Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly
Hosting workshops is a brilliant way to share new information, discuss concepts, and encourage social learning. Every workshop needs a brilliant facilitator who can ensure that every participant is on the same page. The facilitator also makes sure that the attendees pick up a new set of skills or learn more useful concepts after the workshop.
Anyone who has tried assuming the role of a workshop facilitator will say that it’s a hard job. If you are about to take on the responsibility of a workshop facilitator, you must learn essential tips and tricks such as defining the goals of the workshop and using the right type of visual.
Define the workshop’s goals
Every workshop needs to have smart and achievable goals. A lot of workshops fail because they do not have a clear set of goals. Before you start, you must determine what you want to achieve with the workshop. What do you want your audience to learn? How do you intend to meet your goals? By defining the goals and creating your execution plan, you can create a more concrete agenda, plus produce more helpful activities and workshop materials for the attendees.
Use the right visuals
There are various materials you can use for your visuals. You can place a pull up banner, customised tablecloths, event posters or event stands at the reception area to guide the attendees. For your presentation, make sure you keep your visuals clean and easy to understand. As much as possible, you must avoid over-decorating your presentation slides. Focus on the message of the presentation.
Listen and ask questions
It’s essential to encourage participation among the attendees because it’s the best way to develop collective thinking. As such, you must ask useful questions that will provoke the audience to share their opinion or practices. Aside from asking questions, you must also patiently listen to the answers. Listen to what the members of the crowd say. Collate their ideas and opinions and highlight the best responses.
Don’t forget your follow-up strategy
Workshops are created to achieve the goals of a company or group of attendees. For example, if you hosted a workshop to introduce new concepts to the attendees, you must devise a way to gauge their learning. You can create a short questionnaire or a brief test. Additionally, you must effectively wrap up the workshop and point out the key takeaways.
Other useful tips
Don’t focus the workshop on what you do or the skills that you have. As the workshop facilitator, it’s your job to ensure that members of the audience share their ideas and participate in the exercises. You must also try creating smaller groups, most especially during activities which require output. Some individuals are more comfortable discussing in small groups.
Are you ready to host your workshop? Don’t forget the tips enumerated above. Prepare your pull up banners, sign-up forms, workshop materials and other training necessities. Most importantly, you should ensure that you meet your goals at the end of the workshop.by