How to Prepare to Facilitate a Workshop

How to Prepare to Facilitate a Workshop
Elia Mörling

Elia Mörling

4 Tips to help you prepare for success.

Tip #1 Invite a Diverse Group of Participants

A workshop facilitator is only as good as their ability to lead a workshop and produce results.  Before you even get to the actual facilitation aspect of the workshop, it’s important to invite a group of people from different backgrounds and parts of the organization.  These team members will approach the problem or topic of the workshop from different angles, and apply different skill sets, and knowledge.

For example, a customer service representative will have a very different relationship with the product from an engineer that designs and builds it.  Idea Hunt makes it easy to invite these participants and engage them, even when they cannot be in the same room.

Tip #2 Educate your Participants

Before the workshop, and then again at the beginning of the workshop, it is imperative that your participants have a clear understanding of the problem, the goal and the process of achieving the goal.  WIthout this, time will be wasted, and the efficacy of future workshops possibly diluted.

Since this is such a key aspect of how to facilitate a workshop, be sure to include it in the workshop invitation, and at the beginning of the workshop. Our free workshop app provides facilitators with opportunity to frame out these parameters at the beginning of each event.

Tip #3 Develop the Workshop

Whether you are doing all of the work yourself, or leveraging our easy to use app, this is a key step.  Planning out the different phases or parts of the workshop will help you make sure to keep the actual event moving and use time effectively, achieving your goal before the end of the time allotted.

There a few different ways to make sure that your workshop has all of the vital phases in order to be successful.  One is to work with an organization or professional coach who can help to craft the perfect workshop. This method is often highly successful but it also has a higher price tag associated with it.  You can find free templates for different types of workshops available online and customize them to your needs. These take a bit of the work off of your hands as they help to guide you, but these are often not complete.  

In the coming days, Idea Hunt will be launching a new tool that will revolutionize the way we facilitate workshops, complete with multistep templates.  Stay tuned for more information.

Tip #4 Use Visuals

Visuals not only help convey what you are trying to explain during the various parts of the workshop, but they help you keep the attention of your participants; effectively engaging them and getting better results.

Idea Hunt uses a dual screen approach in our app: The facilitator has control of a large presentation screen that changes and displays different information for each part of the workshop, while the participants use their smart devices to access a URL that displays additional information, instructions, or prompts for them to take action.

If you’re creating your own framework, consider using visuals during your presentation to help participants recognize the end or beginning of a phase, the action desired of them, and more.  It will help to reinforce the verbal communication. In large or distributed workshops this is even more important.



 

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