Why make a fool of yourself?
So far, so good. We have probably all been in this feared situation of "Let's start off by introducing ourselves and our little known secrets", or "Turn to your neighbour and ask about their favorite pet/childhood memory" or something equally nauseating that workshop leaders find amusing.
I was pleased. We were 2 minutes into the workshop and my breakfast was still intact. I consider this a win/win situation, given my experience of workshops over the past few years.
Then, the inevitable happened. Our presenter declared "I will not remember your names, but go ahead and introduce yourselves anyway".
OK. So now what? Why bother introducing ourselves if it will add no value to the workshop? (Fortunately bad presenters give me truckloads of material for this blog, so I did not complain).
Don't do this to your audiences. Take a class or read a book on memory techniques. It is not rocket science and is a mandatory skill for a workshop leader.
Memory techniques that work for me are to find a distinguishing facial feature and relate it to something else. For example, I met a person with first name of Mark. His nose looked like a checkMark and I instantly had his name for easy reference. You can also relate a new person to some one you know - If you meet a "John" with a big beard, think of him as "John the Baptist", and you will astonish him when you recall his name.
Of course, you can also request everyone to wear the tried and true method of name tags. Tent cards have also worked for me in workshops.
Whatever you do, do not ask your audience to introduce themselves and then tell them you will not put in any effort to remember their names. It is unprofessional and easily corrected.
Why would you want to listen to a presenter who has informed you that you are not important in her little world? I am proud to admit that I was onboard for the first 2.5 minutes of this four hour workshop.
Labels: Wall of Shame