I spent the last weekend in Warsaw, Poland to attend the Mozcamp 2012 meeting with Mozillians from around the world to see where the project is going and how we can best use the resources we have.
In essence: it was a blast. You can see at the very packed schedule that we covered a lot of topics and got each other up to speed on the things we are doing for Mozilla.
All attendees of Mozcamp were asked to set themselves a mission for the weekend to use our time the most effectively. Mine was the following:
Meet 10 already existing or new Evangelism Reps and deliver a great training to get them started.
I easily achieved that mission but I was a bit disappointed when I saw that we only had an hour of training rather than the originally planned 2 hours. I partnered with the man who got me excited about Mozilla in the first place, Tristan Nitot, to introduce the attendees of our training to the Mozilla mission and get them excited about presenting and producing posts, screencasts and code examples.
When I plan trainings, I have something for every minute of it and the main trick is to make the attendees do the work. This is not because I am lazy, but as humans we tend to retain information we found out by ourselves much better than things we just listened to. The plan for this session was:
- 00.00 – 05.00 – Introduction and aim of the course
“By the end of this training you know where to find information to promote Mozilla in person and on the Internet”
- 05.00 – 10.00 – Introduction of different ways to promote Mozilla:
- Creating demos
- Videos / Screencasts
- 10.00 – 26:00 Walkaround with four whiteboards
- 26:00 – 36:00 Preparing group presentations
- 36:00 – 52:00 Group presentations on all the results
- 52:00 – 60:00 Joint presentation Chris/Tristan on the resources we have.
The idea is to have four groups and make them each for 4 minutes collect information on the topic and then shift around, so in the end each group has their own findings and those of others to use in their presentations.
So much for the theory – 10 people had signed up for our session which is a good size. When our session started though, about 45 showed up and we had neither the whiteboards in place or enough chairs, so we had to get them from other rooms.
The beauty of the 4 group training is that it scales so in the end we had groups of 12 people which made for longer discussions and appointing speakers but it worked out. Incredibly well, actually – I am always amazed how you can make a group of people work very concentrated together when you set a simple goal and a fixed time frame.
See the full intensity of it in this video (fox hat included):
As there was a lot more interest in evangelism training Shezmeen Prasad and me thought it a good idea to offer another, after-mozcamp session in the hotel. We set it on Sunday at 8 – 10pm after two days of a packed schedule and again wondered if anyone would show up. They did, 35 of them this time.
As the room layout did not really lend itself to a training in the style of the other we spent the two hours with open Q&A about speaker tips and tricks and watching a few talks analysing how the speakers made them great – again in a group information gathering and presenting session.
As a follow-up (and as this was a common request) I cleaned up the HTML5 slide deck we have for evangelism reps and created two screencasts on how to get the slide deck and present in it and how to write your own slides.
How to get the Mozilla slide deck and present it on YouTube.
Creating slides in shower on YouTube.
It was exhausting, but very much worth it! I had a lot of fun meeting all the reps and look forward to all the material we’ll create together.
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