Online workshops – HOOK training

Online workshops

If you've been finding Hook Your Audience useful and you would like to organise an online workshop for your team to further explore the topics covered in the book, please contact me to discuss possibilities.

Engaging, bite-sized professional development in your PJs

These intensive online workshops are intended for small groups who want to focus on some of the fundamental skills in delivering and creating interactive presentations. They have been designed to take account of the challenges associated with online training through their short duration (60 minutes) and mix of training methods:

  • trainer-led presentation segments to explain the key principles and techniques;
  • deconstruction of video examples of some of the ideas;
  • group interaction through questions and polls, including self-reflection questions;
  • Q&A session - with the group voting on the most popular questions to tackle;
  • identifying concrete actions to take to put these techniques into practice;
  • a reflective workbook for each participant to record their thoughts and progress as they implement these ideas after the workshop.


A survival guide for presenting to children

Public speaking is a common fear. Throw an audience of unpredictable toddlers, brutally honest primary school pupils or apathetic teenagers into the scenario and these fears can naturally escalate.

We'll consider strategies and techniques to manage your presentation nerves; and explore the hooks which work best to engage children of different ages in your research. Once armed with these insider tips from a 20-year pro, hopefully you'll quickly discover just how rewarding presenting to these audiences can be.

Public engagement

Community outreach

Unpacking your explanation toolkit

Explaining is something so fundamental to what we do that we sometimes take it for granted. During this session we'll unpack a practical toolkit of the most effective techniques to consider when explaining your research or content to the public.

We'll break each technique down into steps, discuss the types of idea it is best suited to explain and give examples. As we explain how to explain, there's a chance it may all become quite meta πŸ™‚

Public engagement

Community outreach

Visitor attractions and outreach

How to interact with your audience

No matter what type of presentation you are giving as an informal educator, audience interaction is one of the keys to keeping them in their seats. 

This workshop will discuss - the importance of playing with your audience; practical all-audience interaction techniques; asking and answering questions; and selecting and managing volunteers. There will be opportunities to ask questions and share your own interaction tips.

Visitor attractions and outreach

Scripting spontaneity

In this session we'll explore the tricky skill of how to write interactive presentations so they don't look like they've been written.

Topics we'll cover include - responsiveness versus deliberation; crafting your show structure; the spontaneity spectrum; scripting techniques; practice and rehearsal; show evolution; and training other educators to deliver the show.

Visitor attractions and outreach

As a trainer he is a great encourager, an underrated skill in Britain. In training new presenters he is good at finding people’s current level of ability and building them up from there.

Adam Love-Rogers
National Museum of Flight, National Museums Scotland

Training experience

Paul McCrory has over 20 years' experience in training both informal educators and researchers who engage the public. He has worked with museums, science centres, festivals, outreach organisations, universities, learned societies, businesses and charities.

Paul specialises in training educators to develop and deliver interactive presentations which captivate audiences of children, families or adults. The engagement approach he has developed is based on performance skills borrowed from the interactive performing arts, blended with an appreciation of the needs of educators and an understanding of the psychology of interest. His PhD research explored how science educators can create interest through their delivery.

Find out more about HOOK training and Paul McCrory.

Cost of the workshops

A 60 minute online workshop with a group of up to 25 people costs £245 + VAT. This includes preparation time to confirm the content with the person organising the booking and a providing a workbook for all participants.

I will invoice you after the workshop and you can pay by card online or by bank transfer. If your organisation requires a purchase order to be drawn up first, I can send you a quotation to facilitate this.


Will I be awake by the end of the session?

I know that online training has acquired a poor reputation recently. It can sometimes be a snooze-fest of text slides, tech glitches and embarrassing on-screen icebreakers. Also, it's become clear that many participants prefer not to learn in the glare of a camera, for a variety of reasons.

I firmly believe in the role considered online training (both live and self-paced) can play in a hybrid model alongside in-person training and other forms of ongoing professional development.

Despite my bold headline copy, however, I'm not claiming that I've got it cracked. Like most trainers experimenting with online delivery, these sessions are a work in progress. But in the unlikely event you do nod off at any point in these intensive workshops, at least you'll already be in your pyjamas πŸ™‚

Do I need to be on camera during the workshop?

No - I've designed these short workshops to operate without cameras.

I've struggled with launching live online training because even though I recognise the engagement value of participants being on camera for interactive activities in breakout rooms, I have been reluctant to require people to take part in these on-screen activities knowing how difficult some of them find this experience. So, it's taken me time to come up with a format that I hope is still engaging and provides some level of interactivity, but without making anyone feel uncomfortable or disadvantaging them.

Can you provide online workshops on other topics?

I have delivered face-to-face training in a wide range of engagement skills and many of these could be adapted for online delivery. However, this conversion can take time and I'm conscious of protecting my existing book and resource writing commitments. The best thing to do is to contact me to discuss it if you have a particular topic in mind.

Do you also offer in-person training and keynotes?

I had decided to reduce my business travel because of environmental and efficiency concerns before the pandemic.

Whilst I'm no longer promoting in-person speaking or training on my website, if you are especially interested in live events (once they are safe to organise), you can enquire about this possibility. I will consider each request on an individual basis in terms of the impact I feel I can make with your group against time and environmental factors. Please don't be offended, however, if I am not able to accept your invitation.

HOOK training