Skills Training & Other Services

What’s Different About McGrath Methodology

The Two “Traditional” Workshop Models And Why McGrath’s Methodology Works Better

Most workshops come in two ineffective forms:

Ineffective Format #1: The first and most lethal is the straight lecture. We sometimes refer to this program as “The didactic data dump” because of the “I talk and you listen” format. Guaranteed to be ineffective, it is still standard operating procedure in many settings.

Ineffective Format #2: The second is a more “Socratic” approach in which the trainer asks the audience good learning questions and guides the discussion with the whole group. This method is far more effective than the lecture method and requires a more skilled facilitator. The downfall of these sessions is that they usually decline into what we call “ping-pong” sessions: the dialogue bounces from trainer to audience to trainer to audience, and the message is lost in the bouncing discussion.

These training methods fail because they do not require the participant’s involvement and participation. Instead of mastering content and learning how to effectively share the message, speakers can easily “unplug” from the session and not show any marked improvement.

The Most Effective Method: McGrath workshops contain practical exercises which smaller groups (typically 3-5 people) work on together. We break the workshop into work groups that focus on specific assignments and report their findings to the whole group. This dramatically changes the dynamic, instantly engages every participant, and provides specific challenges they must work together to overcome.

This strategy engages participants from the outset, and combines message-mastery and skills acquisition into one interactive experience with the content.

Options for Content Focused Skills Training Breakouts

Our workshops are specifically designed to genuinely help speakers prepare to get the right message out within the meeting context. Each session challenges speakers to raise their skill level and actively employ those skills in a live-action context.

Most speakers take the approved deck, review the content during the training, listen to the compliance presentation, go home, and put the deck away. They usually don’t open the presentation again until about 10 minutes before the meeting. Then, when they actually deliver those slides, far too many of them look like they’ve never seen them before. Owning A Presentation You Did Not Create will change that.

By generating small group exercises and peer-to-peer discussion about the most effective ways to communicate the approved content to different audiences, we engage your speakers and challenge them to master the messages of your presentation. They will stay immersed in your content, giving and receiving feedback from the group about setting strong objectives, communicating the key learning points so that they align with their audiences needs, and make the best use of their slides to ensure they achieve their objectives. (Oh yeah, in addition, we provide them a little cheat sheet that let’s them review all that work – in about 10 minutes!)

More and more presentations are including some type of interactive component, because it’s common knowledge that a more interactive presentation increases learning. However, common knowledge doesn’t necessarily equal common practice. Most medical speakers are used to the more traditional ‘didactic data dump’ approach – slide 1 - slide 50 - Any questions? Simply including a case scenario or study into the slide deck, doesn’t actually mean the speaker will be proficient at generating valuable and focused dialogue. Making Your Presentations More Interactive is designed to help achieve the full impact of each session.

By using your approved presentation and working in small groups, your speakers will define the purpose and corresponding placement of each interactive segment, and then create an audience-specific presentation flow that incorporates the planned interaction. In a series of exercises, they will practice transitioning out of didactic mode, generating discussion, keeping the discussion focused, and then transitioning back into the didactic portion of the presentation. Peer-to-peer interaction and feedback helps turn common knowledge into common practice.

Most everyone can recall a really engaging speaker. Unfortunately, the more common experience, especially in the world of promotional medical meetings, is that most speakers are... well, less than engaging. It’s in everyone’s best interest to change that. Engaging Your Audience is a great place to start.

Effective speakers engage their audiences on at least three levels: they engage them 1) personally, 2) intellectually, and 3) practically.

The group explores and practices concrete tips in each of these three areas. Small groups practice creating introductions that resonate with their audience and challenges them to explore solutions to specific problems addressed within the approved content. They also practice approaches that minimize the time they spend with their backs to the audience reading their slides.

Finally, the groups create and practice specific approaches to generate spontaneous interaction during a presentation with no specific interactive components. They learn when and how to turn an audience question into a discussion, and when and how to ask powerful questions that will work to benefit the audience.

This workshop is great for developing speakers when your content contains no real interactive pieces – but you still need them to successfully engage their audiences.

Don’t separate the content learning from learning how to communicate it; why not integrate them into one workshop? Instead of the separation skills acquisition and content review, we have the ability to weave them together separating into one more useful breakout.

Pairing one of our instructors with your faculty or a Medical Liaison (or both) guarantees that your speakers focus on understanding the data in the context of learning how to articulate it! This shift of focus changes the chemistry of the entire workshop. Instead of endless complaining about the slides, speakers will engage in group exercises that focus their attention on how to use them. We encourage speakers to operate in keeping with legal guidelines and increase their skills to become effective communicators within those regulations.