Re: Your Opinion Please - Lecture Structure

Subject: Re: Your Opinion Please - Lecture Structure
From: Linda Sherman <linsherm -at- GTE -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 13:12:48 -0500

Frank Taylor wrote:
> Over 2 consecutive days with around 8 hours of intensive lectures per
> day.

Having been on the giving end of these things many times, I'm concerned
whether the speaker's voice and legs would survive, let alone the
listeners' fannies. You have to consider the physical toll on you or
your speakers, especially if this is going to be something you do on a
regular basis.

> Over 3 days (consecutive or split,) with around 7 hours of slightly less
> intensive lectures per day.

You might want to consider 2 1/2 days in a 6+6+4 schedule.

I would usually do 5-6 hours of lecturing a day plus 2-3 hours of "study
hall" or "workshop" where the attendees would do some exercises,
reading, etc. on their own (or, since it was San Francisco, go play
tourist). I always made the last day (of seminars more than 2 days in
length) a half day so that people could catch planes home that afternoon
rather than having to pay for another night in the hotel.

But even six hours a day for more than a couple days can be very
grueling for the speaker. It depends on how much talking the speaker
does. If you can break it up with "discussions" or an A/V presentation,
that helps.

> Would a company prefer to release employees for 2 days rather than 3?

The issue is more likely to be whether they are willing to release the
employees at all.

Some companies seem willing to let their employees attend almost
anything that smacks of career enhancement, and others begrudge every
minute and penny. I don't think it's something you can market for.

> If a company saw the logic in releasing an employee for 3 days, would it
> be preferable to spread the lectures over 7-10 days or would 3
> consecutive days be more acceptable?

Consecutive days, definitely. One disruption is better than several.
Also, the company may want to bring people in from other locations. It's
also easier on you, especially if you intend to travel around to present
your series, which you will probably want to do if it's successful. It's
very hard to make a living doing these things in just one location.

> Would freelancers prefer to attend a 2 day lecture series rather than a
> 3 day one?

That depends on the content and quality more than the length. I've been
to 5-day seminars that could easily have been 2, had they been better
organized and presented. And I've been at 2-day seminars that would have
been much better had they gone deeper into the material and added a day
or two more to do so.

Linda K. Sherman <linsherm -at- gte -dot- net>
Freelance Writer: Technical - Business - Government

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