Stand & Deliver

Last week I facilitated on my first workshop in almost a month. The break was halfway-intentional: a few clients have had changes in the last year. This meant that workshops which previously made the end of May and start of June a very busy time made it a very quiet time. As this became apparent I fixed the time as a pause from delivering workshops, shifting new bookings to either side of the break.

As the three week gap approached I thought, “This is great! I love doing workshops, but a break, time to step back and write more regularly, to plan some projects – that will be wonderful.”

As the end of that three week gap approached I thought, “This is great! It’s been fun working from home, and I’m really excited about these projects, but I really need to get out there and delivering stuff again!”

A change is as good as a rest? The grass is always greener on the other side? I don’t know! I’m thankful that I have a job which allows me this much flexibility. It’s great to have an area to focus on – helping postgraduate researchers – and several different ways that I can do that.

I’m looking ahead to the next academic year, and contacting my regular clients to put together my diary. I have some openings for new clients, and if you’re looking for someone to come and work with you and your postgraduate researchers then please email me. This blog and the courses page can give you some idea of what I do and what I’m interested in, but if you have any questions then please just ask.

What are the top three areas that you want workshops on or help with? Let me know, and if I can offer any thoughts I will, or if I can point you in the direction of someone else who could help then I’ll try to connect you. But please, get in touch!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

quick thought

Bad Powerpoint

A short post and a few thoughts for today. I was reviewing my business notes a few days ago and realised that I have delivered nearly 40 First Year Development Workshops at the University of Liverpool. That means I’ve met and worked with over 1000 new PhD students at the university! A key component of the workshop is communicating research ideas, and one way we do that is through a group Powerpoint presentation. We help participants think about how to do this well, and start that process by sharing the following video:

I don’t use Powerpoint a lot for my work any more; I like the spontaneity of having a few key points in a talk or workshop that I’m trying to explore with participants, and being free to work towards those points in a variety of ways. I think that I can do this better with flipcharts and boards rather than a pre-determined series of images and text.