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Welcome to

The Standup Trainer Newsletter

April 2008

Brought to you by Ellen Dowling, PhD ("The Standup Trainer") and the fine folks of Dowling & Associates, Inc.



This newsletter is guaranteed certifiably useful as well as amusing. (If you are not completely satisfied, there are unsubscribe instructions at the end.)

In this issue:

1. The Standup Trainer Tries to Sit Down: Responses from two Esteemed Readers

Dear Readers: In last month's issue, I printed an excerpt from Elliot Masie's Learning Trends Newsletter (#508) where he claims that sitting down for a training session give the trainer a whole new perspective on the learning experience. I was intrigued by this idea, but could not imagine myself sitting down when presenting. Several of my most eminent and enthusiastic subscribers responded.

Dear Dr. Standup:

I’ve tried sitting down with a training class, but I tend to be introverted and low energy, so I find the energy level in the class goes down.  I need to stand up to keep my own, and the participants', energy level up.

Up and At It Training Manager
Little Rock, Arkansas

Dear Up:

I hear you. It seems to me that if the presenter is not able to "move the molecules in the room" (as a training colleague of mine used to say), then delivering the entire session from a seated position would be most coma-inducing indeed.

I once peeked in to another classroom next to mine at the University of Beijing, where the instructor was seated at a table on the stage in front of the room, reading the PowerPoint slides off the laptop in front of her. Now, she may have been a brilliant scholar, but the students in the back of the room were all sound asleep, and unless there is truth to the theory of "learning while sleeping," they did not seem likely to remember much of anything she said.

Dear Dr. Standup

Hey! It's been an interesting article and I enjoyed every word of it, regarding Sitting. Yes, I agree I would sit with a group of say limited to 10, not beyond. I am used to jumping up similarly and used to the kind of compliments that such energetics usually enjoy! So no second thoughts.

Excellent Instructor from India

Dear Excellent:

I think it is very true that such "energetics" are useful in keeping participants interested and involved in the learning. If the presenter stands (or sits) in one place the entire time, the audience will have a tendency to zone out (if not conk out completely).

Think of it this way: Every time the presenter moves to a different part of the room (one side or the other, up to or away from the audience, around behind them, etc.), he or she changes the dynamics of that space. Sleeping students tend to wake up with the instructor suddenly appears behind them! Staying affixed to the front and center of the room is, in my humble opinion, just too static for interest.

But I also wonder . . . can the presenter move around TOO much? What say ye, distinguished readers?


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If you have a suggestion for something we could do to make this newsletter even MORE useful as well as amusing, please contact us:

Dowling & Associates, Inc.

Ellen Dowling, President

(505) 307-1700