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PROFESSIONAL BRIEFINGS ……from Boring to Dynamic There is no impression like a first impression, make it count.
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Professional Briefings

Professional Briefingsfrom Boring to Dynamic

There is no impression like a first impression, make it count.My presentation is on Professional briefings. Everyone has had those impromptu presentations they have been voluntold for. My goal is to teach students how to be successful presenters and how to create dynamic and engaging briefings. You can have the best slides in the world, but if you dont know how to present them you could loose critical support for your initiative. Did you know that 87% of all briefers get nervous just prior to giving a critical presentation? This lesson will teach how to tap into those jitters and use that energy to create a positive impression and engaging presentation.1InspirationWhat inspired Briefing Techniques topic?FLW teaches a course, Civilian Staff Officer CourseMissing elementsCritical aspect of jobNeeded training

How will this Simulation be used?PE for courseEnhance job performanceBefore I get started, let me give you a little background as to why I selected this topic. At Fort Leonard Wood we teach a course called Civilian Staff Officer Course. I just assisted with rebuilding it and there seemed to be a gap between the instruction for being a staff officer and building positive presentations. We werent instructing the students on how to brief their presentations, but this is something that cant really be taught, it has to be a hands on exercise. Nearly every employee at Fort Leonard Wood will be in a situation where they have to present information, it is a job requirement. However, there is no training on how to brief the presentation. My goal is to build a simulation which will be a PE during the synchronous course where the students will be immersed in a briefing scenario.2Intended audienceCurrent Fort Leonard Wood InternsFuture Fort Leonard Wood InternsCurrent Civilian EmployeesNew SupervisorsAdministrative AssistantsProject OfficersCurrent Military SoldiersThis simulation is intended for just about everyone at Fort Leonard Wood. Currently the attendees for the CSOC are mostly interns and administrative personnel. We do occasionally have project officers and supervisors attend. 3Instructional ObjectivesBy the end of this simulation, you will correctly identify four basic skills of a professional briefer and identify with three types of briefings.

The introduction to the simulation will be face-to-face. My motivator is: If you are like most individuals, your goal when giving a presentation is to capture your audience, convince them they need your information while making it so engaging they ask you to come back for more presentations. Make yourselves a note promising yourself that by the end of this lesson you will be more confident in front of a group, you will be a more engaging presenter, and you will avoid the common mistakes presenters typically make. The object is to get the students excited and engaged in the training and to acknowledge that this is information they need to know.4Prepare and OrganizeCheck the factsBe preparedBe Punctual and TimelyOrganization equates to professionalism

This is the next part of the face-to-face instruction. One of the PEs for the synchronous course is to build a presentation. It is important the students understand how to build a presentation as well as how to brief the presentation. This information would also be in a tips section of the simulation during the introduction phase as they begin. Do your research. Be sure the facts you are presenting are true and factual. Your team member may tell you that they checked all the facts, but if something happens and those facts arent accurate. It isnt your co-workers reputation that is tainted. Always take the time to double check. Facts change, be sure you have the latest and greatest. Hypothetically, would you trust the facts I am telling you today if I had come in disorganized, disheveled, and had to search my notes to give you the facts? Probably not. You would have been sitting back there thinking I was very much like the absent-minded professor and didnt know my subject material. Dont put yourself in that situation. After you have your presentation finalized, do a rehearsal. If you can have a co-worker assist. The few minutes you spend rehearsing your material will improve your image almost 100-fold. I have purposely used some idiosyncrasies, unique to my manner of speaking today to see how many of you picked up on. If you are talking your language, it is possible others will not be able to follow because they have no idea what your talking about. We use terms unique to our upbringing, typically. But does that mean that someone from Minnesota will understand my Missouri lingo? Keep that in mind and avoid slang and lingo. I cant stress enough: practice, practice, practice. Another step to being prepared is to dress for success. The golden rule is to dress one step up or equal to your audience. If your audience is wearing casual/business; you wear a shirt and tie. If your audience is the working class that wears a shirt and tie; you wear a coat and tie.5Know Your Audience

Besides knowing how to dress for your audience, why else is it critical to know your audience? Your right, you want your audience to be interested in and have a need to know the information you are presenting. Your audience should consist of individuals who have a stake in your presentation. You need to know those individuals. If you arent familiar with those attending, show up early enough to go around and talk to the audience. If they feel you are interested in them, they will be interested in what you have to say. If you show up three minutes prior to your presentation and leave as soon as you are done presenting, your audience is going to think you arent committed to your subject and they will follow your lead and leave just as quickly. Then the next time you are giving a critical briefing, most will be watching the clock so they can book out and will miss most of the critical points you make. They will not take you seriously. Network, network, network!! Again, this would be presented both during the face-to-face element building up to the PE and then repeated in a tips section during the introduction in the simulator.6

Dynamic and Engaging

BORING INTERESTINGTOAs a lead-in introduction portion of the simulator, students would learn the importance of networking. The introduction would be similar to: Now that you have walked around prior to your briefing and introduced yourself to most of those in attendance, keep them engaged by being dynamic. Change your inflection. Move around if you can. Use animating gestures to captivate your audience. Remember, when you are giving a briefing, you are on stage. You need to keep your audience engaged in what you are presenting. Ask questions, get your audience involved. We have all been to a meeting where it just dragged on and on and the speaker spoke in the same monotone, never moved from the pedestal and rarely engaged with the audience. Keep to the agenda, if someone in the audience tried to sidebar (pull you off topic), suggest tabling that topic for the next meeting or suggest the two of you discuss it after the meeting if it isnt critical to the other members. Always stay on time. If you schedule 30 minutes for the meeting, plan on your presentation being only 20 minutes, always give your audience time to ask questions, request clarification, or just to keep them engaged. Conducting a clear, concise, and timely presentation will demonstrate your professionalism and you will gain the reputation of someone who knows how to brief. It is always a good idea to time yourself while you are rehearsing to be sure you can present the material / information in the time you have slotted. If you have too much information, conduct two short meetings. People can focus better on your information if they are not having to sit two hours for the presentation. Forty-five minutes should be your cut-off. Any more time than that, unless you take a break, will cause your audience to start watching their watch versus engaging with you.7Simulation designThree modules/simulationsTeam Synergy

Peer/Project Officer BriefingsCommand or Higher Headquarters BriefingsStaff/Middle Management BriefingsThis would be the slide or interface which activates the actual simulation. The purpose of the simulation is to develop students to be more confident in front of a group, a more engaging presenter, and to avoid the common mistakes presenters typically make. Select the module you would like to begin with, I suggest starting with the lowest level, Peer/Project Officer.8Peer/project officer briefingConcentration is on equalsPeersSubordinatesLower ranking SoldiersTeam effortOne brieferOne audienceSwitch roles

The lowest level presentations they would be required to do as part of their job here at Fort Leonard Wood would be as a peer or project officer. This would be a popup in the simulation, explaining what this module covers. Each module will be a team effort, there will be one briefer and at least one audience member. After completion of the module, they will switch roles. At the end of each module there is an after-action review there each participate makes positive suggestions for improvement to each other.9Staff/Middle Management Briefings

Concentration is on middle managementSupervisorsDirectorsMiddle ManagementTeam effortOne brieferOne audienceSwitch roles

The lowest level presentations they would be required to do as part of their job here at Fort Leonard Wood would be as a peer or project officer. This would be a popup in the simulation, explaining what this module covers. . Each module will be a team effort, there will be one briefer and at least one audience member. After completion of the module, they will switch roles. At the end of each module there is an after-action review there each participate makes positive suggestions for improvement to each other.

10Higher headquarters/command Briefings

Concentration is on higher managementCommandersGeneral OfficersLarge public audiencesTeam effortOne brieferOne audienceSwitch roles

The lowest level presentations they would be required to do as part of their job here at Fort Leonard Wood would be as a peer or project officer. This would be a popup in the simulation, explaining what this module covers. . Each module will be a team effort, there will be one briefer and at least one audience member. After completion of the module, they will switch roles. At the end of each module there is an after-action review there each participate makes positive suggestions for improvement to each other.

11Simulation interface

ProtoSphere interface (or similar).

Each student plays an avatar.

Briefing material displayed.

2 or more participantsThe simulation interface would be similar to Second Life or ProtoSphere. However, the interface has to be web based because we are very limited as to what we can download on government computers. I really liked the way the ProtoSphere interface looked, it was easy to use and easy to set up. Those are some of the attributes I will look for in creating this simulation. My focus will be on the students learning the material, if they are frustrated with a difficult to use interface it will add frustration and shift the focus to the interface versus the content. I think it is essential the interface has the voice option and a chat option. Even though this presentation will take place in a classroom, I want the students to perform their AARs in the interface so it can be recorded and played back for their review. It really enhances awareness if they can watch their presentation later as they will pick up things they did that they would do differently and it increases critical thinking.12assessmentEach team member has a rubricPoints deducted for ahs, ohs, and umsPoints deducted for ramblingPoints deducted for going off topic

Successful presentation gains enough points to receive a medal/token and advances to next simulation/module

Need all three medals/tokens to receive Certificate of CompletionI am steering away from assessing the students too much n the simulation because they are graded on their face-to-face course which this simulation would be only a lesson in. There are some aspects however, that I think students need to be aware of and if a grading rubric is used then it will increase awareness. I have been thinking about doing a preliminary/introduction video where I make some of these mistakes and have the students keep a score sheet so we can discuss it after my presentation to make them aware of typical briefing mistakes. Then after they watch my video with my briefing mistakes, which they have written down; they will be more aware of what mistakes to try to avoid. These are some of the ideas I had that could be used for assessment.13Learning theoriesPrenskyInteractive, fun, competitive/challenging, authentic, emotional, engaging

Gagnes Nine Instructional EventsAttention, objectives, recall, content, guidance, feedback, performance, retention/transfer

The learning theories that I used while developing my simulation were Prenskys GBL. I tried to make the simulation interactive, fun, engaging and realistic. These scenarios are real life instances they will encounter in their day-to-day job.

I think Gagnes nine instructional events apply to what I wanted to accomplish with this simulation as well. By immersing the learner into the environment, making the scenarios realistic I believe retention will be enhanced. The AAR gives each learner an opportunity to provide feedback which again will increase their recall of the content when in a real life briefing.14 learning theories (continued)Roger H. BruningProblem Based LearningMetacognition

Jerome BrunerEngage LearnerScaffoldingRoger Brunings educational theory goes hand and hand with Gagnes. He believed the learner needed to be challenged to develop critical thinking, that they needed to be active learners and presented real life-problem based learning.

Bruner believed that learners developed cognitive growth in stages. He believed that the learners environment and experience played a key factor in the ability to learn information. His theory suggest that the learners interest in the material influenced their ability to learn the material. These theories influenced the way I designed both the simulation and the pre-instruction leading up to the simulation.15Questions?

Some of the questions I would ask at the end of the simulation as reenforcing the information are: What is the first thing you should do when preparing your presentation? Correct, double check your facts. What are the two key reasons for rehearsing? To familiarize yourself with the material and to ensure you stay within the time frame you have slotted for the meeting. What was the promise I asked each of you to make to yourselves at the beginning of this presentation? That you would be a more confident and engaging presenter and that you will avoid the typical pitfalls made by presenters. Those pitfalls would be: not rehearsing, not knowing their material, not knowing their audience, not engaging with their audience, and not being clear, concise and timely while presenting.

In conclusion, I chose this project because of a need. Every year new interns are hired along with new personnel. Assuming that they are coming into service with prior briefing experience is impractical. Besides the majority of interns hired have no military or government work experience and briefing for the military is very different than briefing in the civilian sector. My goal is for this simulation to be completed. Our challenge will be to find a platform/interface that can be used on government computers. I think the immersion into the simulation would enhance the retention, the learners will have an emotional connection with their avatar.

Are there any questions?16