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Lecturer's Tips and Ideas
A Six Step Model for Effective Programming
  JUNE 2007 --

1. NEEDS ASSESSMENT:    The procedures for finding out what programs are wanted needed, educational, entertaining and useful.
-- Use information you get from interest surveys, and/or talking to your members, community and potential audience.
-- Make informal contact - ask people about what they are interested in, and most importantly, listen to what they say
-- Discuss interests at meetings.
-- Have members write out on note cards during a meeting their hobbies, interests, skills, and programs they would be willing to present.
-- Generate ideas for programs which may address problems or difficulties expressed by your members.
Common Problems with needs assessment:
-- Making assumptions abut what people want, like or need
-- Having predetermined programs in mind before doing a needs assessment
-- Assuming that your needs are identical to other people's needs

Working with everyone's ideas and options abut what programs would fit the assessed needs, then making an informed choice based on priorities and limits
-- Brainstorm - non-critically with high value placed on creativity
-- "Play" with ideas - loosen the mental locks and forget temporarily, about rules, practicality or being wrong
-- Compare and Contrast - to similar or related programs from other Granges or organizations, etc.
-- Critically analyze ideas resulting in the choice of programs
Common problems with idea formation: 
Most overlooked step and not enough time given. 
-- Free Advice About Hidden Resources:  People often will not participate unless they are asked.

3. PROGRAM PLANNING:   Determining what needs to be done by when and whom

-- Make a checklist and an assignment sheet
-- People support what they help create
-- Timing is critical; be aware; what you competing against?
-- Determine the goals, evaluation criteria and strategies to be used
-- Follow up delegated responsibilities - this shows you care
-- Some people need more support and structure than others - this makes their role seem more important
-- Don't expect members to do as you say not as you do; ask for them to meet with you at set intervals to take off pressure
-- Don't assume things - space, props, food, equipment - remember these are hurdles to jump not barriers
Common problems with program planning:
-- Not enough people involved in planning stages
-- Tasks are delegated but no follow up is done to ensure completion
-- No one volunteers so one person does everything
-- Too many details are left to the last minute and then things fall through

4. PUBLICITY:  Determining effective strategies to inform people about the event, but, most importantly, to create a sense of enthusiasm and motivation in the audience.

-- "Back to the Basics" - make sure that you cover the basics like who, what, when, where, why, and how much if applicable (such as Admission)
-- Explore unconventional methods like using the back of stall  doors, car windows, and making announcements at other non-related meetings.
-- Plan backwards from the date of the event - what publicity needs to be out for what audience by when
-- Tell the truth - do you read 8 1/2 x 11 white signs in the hallways?  DO SOMETHING NEW AND CREATIVE!!!
-- Who are you trying to reach?!  A good question to ask!
-- WORD OF MOUTH - still THE most effective advertising known to humankind - another one of those trite, but oh-so-true realities
-- Emphasize the benefits and value of the program
-- Be Enthusiastic. If you are not enthusiastic about the program, no one else  will be - ask five people a day for two weeks prior to the event if they will be attending the program (yes, I'm totally serious!) - they will either say "yes" to get you off their back or they will be convinced that they won't want to miss such a good program
Common problems with publicity:
-- Lack of creativity
-- Poor location for advertising
-- Timeliness - no one will go to your program if the publicity goes up the day before the event
-- Depending totally on the written word - TALK YOUR PROGRAMS UP!!!

  Putting on the actual program (Note: Murphy's Law has an incredible track record at this time)

-- Run through your checklists and confirm arrangements the day before and/or the day of the program
-- Arrive early to ensure that everything is ready
-- After the event thank everyone for participating and plant seeds for their participating in future programs
-- Leave the facilities in the same condition that you found them - you will soon realize the incredible benefits of good working relationships
-- Return all equipment the day of or the day after the event - especially if you ever want to use that equipment again!
-- Reward the people who helped with the program - different people need different kinds of attention
-- Celebrate your successes
-- Public thank yous are almost always appreciated (at meetings, in the Granger, etc.)
Common problems with program implementation:
-- Failure to plan and/or follow through on any number of details from your planning checklists - Murphy's Law will catch up with you!

6. EVALUATION:  Determining if the program was successful and worth repeating - various degrees of sophistication for measuring and defining success
-- Plan program goals, evaluation strategies and evaluation criteria in the Program Planning stage
-- What did the program planners learn from planning the program and/or from the program itself?
-- Encourage honest feedback from the participants
-- Make recommendations for potential future programmers to  use
-- Leave the evaluation results in a place where others can utilize them in the future

Common problems with evaluation:
-- Not done at all
-- Not planned for in advance
-- Uncertainty about what to measure - usually because there are no program goals


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