A workshop is appropriate when you need to find out solutions and brainstorm ideas with other people. You’re interested in their opinions and perceptions. As such, workshops are collaborative and dynamic. The ability to conduct a successful workshop is a crucial skill for anybody who plans to organise a seminar. The difference between a successful workshop and an ineffective one can be seen from the quality of ideas discussed, its interactivity, and whether the attendees felt they were given the opportunity to share their ideas.
Workshop facilitation is a skill that anybody can pick up. The trick is to capture the attention of your attendees. The more engaged they are, the better their concentration and participation in the seminar. Gaining the absolute engagement and concentration of your participants requires practice and experience. As such, there are a few measures you can adopt to make your workshops more interesting.
Are you ready to leave out those snore-provoking lectures, and get the full concentration of your workshop attendees?
To earn the full attention of participants, make sure you’re delivering useful content. To achieve this, send a pre-event questionnaire to the participants so they can identify topics or issues they would like to talk about. The feedback from your participants should shape your training content. On the day of the workshop, start by briefly outlining what delegates are going to study and how that acquired knowledge will help them realise their objectives.
Factor in different learning styles
Not everyone learns in the same way. Some are visual learners who fancy videos, diagrams, and pictures, while others prefer written or spoken words, or even physical exercises. To generate an all-encompassing learning environment, incorporate different teaching methods including visual presentations, interactive tasks, written handouts, and group work.
Many training rooms are typically laid out in a similar way involving rows of chairs and tables. Think creatively and come up with something different such as maybe providing standing podium tables, beanbags rather than chairs, or a few chairs surrounding every table to promote small groups. Of course, the choice of venue may also affect the concentration of the attendees. Choose a training room rental facility full of light and colour instead of an insipid, windowless training room.
If you want to keep the delegates focused, try tap into their competitive spirit. Riddles or puzzles, memory games, crosswords, and ordering tasks can help keep your delegates engaged and focused on the task at hand. For extra drama, add a time limit. Plus, incorporate a quick quiz after each content section, to help recap whatever that has been learned.
Make it dynamic
Studies reveal that when participants stand up in a discussion group, the session is more likely to be productive. Hire a venue with high ceilings and enough space for attendees to walk around. Provide your participants with pens and notepads so that they can jot down and collect their thoughts before articulating them.
Keep it brief
Lastly, do not overload your audience with information. If you do so, their brains will shut off and wander off elsewhere. Each session should not exceed more than two hours. If the training session runs over the course of the day, add many short breaks in between the sessions. This allows the participants to get up, move around, and take refreshments.
Workshop training is a lot more collaborative instead of one person teaching the others. The livelier, varied and fun your workshops are, the more focused your participants will be and thus learn more.