Lecture or Engage?

Written by Pam Chambers

A few weeks ago I conducted a two-hour “Train the Trainer” workshop for 30 managers of a retail chain. When the owners and I debriefed afterwards, one of them chided me for “calling on people.” “They don’t like to be singled out.” I said, “Managers shouldn’t expect to be called on?” His answer was vague and evasive.

I, Pam Chambers, can’t imagine giving a presentation during which my voice is the only one heard. The concept seems totally unnatural. Is this not a relationship between you and your audience?

I’ve attended many presentations during which the speaker is the only one who talks. That would be classified as a lecture.

In my case, I needed to know what the managers’ challenges are, how they resolve certain problems, what they believe their next step is, etc. This requires interaction.

To please my client, I suppose I could throw out questions and wait for someone to volunteer a response. But I still believe that people in the role of managers should be able to deal with being called on.

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