I am in Helsinki this week running four workshops straight after running The NSMC Level 4 Award Course in Cookham. Running the courses back to back really highlight how much you have to adapt your style and content to your audience. In Finland, I am using more visuals and slowing down the speed of my delivery (it is hard enough to learn about social marketing in English let alone in a second language - so I have massive respect for the course attendees.)
I have also had to get used to losing some control of the training course while people discuss some of the activities in Finnish. Usually you can monitor discussions and feed in and steer the activity. Here in Finland I have no idea what the groups are discussing. they could be talking about the weekend, how they don't like my tie or the price of cheese, I can't tell. It is only when the groups feedback can I be sure if they have been talking about social marketing (and thankfully they all have - although I am sure other bits of conversation have also crept in!). We have also received some nice comments on people's Facebook pages about the workshops and how they have found them useful.
The workshops are part of a programme to support organisations in Finland to use social marketing. This has included translating our Big Pocket Guide into Finnish, which now makes it the fourth language the Guide has been translated into. Tomorrow I am speaking at the Child Welfare Congress and then hopefully I will be able to get a few hours to explore Helsinki before delivering the final workshop on Thursday and flying home.
Other social marketing and behaviour change blogs that we read: