know how to manage feeds. We also looked at how alerts worked and how to set them up.
It is August so numbers were low (only three) but the session worked well. I invited my colleague Rob Moss to help me as he know RSS readers well.
Rob talked the delagtes through setting up a reader and I sat by the delegates and helped them if they got lost. We were in a software training room so Rob used the big screen to demonstrate.
We achieved the aims of the session and feedback for the session was very positive. Indeed, we had an observer from the training dept with us who went home and set up a reader for herself – she is hooked.
A couple of points of note for me:
Big screens don't always project your laptop screen as it is displayed – so get there early and work out how to get the projection looking good,
People have pre-conceived come to a training session with pre-conceived ideas and it is great to tease thesee out so they can be addressed. Two examples from the session – 1) one delegate was not heartened to hear she would need to set up a new username and password as she already had lots of different passwords she kept losing. This was a barrier to using software and online services. So, I suggested either keeping a list of passwords on her desktop or keeping the same one for reader type services. And 2) a delegate found the concept of not deleting messages in the reader slightly alien as she liked to delete messages. Sounds minor but it is the type of concern that could be a barrier to using a reader.
It feels quite different to sit with delegates and pitch in rather than lead the session. But Rob and I worked well and he enjoyed it.