Practical ideas for facilitating workshops & people development

I believe it’s very important to finish on time and close the workshop – don’t let people drift off unsure of the end.

I have attended workshops with very enthusiastic presenters who just keep on going! One I recall missed afternoon tea completely and then half an hour after his closing time participants started to leave. Without a formal end there was no opportunity to reflect on learning’s, evaluate the workshop or celebrate the success.

The closing process begins with referring back to the “Expectations” flip chart you set up at the beginning of the session. Run through the list and check with participants to see if their expectations have been met.

This simple exercise helps them to reflect on what it was they were looking for at the beginning and also provides reflection for the group about the topics covered. It is the beginning of the closure process.

The benefits of closing the day

  • Provides time to reflect on learning’s
  • Pick up ideas for others as to their key learning’s
  • Facilitators gain a sense of what has been valuable to the group
  • You know the day has ended

Closing can take many forms and simply be a “closing comment” from each person. As a facilitator I like to know something people will take away so often ask “What is something you will now do differently?”

During the close I like to use the ball as I did at the beginning of the workshop, throwing the ball around the room randomly as people provide a closing comment. Make your closing comment the last one of the group so you can include your thankyou and reminder of any follow up activities.

If the workshop has included a lot of ‘sitting’ at tables standing in a circle is an effective way to change the dynamics at the end.

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