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Managing the Group > Handling Difficult Participants - Pg. 94

94 P RESENTATION S UCCESS : H OW TO P LAN , P REPARE , AND D ELIVER E FFECTIVE P RESENTATIONS Use Small Groups If the group is large, discussions and activities are more manageable in smaller break-out groups. Make sure each small group knows what questions it s addressing or activities it s completing. Set a time limit. When the time is up, ask each group to report its discussion or experience to the larger group. Respond Quickly to Distractions and Interruptions You can t predict such distractions or interruptions as a group of noisy latecomers, someone moving furniture around next door, a loud conversation at the back of the room, a power failure, or a bomb scare. But it s important to respond quickly to anything that draws people s attention for more than a moment or two. The way you respond depends on the nature of the distraction or interruption. For example: You might ignore one or two latecomers who slip in quietly. But you might need to stop for a moment to let a noisy group get settled. Usually the attention on the group will be enough to settle them down quickly. Two people whispering briefly at the back of the room won t be much of a distraction. But two or three people who are talking loudly or telling jokes need to be asked politely to stop.