The important part of the workshop is the word ‘work’. The biggest mistake facilitators make is what I call ‘talk and gawk’. The facilitator talks and the audience just gawks and yawns. The key is to keep the ball in the court of the participant. To set up experiential exercises and then let them do the ‘work’ and if they want, to share their insights with others.
As a facilitator, there is no need to share your stories unless it is a bridge to the next topic. Workshop attendees are each different and you want them to do their own thinking and not be biased by one perspective – your story.
- So how do you get the most out of your workshop participants so they attain significant insights and new levels of understanding and ownership of who they are?
- How do you keep them involved and interested?
- How do you help them ground and own what they have learned?
- How do you set the stage so they want to come back for more self learning?
Below are some presentation tips for a successful workshop.
- Sharing: Advise the participants that they will not be required to share their personal experiences if they don’t wish to. Their written materials will be for their eyes only. This puts many participants at ease and invites them to go as deeply into their exercises as they can. Invite participants to ask questions throughout the workshop.
Confidentiality: Participants must feel confident that if they share something personal, the information will not get passed on to others outside of the session. Stipulate to all attending that what happens during the workshop is confidential so a safe place is created for people to explore new and deep experiences.
Time to complete: Invite participants to request a few extra minutes of exercise time if needed to capture important insights.
Go for depth: Invite participants to experience new dimensions of themselves. If you have created a safe and nurturing environment for them, your students will probably go deeper than they ever have before to uncover some great insights. The group energy often supports deeper connections.
Intention: Invite participants to set a clear and strong intention to connect deeply with their subconscious minds to achieve their objectives. Programming of the subconscious requires 3 things: clarity, authority and repetition. Give everyone time to silently but clearly, with authority, direct their subconscious minds to produce depth and insights from the workshop’s exercises. Have them repeat their intention silently to themselves 3 times
Journaling, writing and exercises are easier to facilitate because well over half the time participants are doing the work. This gives you time to connect with your notes and prepare for the next exercise. You do not have to memorize a 3 hour speech! So if needed you can review the speaker notes and put key words and highlights in your workbook so you only have one piece of material to refer to during your presentations.
These are just a few of the many presentation skills and tips needed for fun, creative and successful workshops. Explore our facilitation training program.
John Robson of higherawareness.com has for the last 15 years being supporting individuals in finding their uniqueness and training facilitators to share what they love to do.