Practical ideas for facilitating workshops & people development

Having the opportunity to observe a workshop is a great chance to watch the energy levels of the room and think about how to manage this effectively.

I believe keeping the energy up is the facilitators responsibility. I like participants to leave at the end of the session fired up with energy instead of drained and tired.

Some tips for energy management

  • Let your passion for the topic show. Passion breeds energy which will flow into the group.
  • Move, have the room set so you can walk into the centre of the room
  • Use different mediums – flip charts, activities
  • Use power point as little as possible
  • Move people around for different activities encourage them work with a variety of people
  • Ask people to sit in a different spot in the room, next to someone else, after a break.
  • Think about attention spans – how long is yours? apply this to the group
  • Use your voice to express a point, tell as story.

Enthusiastic participants add energy to the room,use this to enthuse others and not to dominate.

Be aware of the after lunch flat spot – about 2pm. This is a good time to include an activity which includes moving as well as using our brains. Be careful of asking the group if they would like to do an activity at this time. As humans we often take the path of least resistance when feeling flat, our role is to motivate them to get their energy back.

When the participants are flat be aware that sitting with them (on the same level) may also affect your energy. You need to make a conscious effort to stand up and move around putting energy back oonto the group when participants are flat.

When workshops end mid afternoon its even more important to get through the afternoon flat spot with an activity. I want my particiants to leave on a high not on a low. They are more likely to encourage others to attend if they leave full of enthusiasm.

Please share your ideas as comments.

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