A workshop is an educational or informative session that focuses on learning specialized skills or studying a particular topic. Workshop presenters are usually educators, subject matter experts, directors, or other leaders who have knowledge of a particular topic or mastery of specific skills. Workshops may only last one or two hours or extend over weeks depending on the topic. Those responsible for facilitating the workshop can enhance the effectiveness of their presentations through good planning, organization, and through a good presentation exercise.
Part 1 of 3: Organize the workshop
Step 1. Define the objective of the workshop
Your workshop may aim to teach a practical skill such as creating and saving documents in a word processing application. You may aim to provide general information or to give advice on a specific subject, such as painting or creative writing. Whatever direction you choose, it is important to define the objective first.
Step 2. Determine the needs of the workshop participants
For example, when teaching a particular skill, understanding participants' needs with respect to skill level and pace of learning will help you deliver the appropriate content. The more you tailor the workshop to your audience, the more effective it will be.
Step 3. Develop a plan for the presentation of your workshop
- Make an introduction. Choose how you will present the topic, the participants and yourself.
- List the skills and / or topics you will develop. Make a detailed bulleted list. Include subheadings, if possible.
- Choose the order of the topics. Start the workshop with the most important skills or information. Given the topic of the workshop, it would be best to introduce and organize each topic starting with the simplest or easiest and ending with the most difficult or complex topic.
- Determine the ground rules for the workshop. It is a good idea to establish at the start of the workshop the rules or guidelines that imply that not everyone should speak at the same time, that you have to raise your hand to speak and turn off all phones. or devices that can distract.
- Decide how you are going to conclude the workshop. You can include an overview of the skills learned, announce the next program in a series of workshops and / or develop a feedback form for participants.
Step 4. Assign a duration to each point in the clip
Allow more time for very complicated topics or skills, in case participants are interested or have questions about these topics. It is also important to give participants the opportunity to go to the bathroom or stretch their legs.
Step 5. Practice presenting your workshop after you have finished making your plan
Rehearsal is an important part of the workshop preparation process. Present your information in advance to your colleagues, friends or relatives and ask them to give their thoughts on the clarity and effectiveness of your presentation.
Part 2 of 3: Create accompanying documents
Step 1. Prepare accompanying documents for the participants
Turn your presentation plan into an agenda and share it with attendees and / or prepare hard copies of important information or graphics.
Step 2. Use visual tools
Presentation tools, films, images and the like can be helpful in imparting concepts or particular skills. Instead, choose visual tools that complement your presentation and not those that will distract the audience from your message or the main objective.
Step 3. Use online tools if possible
Free open-source learning programs like Moodle and Blackboard can facilitate online discussions and postings outside of the workshop setting. These online tools are also a great way for participants to post assignments or exercises online. More information about open-source learning programs can be found here.
Part 3 of 3: Encourage participation in the workshop
Step 1. Prepare the room or space to encourage discussion
Arrange the chairs in a horseshoe or semicircle shape to facilitate conversation, and post the ground rules on a board or wall where all participants can see them. Provide an empty sheet that you will stick on the wall or on a board on which you will write the ideas for reflection and the notes taken during the workshop from the participants.
Step 2. Introduce interactive activities in your workshop
Activities or games can increase the level of participation and involvement of participants. Activities can be done in small or large groups. Here is a list of 100 possible activities that you can carry out during a workshop:
Step 3. Establish a question and answer session
Depending on the ground rules of the workshop, invite participants to ask questions during the workshop presentation or set aside time for this.
- Arrive early on the day of the workshop to get everything set up. This is especially important as you are using electronic equipment and other tools that require you to try and install them before the workshop begins. This final step also gives you the confidence that you have prepared yourself well to conduct an interesting and impactful workshop.
- Develop a back-up plan. Consider the problems that may arise such as reduced number of participants, equipment malfunction, or not meeting time for activities. Set up a back-up plan to remedy these problems. You could bring another laptop or prepare additional content for those who prefer to accelerate learning.