I gave two social media training sessions on consecutive afternoons this week to different groups from the same organisation.
Before the session began on the second afternoon I asked the organiser if there would be a coffee break – we had a lot of ground to cover and the previous day there was no break, which made it a tough three hour session for everyone concerned.
“No, just keep going” she told me “everyone would prefer to finish up and leave as soon as possible”
That’s strange ….
It was only then it dawned on me – the attendees were taking the course as part of their continuous development, which is required as part of their qualification. This is standard practice with a lot of professional bodies.
I asked a few questions at the beginning of the session to warm up the group and to establish exactly how much they knew about social media – not a whole pile as it turned out …this was going to be a tough session!
OK, we’ll all here (I had driven two hours to get here) so lets get stuck in and make the most of it..
I dug deep, I gave the session everything I had – I told them stories, I gave them examples, I kept the session as light and lively as possible, I related the topics to their jobs, I showed them how they could use it to win new business, I showed them how it could help them to get closer to their clients.
I even told them about the famous Irish/American bank robber, Willie Sutton!
They were a nice group and bit by bit I seemed to win over some of them; some of them were engaged in the topics and they were asking me questions and at least there were a few interested, nodding heads.
I drove on and before I knew it I realised it was 5:05 pm and I had ran five minutes over time.
“Ok guys, I have about 15 more minutes to go in order to finish the session. I’ll continue if you wish but if anyone wants to leave, I won’t be offended”
I was given the green light to continue but a few got up to leave – before I knew it I was left with about a quarter of the attendees. I continued with the session but I must admit that I was disappointed that more did not stay back.
The few that stayed were really appreciative that I punched in the extra effort and a few stayed back to ask me questions.
I packed up my things and headed to the car park to face the two hour drive back to Cork.
For two afternoons we all just punched in time …. they were there because they had to be, and I was there because they had to learn something and it may as well be social media.
While I was paid well for my time and I hope I did teach the few who wanted to learn it just felt pointless and I felt empty.
Life is way too short to be just punching in time.