Director S Message 9 26

Director's Message: This course is a DUD! What can you do about it?

Sept. 24, 2014
If you're disappointed in a CE course you chose, and feel a little bit misled, relax and cut the presenter some slack. You can always learn something.

You’ve invested your money and time to take a course or take part in a program. The title resonated with you, and the description seemed faultless. You attended and ended up being disappointed because it was not what you thought it was going to be. What can you do about it?

Do you walk out? Do you stay until the end to earn the CE credits? Do you make the course, speaker, venue, or yourself wrong? Do you check in with yourself and mine the pearls from the information being presented?

Opportunities to learn are all around us. We can learn from a small child, a guru, or a stranger. I have taught thousands of people and will continue to do so. Participants come to my programs and tell me one of the reasons they keep coming back is because I continually grow and develop in my presentations, and because they can be sure that I’ll always bring my “A” game. So, I’m curious as to where the responsibility lies for professional learning.

I’ve had countless conversations with other speakers who offer to email a particular slide or chart to participants. You know the slide that creates all the controversy and frenzy that has everyone snapping a picture of it on their smartphones. So the speaker usually says something like, “If you email me at, I will send you a copy of this PowerPoint slide.”

I’ve conveyed such invitations as well, and even offered to set up a 10- to 15-minute conversation with registrants who may have additional questions. More times than not, many of my speaker friends share that their inboxes are not flooded with requests because what seemed vital gets forgotten. Life gets in the way as soon as we walk out the doors of a CE program. Good intentions are replaced by schedules, work, and other priorities.

Here are some tips to help you avoid the CE “Duds:”
1. Have a kindergartener’s mind. Be curious, because learning can sneak up on you.
2. Empathize with the speaker. He or she probably did not wake up that morning with the intent to bore you.
3. Be a conscientious consumer of knowledge and make sure you are clear as to what the speaker will and will not deliver.
4. During a break, introduce yourself to the people around you. The GOLD of attending live programs may just be in who you meet.
5. In leadership, it’s often said to praise in public and criticize in private. Fill out evaluations with a positive and growth relational feedback. Try to refrain from the social media negative comments. And again refer to No. 2.
6. If there is a certain PowerPoint or chart that you’re interested in, email the speaker right then and there. Most of us have smart phones, and if something moves you, take immediate action. When it shows up in your inbox, it’s a great way to follow up on the content that you wanted to implement.

Kristine Hodsdon RDH, MSEC, is the Director of RDH eVillage. She can be reached at [email protected].


More articles by Kristine Hodsdon, Director of RDH eVillage:
Dentists take heed; here are five ways to appreciate hygienists
Do you do it all, or delegate?
In a relationship with ...