1) Popcorn style is hard to control
Lesson – The style worked and got people feeling comfortable, though if the question does not benefit a majority of the group, take it offline. I also recommend setting a context for the questions up front, this sets expectations of what you will and won’t cover. If a question is covered later in the presentation, park it until then.
2) Prizes can distract
Lesson – The prizes were a major distraction and a lot harder to control then I anticipated. Questions were varied and took me on many tangents and off the lesson plan I had set. My suggestion is to offer incentive points, or knowledge checks in the form of questions to the group. This allows you to keep on point, control the group and promote active participation.
3) Set goals and targets
Lesson – Have a clear set of targets and goals defined. They will help you to stay on point, and take the participants on the journey with you. People don’t want a set of facts thrown at them, they want to consume knowledge and how you present that knowledge is key. In my last session, I set knowledge checks where I would get everyone on the same page before stepping into the live demo. For instance. “Who understands how a search engine works?” A very simple check to see if the next chunk of information is going to make sense. I found in each session, over 70% did not know how a search engine worked, therefore it would have made jumping into Google Webmaster Tools to explain how Googles sees their site (index stats, keywords and density, sitemaps, crawl rates) was going to be a lot harder without some foundation knowledge.