Friday, May 27, 2011

7 fabulous tips for successful conference workshops from ASGPP

The American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama has just put out its call for presentations for the 70th Annual Conference, scheduled April 19-23 in Jersey City, N.J. As you consider and write your proposals, here is a synthesis of comments from workshop evaluations for the 2010 conference, gathered by Cathy Nugent, chairperson of the ASGPP evaluations committee.

Without a doubt, these suggestions are valuable for any presentation, local, regional, national or international. Take note:

Elements correlated with high ratings across all workshops included the following:

Personal characteristics of the workshop leaders. Respondents valued warmth, ability to be present with the group, creativity, use of humor and expert knowledge of content as positive qualities of workshop leaders. When co-leaders were present, participants rated working “well together” as a positive attribute among co-leaders. Respondents also appreciated presenter attentiveness to rate of speech and appropriate speaking volume.

Balance of didactic material and experiential learning in the workshop. Participants had a favorable response to workshop leaders who focused both on presenting key teaching points and putting core ideas into action through demonstration.

Organization, focus and clarity. Respondents appreciate workshop leaders who were organized, had clear goals and objectives, and communicated major points with clarity.

Material's portability to one’s “back home” setting. Participants value workshops that provided material that was transferable to their own work settings. Respondents specifically noted an affinity for specific ideas and concrete skills, such as warm-ups or other action structures, that could be applied at home.

Handouts and reference materials. Participants comment favorably on the use of handouts. Respondents appreciated receiving reference material to enhance and expedite the didactic portion of the session, to reinforce learning. and to help with at-home application.

Attention to appropriate boundaries and containment for a conference presentation or workshop. Some respondents found some  sessions “triggering” and felt unresolved at the workshop's conclusion. Participants indicated that care should be given to delinate boundaries and containment for a conference presentation or workshop versus those in a personal growth setting.
Clearly identify the deadline for prospoals and other requirements. Many a great proposal has been tossed due to lateness or incompleteness. Proposals for ASGPP must be received by July 15, 2011 to be considered. You will be notified regarding the disposition of your proposal in September 2011.