Content from BPR.
Few things are more unpleasant that program director/presenter aircheck sessions. Perhaps the best analogy is the apprehension that one has when going to the dentist. Nobody likes it!
Few presenters that I have worked with enjoy the process. Few program directors look forward to the experience.
Presenters dread aircheck sessions because they assume that their boss is going to point out their faults and mistakes. The often confrontational aspect of these sessions undermines their productiveness.
Can aircheck sessions be productive? In most cases, the answer is yes. However, there are some basic rules to be followed.
Rule 1. Give the review of the presenter’s work a positive spin. Don’t be afraid to point out the good stuff. People are more likely to pay attention if the session focuses more on the positive than the negative. When it comes to the negative critique, make it forward looking. Lines such as: “That didn’t really work so well but here is how you can make it better next time.”
Rule 2. Ask questions of the presenter. “If you were faced with this situation again, how do you think you could improve upon it?” “How would you rate this segment?” By turning the tables on the presenter, you allow them to critique their own work. Sometimes you may find that they can point out areas of improvement that have not occurred to you.
Rule 3. Space the sessions apart. It is not necessary to have an aircheck session every day. Once a week is probably enough. More frequent sessions may lead to needless repetition and fatigue. Avoid information overload. Human beings best process information in small doses.
Rule 4. If possible, keep the sessions short. An aircheck session should probably never be more than a half an hour.
Rule 5. Know your presenter. In my experience, a large number of presenters are fragile people. They can be insecure. In some cases, they may be their own worst critic (although they will never admit that to you.) Some presenters have out-sized egos but these personalities often are the most insecure of all. Approach airchecks sessions more like a psychologist and less like a judge and jury.
Don’t expect the presenter to ever say, “Hey, let’s do an aircheck.” However, you can make the experience into something that produces positive results in both the short and long term.
By Andy Beaubien, BPR
If you require further help with your own airchecks sessions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]