Make your workshop start with Wow!
And I mean before your workshop even starts. What’s the atmosphere you want to create as your participants walk into the room? ….I want them to think “Wow this looks interesting I’m glad I made the effort to be here.”
Welcome your participants individually as they arrive. I love a quote by Robyn Henderson of Networking to Win – “If you are the host treate your guests how you would like to be hosted.”
How would you like to be welcomed as you arrive? By a facilitator who is aloof at the front of the room, someone who distances themselves as the expert, someone who is flat out getting organised for the event?
We have alll been the participant walking into a room for a workshops where we didn’t know anyone… how would you like to be treated? how would you like to feel? What would you like to see?
I like a friendly warm welcome so participants feel comfortable and at ease … here are some tips
- Be organised! By the time your first participant walks in the room should be set up ready to roll.
- Have a welcome on your flip chart or Power point slide – that way people know they are in the right place.
- Greet each paticipant as they walk in – shake their hand … might seem like I’m stating the obvious, however, from experience it doesn’t always happen.
- Have name tags ready … this makes life much easier for you, not only to introduce participants to each other, but also if you are like me remembering names is not a strong point.
- Introduce the participants to each other, if there is a conversation happening in the room , provide the new person with a lead into the conversation.
- Some facilitators like to use music before the workshop and in breaks.. this can be effective, however think about appropriateness of the music and importantly the volume.
Finally …Wow! Thanks for all the great comments. You have all provided lots of topics for discussion and I’m really looking forward to tackling them over the next few weeks.
Send in your burning questions and comments …