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Contracting with Barry Sweeny to Train or Present at Your Site

PLEASE NOTE, this page provides information about trainings and presentations, not about Barry's consulting services.


Have other training or presentation needs? Let me know what they are.  I promise I will only accept work for which I can assure our mutual success.

Barry's Definitions for Training, Facilitation, and Presentations

Ask Barry to lead a TRAINING - When skill building is needed (training), not just knowledge, or when a product is to be produced (workshop), that's when training makes the most sense. He can either design the entire event himself, or he can work collaboratively with you to define the skills and products desired, define the agenda and any of the activities. Barry's 20+ years of experience leading trainings and workshops for teachers and administrators will ensure that you achieve your goals.

Ask Barry to FACILITATE a process -  Sometimes what is needed is for teachers and administrators to work through a process together. When that is the case, it's often much better for an external person to facilitate the process, in part to allow on-site leaders to contribute to the process as participants, and in part, to allow awkward questions to be raised and addressed. Something that is very hard for local internal leaders to do. Barry will work with you to determine the goals and desired results of the process, the best process to use to achieve those results, and other critical decisions. Then Barry will skillfully, respectfully, yet candidly and insightfully, lead the process for you.

This option is often combined with a consulting role. If you want Barry to facilitate a meeting for you, and you are NOT ALSO using him as a consultant, about the meeting you are planning.

Ask Barry to give a PRESENTATION - Sometimes, because of a lack of readiness in people or an organization, or other such factors, all that is appropriate at a given time is knowledge about or exposure to new ideas, processes or strategies. Sometimes, what you need is a celebration for reaching a milestone, an inspirational rationale for doing something differently, or a call for beginning a new initiative. In those cases, let Barry provide you with a presentation or keynote for your meeting or conference. Barry has provided just such inspirational keynotes for district, county, state, regional, and national conferences. Tell him your goals and ask him to help you in this way.

Who sets the contract's GOALS & event AGENDAS?

The real concern underlying this question is an issue of control. Barry believes that this issue should be expressed and negotiated openly so that your project runs smoothly, what you and your organization needs is effectively addressed, and the event's purposes are clear and accomplished. However, a part of that open negotiation should be discussion of what Barry needs as your partner in the process.

When Barry leads an EVENT FOR you, or works in a PROJECT WITH you, the answer to "Who sets the agenda?" can be negotiated along with the contract for the work. Usually, the answer to that question is that "A collaborative process is best". Both you and Barry have viewpoints to offer and needs to meet, so both should be involved in deciding these issues.

  • Concerning project GOALS, basically, it's your project and you should determine why the project is needed. Therefore, YOUR viewpoint will probably carry 90% of the weight in the decision. Barry only wishes for an opportunity to:
    • Ask clarifying questions about your goals
    • Provide you some feed back about your goals, (regarding clarity, measurability, his role, alignment, etc.)
    • To offer you alternative suggestions if these seem to be needed.
  • Concerning an event's AGENDA, there needs to be a more collaborative, 50% - 50% sharing of this responsibility.
    • YOU know things about the local setting and people that Barry does not, because he is "external".
    • YOU are concerned about the success of the event or project and have to live long-term with the results.
    • There are things that you might not have had the opportunity to learn, but which BARRY may know because he is a content expert and staff developer who works in dozens of different programs and settings each year.
    • As an external observer, BARRY may see things that you do not see.
    • BARRY's reputation & career depend on his success, so HE ALSO must live with the success of the project.

Here are some of the possibilities for resolving these issues. Please suggest to Barry what you would prefer.

1. OPTION #1 -

  • If you are an experienced staff developer, YOU can provide an agenda to Barry and specifically state what you want included.
  • If you are very well acquainted with Barry's work and "message", and...
  • If you have the data you need to assess participants' needs, Option #1 may be just what is needed.

In that case, you may already have a good idea of just how you want Barry to help you. If this is so, Barry will defer to your analysis of the data and your judgment about what is needed, and he will design his part of the project to meet your goals and follow your agenda.

2. OPTION #2 -

  • If you are not an experienced staff developer, or ...
  • If you are not very familiar with Barry's work and his "message"...

The best approach is generally to give Barry your goals for the project and to state the problems you foresee. Barry will generally ask for your own needs assessment data, or he will design a tool and ask your help in collecting such data. The last step in this option #2 is to trust the development of the agenda to Barry's experience. Of course, feel free to offer any ideas or concerns you have. Barry's purpose will be to ensure that YOUR goals are met.

3. OPTION #3 -

  • You can give Barry your goals for the project, state the problems you foresee, and give Barry your needs assessment data.
  • If you have no data, Barry may seek your help in collecting that data.
  • Then, Barry and you can work collaboratively to design the agenda for the project.
* YOUR own data and internal viewpoint ensure the event will address local needs.
* BARRY'S external viewpoint ensures that all options are considered and the best ones chosen, that awkward questions are appropriately addressed, and an external, more objective perspective is used to bring the message.

How do we get started?


  • The problems you want solved or addressed and the problems you foresee in the process.
  • The prior experience, knowledge, and professional development needs of the participants based on needs assessment data .
  • The goals for the process or event.
2. CALL OR EMAIL BARRY with the problem definition, needs assessment data, and event or process goals.
- If you do not have needs assessment data, Barry can help you or design by himself, a tool and process to collect it.

3. SUGGEST which of the three approaches listed above under "Who sets the agenda?" you feel should be used.

4. At this point Barry will ask some questions of you. Answering these will better define the agenda and Barry's role.

5. Negotiate the contract.

6. Follow the specifics in the contract which define your responsibilities for preparation for the process or event.

Click here for information about how to CONTACT Barry Sweeny.