Learn What The Data School Learns, in which each trainee analyst gives a 1.5 hour lesson on a Tableau or Alteryx topic, is the most nerve-wracking part of the entire 4-month training process for a lot of people. Here are some quick tips for improving your experience.
Prepare exercises, but don’t go overboard
Aim for 20-30 minutes of exercises during the lesson. This should come right after giving examples: “I’ve just shown you how to create a batch macro, now you can try this exercise where you create one yourself.”
This downtime will offer you a chance to take a breather and collect yourself for the next stretch of the lesson, and will allow you to segment your agenda into halves, thirds, or quarters.
Be sure to send solution files at the start of the lesson so that people who can’t do the exercises can still get some value out of them, and be prepared to answer questions during the downtime.
However, don’t try to push it with audience participation. One of my colleagues tried to split their audience into teams for an exercise, got an unenthusiastic response, and had to backtrack. Keep in mind that a large portion of the audience will be there just to watch, not to participate. There’s no need to demand too much of them, and solutions should be forthcoming.
Completed examples and pause screen
I ran into, and observed others running into, issues during the presentation. The most common issue was messing up a demonstration and not getting the intended result.
If something like that happens to you, you have two ways of helping yourself. The first is to have the completed solution to the demonstration already up, either in a different workflow tab or on your other screen. You should sort all of this out either before the lesson begins, or in between segments during the exercise downtime.
Your second friend is the pause screen function on Zoom. If you get into some trouble, don’t be afraid to say “Sorry, I’ll need a minute or so to sort this out” and then pause the screen. You’ll be able to play around with what you’re doing and compare it to the completed solution without confusing your audience.