RAC – Never settle


  • Course: A one-day workshop
  • Date: 6 May 08
  • Location: Shanghai, China
  • # of Learners: 20
  • I am feeling: Bad

I was co-facilitating a one-day workshop last week with another facilitator. We only managed to meet up the evening before for me to learn in details the workshop from my partner, who has modified the workshop herself. In the spirit of ‘PREPARATION’, I tried my best to think through her new design. I was not very sure about the ice-breaker. It seemed to me the instruction would appear to be unclear to the learners. However, since she has run it before and I wanted to be polite (not changing other’s design), I was thinking to give it a try. In addition, I had limited time to prepare anyway.

My session on the ice-breaker turned out to be bad. Learners were confused of what they need to do. It was bad. I hate the experience. My fault.

My learning – I need to be 100% comfortable with the design myself. I should first clarify more. I could be uncomfortable because I do not understand the design well enough. If I am still not happy with the design, I got to insist to change it, no matter what. Limited time is not an excuse. Make time. After all, learners will only blame David Yau who gave unclear instruction. They could not separate the responsibility of design and delivery.

RAC – Generation Y

It is real!! A lot of people talk about Generation Y and argue that they need different kind of training. I hear and see a lot of these in training conferences or magazines. But I never realise that it is so real until last week. I conducted a series of presentation classes to 24 banking trainees who graduated from universities around 1/2 year ago. They are around 22 or 23. They were born in 1985-86. They are real young!! And more importantly, they are really different kind of learners as compared to the others I experienced before. Continue reading “RAC – Generation Y”

RAC – Running a virtual classroom (Cont’d)

Further to my last post, let me compare the virtual classroom facilitator to the radio DJ. The following TO-DOs come to my mind:

Keep talking – You literally do not have dead air on a great radio show. Silence / pause works well in real presentation but not the case for virtual one. Obviously you cannot use your eye contact in the latter case. So, you got to keep talking, even when you are looking for your training note, assigning breakout group or (unfortunately sometimes) fixing your technical problem. Continue reading “RAC – Running a virtual classroom (Cont’d)”

RAC – Running a virtual classroom


  • Course: A 2-hour management skills discussion
  • Date: 24 Jan 2008
  • Location: Internet
  • # of Participants: 21
  • I am feeling: Exciting

It is the first time I deliver online. Frankly, it was messy but exciting. It is like learning to ride a bicycle the first time. You fall and hurt yourself but you know that after you pick it up you will enjoy it.

We used Webex online classroom. Continue reading “RAC – Running a virtual classroom”

RAC – Satellite Delay (Cont’d)

I talked about Satellite Delay in my last post. And I did find out something useful through the activity on Day 2 of the presentation class last week. A sales from the Small-Medium Enterprise department said, ‘When we sell to our client, we normally just sit down together and talk things through. Not the kind of meeting where you stand up and present one slide after another. I doubt whether it is useful to prepare too much like what we discussed yesterday for a presentation e.g. thinking through WIIFM, preparing visual aid. In fact, I suspect that with lot of preparation we may appear too polished. The clients may even think we are tricking them, or railing them into a desired solution!!’

It is great that I get to know the learner’s puzzle and thus can help him.

Here is my response, ‘The question is about how you communicate with your client in a sales setting. There are 2 extremes. One extreme is very much like what you said – you sit down and chat. No plot, no prepared material e.g. visual aid. A very casual atmosphere. The another extreme is a very formal atmosphere. You stand in front of your client and present one slide after another. Very much a one-way delivery without interaction.

Now imagine these 2 extremes to be on the ends of a straight line. There are in fact a lot of other ways of communication in between on the line. You can do a stand-up presentation but still be conversational. Alternatively, you can chat with your client but use the prepared material in case of need – just to help to illustrate your point. For example, you need a trade flow diagram to explain clearly how a supply chain solution works. Prepared material is there to make the communication more efficient but not to trick the client, or rail them to your desired solution.





(It snows heavily in Shanghai yesterday. It has been many many years since it snows like this. Just cannot help to share with you the photo……)



RAC – Satellite Delay

  • Course: A presentation course
  • Date: 22-23 Jan 2008
  • Location: Seriously cold in Shanghai, China
  • # of Participants: 8
  • I am feeling: Good

I did a new activity at the start of Day 2 to recap the learning on Day 1. It is called ‘Satellite Delay’, which I learnt it from the TTT in Singapore. It is simple. We formed a circle and one after another the learners are encouraged to speak about any thought / question / comment which they did not express on the previous day. It is like the signal delayed during the satellite transmission. And that is why it is called ‘Satellite Delay’. Since the learners have a wide choice of topics to pick from (as compared to ‘single key learning point’), they tend to be more relaxed and out-spoken. On the other hand, the activity does compel the learners to review. In addition, it allows the facilitator to understand the learning progress.

RAC – Obtaining Better Feedback

  • Course: A presentation course
  • Date: 17-18 Dec 2007
  • Location: Warm in Guangzhou, China
  • # of Participants: 10
  • I am feeling: Good

Tried the thought discussed in the last post. It is a good experience. I told them:

‘Before our last activity, I would like to ask for your feedback about this course. Here is the feedback form. You do not have to fill your name if you find it more comfortable this way. Other than the just choose the rating, please do write down your comment so that I know your view better. I assure you that I will read this. In fact, I will summarize your feedback and send to you later.

(Hand the forms to them). Now, I will leave some quiet time for you to complete it. After you complete it, please just leave the form on the desk at back of this room. Thanks!’

It turns out that there is much more and better quality feedback!! I like it!!

RAC – Got to charge up the energy

  • Course: A presentation course
  • Date: 11-12 Dec 2007
  • Location: Cold in Shanghai, China
  • # of Participants: 8
  • I am feeling: a bit tired physically but good spiritually

I love this class but at the same time I often felt very tired during the presentation class.   I used up a lot of energy during this class. 

  • I talk
  • I think what activity to do next
  • I observe
  • I think the best way to tell the comment
  • I respond to their questions
  • etc

I got to think of way to increase my energy during this class.   Perhaps a better breakfast and lunch.   And some chocolate in between!!