March 1, 2010

Scenes from a workshop



I enjoyed working with a great group of grad students on Friday at UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

The half-day workshop was about how to present difficult or controversial topics to audiences who may be uninformed or hostile.

I finally got around to writing myself a proper introduction for this training. For more than four years now, I'm embarrassed to say, I've been handing over a short version of my bio for my introducer to read. BORING. Completely out of laziness and forgetfulness, I keep getting down to the wire with no introduction and sending my introducer out with the same dull opening.

This time, I got on the ball and came up with something new that fits my style and personality. Unfortunately, I didn't test it out on anyone before I had the introducer deliver it, and the last few words were obliterated by audience laughter! Next time I need to script a pause into the middle of the sentence that gets the biggest laugh, so the audience can hear the rest!

There's always something new to learn.

In the first picture, the students are exploring the Curse of Knowledge through the "tappers and listeners" exercise from "Made to Stick." Funny and frustrating, as usual!

The second photo shows how creative an audience can be with pipe cleaners while still participating in the discussion. There were a few Play-Doh sculptures as well, but the pipe cleaners were the most artistic form of expression. If you're wondering why I would let my audience play with toys during my workshop, read here.

Thank you, Sara Solis and the rest of the Doris Duke Fellows, for inviting me!

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