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Hello factlitators, I've had the privilege of delivering numerous speeches in the past, and I'm currently seeking more advanced tips on how to remember my lines for an upcoming speaking engagement. While I typically prepare extensively, I still struggle with forgetting certain points during the delivery. Therefore, I'm seeking the guidance of this knowledgeable community for any tried and tested techniques to help me deliver an exceptional speech. Thank you in advance for your expertise and insights!
I have yet to deliver an exceptional speech, but I do frequently teach classes, usually without notes now. I have mixed feelings about 'learning lines.' I did theatre for quite a few years when I was younger and I wasn't good at remembering lines (I would miss something crucial). Practice so that you are comfortable seems to be the most common advice. Work on each sentence so you know the nuances in how you deliver it, and what your body needs to be saying. I think telling a story/stories will help as we are natural storytellers, and that is what our brain understands and out audiences connect with. Steve Jobs is renowned for his exceptional speeches, but there many days/weeks of practice (multiple times a day) to reach what seemed like natural delivery, perfectly made. And here is an example of a TED Talk speaker who has what seems to be a very relaxed conversational delivery (https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_my_stroke_of_insight?language=en ), but apparently practiced this over 200 times before delivering it.
In any meeting or workshop, I always start with some kind of activity to engaje people within each other and with the theme of the event. My favorite is Blind Portrait: a game where, in pairs, people try to draw each others faces, but without looking at the paper! That way, anyone can make a drawing full of character and surprises. In the end, each person have to choose their favorite drawing and introduce themselves with that! What about you?
@Scott Fry : some students (I use this a lot in my teaching) are dumbfounded and as this is so outside of their comfort zone, but most embrace it and there is a lot of laughter.
@Santina Burakiewicz Carlson : Enjoy. It isn't original to me. I learned this one from Duncan Wardle (ex-Disney VP). And you can create interview prompts appropriate to your audience.
Hello Facilitators👋 I'm really curious about where everyone is from. I'd love to make this a mega post where we can see how diverse the Facilitator Club community is. Who knows, you might find a lot more people in your area than you thought! Once I have lots of answers on this post, I want to make a nice graph!
Welcome to the community @Honey Kachhela . We have quite a few from India here. Look forward to your contributions
@Frederik Martens : hello and welcome.
Hey there! 👋 Facilitator Club is THE community for Facilitators or those who want to learn the skill of facilitation, where you can… ✅ Talk about facilitation and workshops (like the Design Sprint!) ✅ Talk about facilitation careers and how to build one (and make $$$ as a Facilitator!) ✅ Share workshop/facilitation insights, experiences, and resources ✅ Ask the AJ&Smart team questions about facilitation & workshops! This document contains important information about getting the most out of this community, so please read through everything before you get started! 👇👇👇 💃 How to get the most out of the Facilitator Club community 🕺 Really happy to have you here, hope you love the community as much as we do! Lots of love, The AJ&Smart team 💛
@Johnny Jon Jon : welcome. Feel free to ask questions and contribute
@Sunjay Dwivedi : welcome.
Hi everyone! As someone from an education background, I found observations incredibly useful to be able to see what I've learned in action, and it got me wondering whether observing a workshop or facilitation session is a thing. Is it a done thing? I know it's something I'd massively benefit from, and would love an opportunity to see a facilitator in action in order to tie things together visually. I'd love thoughts from experienced facilitators who pivoted into facilitation from another industry/career path.
Sure.... it is a 'thing,' but I wouldn't spend too much time as an observer. You want to 'get your hands dirty' and some experience doing and practicing. Everyone has their own style, and you want to find your style. I was asked recently why I didn't have an assistant for a training workshop I was doing here in Vietnam... with the perception that not having an assistant diminished my appearance of being professional. It hadn't occurred to me that I might need one, or what I would do with one. Coming out of education, I was used to doing everything myself.
@LaYinka Sanni :... I'm probably an 'active procrastinator.' It is good you have set yourself a limit on the observing. I suggest you look for not-for-profits or community groups as a starting place to do some facilitation, possible pro bono or for a small fee. And get testimonials from them that you can then use in your marketing.
I purchased these about a year ago. Anyone else use these to map out their workshops? If so, what do you think of them?
@John Fuller : your thoughts on the Storyteller version? What was your experience? How useful is it?
@Shannon Wagers ... maybe like too many books? Though I can't understand how it is possible to have too many books 🤣
Hello facilitators! I'm looking for recommendations on improving speaking and communication skills, which I believe are essential to any job and especially to facilitation. In particular, I'm interested in learning: - How to make interventions concise and clear - How to engage the audience and make a lasting impression - How to discern the appropriate timing for interventions particularly in meeting/workshop settings. Any tips or resources you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
First thing that comes to mind is: join Toastmasters International. There is likely a chapter close to you. And find a group working in improvisation. This will help you think on your feet. Making interventions concise and clear... this is something I struggle with as I will often think aloud, and can be overly verbose. My suggestion is thinking of possible questions, situations, and places where instruction or intervention may be necessary and rehearse ahead of time how you might respond to it. Engaging the audience... there is no one formula for this. Just be you... be authentic and be present. Discerning appropriate time for interventions... something from coaching (and teaching), whenever you think you need to intervene... wait. Allow a moment to pass first to either allow something to develop, or to gain clarity on how you need to intervene.
@Tomoo Okubo : Toastmasters International is a place where you will get to practice in a supportive environment AND get feedback on your practice.
Hi everyone. I've just signed up for Workshopper and I'm really looking forward to being part of this community! I have a content marketing business [3.5 years in after being in the agency world for nearly 20 years] and I think Facilitation will help me develop a programme that helps employers create authentic and affordable content that helps them attract and retain talent.
Welcome @Chris Le'cand-Harwood . I'm curious to learn how you plan to use facilitation to assist with getting employers to create authentic and affordable content. Tell us more (and pick up some points in the process).
Recently I've been reflecting on how much time we spend setting the scene for a workshop. Most facilitators are very intentional about making sure everyone is on the same page about why they are there, and we work hard to ensure people feel safe and comfortable to engage. However, when it comes to the end of the workshop, it often wraps up in a hurry. There might be an action list created, perhaps a quick whip-around to see how people are feeling, but I'm not convinced that the wrap-up is always given the time (and energy) it really needs to be done well. (And for the record...I'm reflecting on my own practice here...maybe I should replace 'we' with 'me'.) I'm keen to hear how others wrap-up their sessions. Are there specific exercises you use to bring things to a close and encourage next steps are actually taken? I've got a few tried and true methods I use, but I'm keen to give it more focus.
@Kerri Price : I fully understand this approach. Still working out the happy medium and best way to approach it, and possibly it is to have a group check-in with the option for individual coaching if desired. Having some of these discussions with a Vietnamese client at the moment.
@Kerri Price : my latest training workshop (last week) my client has requested for a group coaching session (or two, given the number of participants) be added, and so I included a challenge for the participants for them to work on as a vehicle for discussion in the followup coaching session.
When everyone is on the same page about a way forward, it's easy to think we've done our job as a facilitator. That's certainly the end result we're looking for, after all. The problem is, if we get there too quickly, there's every chance there's been things left unsaid--or unexplored. 💭 Group-think may make finding consensus easy, but it doesn’t necessarily bring the best ideas or solutions. If you’re working with a group that is ALWAYS in agreement, try posing this question: “𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗿𝗴𝘂𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵, 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲?” 💥 Forcing a different argument is a great way to unearth new possibilities.
As mentioned earlier, individual work prior to the group work may help in a wider range of perspectives. I would add to that time for incubation of the ideas. And a variation on arguing for the opposite approach, "what is the worst possible idea...?" followed by additional brainstorming.
@Shannon Wagers : Yes.
Hi everyone! Just thought to see if there are any coaches in this group - I think it'd be nice to feel connected! As someone who's passionate in both coaching and facilitation, I see a lot of link between the two skills - especially listening, partnering, asking questions and reflecting back. Does anyone else find the two skills linked? A bit about me: I did my coach training with Damian Goldvarg and I'm on my way to get accredited as Associate Certified Coach by ICF this year. Would love to connect with other coaches here!
I am also trained and accredited as a coach, both individual (ACC - ICF) and team (ITCA - Practitioner - EMCC). I wear many hats with university lecturer still kinda my day job, and the coaching coming out of my teaching originally. Facilitation is more recent in wanting to tap into the non-academic market, and I now use facilitation techniques as part of my teaching. There are similarities, but also quite clear differences between facilitation and team coaching. I'm attaching to this a document that sets out how ICF sees the differences between the modalities. Facilitation is on the other end of the spectrum from Coaching. All the best as you accumulate coaching hours towards your ACC.
@Renko P. "... I have a lot more to learn." If you seek training through a training programme that is certified/recognised by one of the major coaching bodies (ICF, EMCC), then you will both learn a lot and be on the pathway to being credentialed. You can start tracking hours towards credentialling at the time you start training in an approved programme. I took a long time to be credentialed as an individual coach through ICF between the training and finishing the requirements (about 7 years) because it isn't a core part of what I offer and one of a number of tools in my toolkit. However, I have a corporate client who didn't want to give me any coaching assignments until I was credentialed. At the university I teach at, I also could not be one of their internal coaches until I was credentialled. For an organisation, it is a marker of quality and that you are likely to act in an ethical way. If you target client are individuals, the credentialing is probably not as necessary. Track record and results are what are important, though it may be useful while you are still building up a track record. If you are looking to become a team coach (a growing area), get some experience as an individual coach first. Team coaching is significantly more complex.
Sometimes when people hear the word 'icebreaker' they cringe or might feel super anxious about taking part in one. Yes, icebreakers can make you feel a bit awkward initially, but they are proven to help enhance relationships and encourage creativity. 'Icebreakers can help increase team bonds, boost performance and creativity'—Harvard Business School study Integrating icebreakers into your workshops or meetings is a great way to get everyone relaxed and ready to participate. But how do you choose the right ones so that you avoid those dreaded awkward silences? Here are my Top 2 Icebreakers that are easy to implement (in-person or online): 1. My First Job Ask everyone in the group to write down their name, their first job, and what they learned from that job. Then go round the group and have everybody read theirs out. 2. Pointless Questions Prepare a few fun questions ahead of the workshop, then go round the room and have everybody take turns answering the questions. It’s as simple as that—you don’t even need to write anything down! Here are some question suggestions to get you started: - If you could invite a celebrity over for dinner, who would it be and why? - What is your most prized possession and why? - You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life. What do you choose? Here are some more icebreakers for you to explore! What's another great icebreaker that I can add to my list?
@Johannes Berner : some wonderful ideas here. I didn't know about any of them. Firework of associations sounds like it is an improv game. And I'm thinking about applications for the emotional monster cards.
@Rob Stevens : I like this. Need to remember it for the future.
One of the great things about what we do is you can do it as an employee or go out and become your own company. Whilst the later comes with amazing benefits there are a lot of areas that need to be considers… Like - What does it take to set myself up as a business or do I just contract in. - If I am setting myself up as a business am I a sole trader.. registering by business - Defining your purpose and setting clear goals yearly, quarterly - Defining your target customers, products, services and financials. Whilst this is a passion space for a lot of us, you still need to understand your revenue needs. - Branding and marketing - What do you need to set yourself up… physically, technology - Contracts for engagements - How to build a pipeline, managing you customer base Making sure you get work life balance! Would be interested in hearing and learning from each other on what made sense for you and what you would like to share with the rest of the community…
@Murray Cowan : yes. Buying processes (and the time involved) is important to understand. I'm finding it is a long slow process when starting out.
@Paola Varhen : See if you can find someone experienced to co-facilitate a sprint with... or even inexperienced but with knowledge if you can't find someone experienced. This will help build your confidence. And maybe find a community organisation or NGO to run one on a pro-bono basis to again give you some experience and build your confidence. Confession: I've done the Design Sprint course but never run one myself... yet. And my preference would be to do it with someone who knows what they are doing when I get to that point.
Howdy! For those of you here who are freelance facilitators, I have two questions: - What's been the most effective method of getting clients? - What kinds of workshops/sessions do you sell the most? I'll go first: - What's been the most effective method of getting clients? --> Creating Youtube content - What kinds of workshops/sessions do you sell the most? --> Innovation Workshops Cheers, Jonathan
Limited experience in this area as I use most of my facilitation skills within a university teaching content, but thus far it has been word-of-mouth and introduction. I am constantly been nagged that I need to start putting out LinkedIn content on a regular basis. Most of my focus (thus far) as been in my creativity and improvisation workshops.
What are some of the best certification courses (internationally accredited) for Facilitators ? I see there are lot of International Coaching related, but specifically to be recognised as facilitator what do you recommend? Also, mention the benefits if you really feel it's mandatory to take it up for persuing full time career or bring you great credibility.
@Mansi Patel : if you are looking for credentials, take a look at what is recognised locally as well. From the coaching arena (which is quite different from facilitation), in North America ICF-based credentials are well-recognised, whilst hardly anyone knows EMCC, which is European-based.
I'm a bit all over the place when it comes to getting things done. I do my best work in short bursts of high-energy sprints. The rest of the time I’m resting, consuming interesting content, and thinking about what I want to do next. This is exactly what I’m doing right now after completing an intense film shoot for a new online course we’ll be releasing soon. My time is split into 80% ‘rest and consume’ mode and 20% ‘produce and execute’ mode (which is kind of perfect for facilitation I think). One of the greatest thinkers of our time, Naval Ravikant has come to the same conclusion when it comes to working. He calls it “Working like a Lion”. He says: “The way people tend to work most effectively, especially in knowledge work, is to sprint as hard as they can while they feel inspired to work, and then rest. They take long breaks. It’s more like a lion hunting and less like a marathoner running. You sprint and then you rest. You reassess and then you try again. You end up building a marathon of sprints. Don’t work like a cow grazing on the field all day.” Source: https://nav.al/work-hard So work hard, then rest hard instead of trying to sustain a constant “mid-level” state. Or... don't! I don't know, that's just my brain! Cheers, Jonathan P.S. I also liked this video on living a chaotic life: https://youtu.be/A2sS00egAzg
@Anders Rønnau : but, was he really 'slacking off' for 13 days, or was the masterpiece incubating over the time period? Does productivity have to be performative?
@Jonathan Courtney :... so, 'lazy' only 80% of the time instead of 90% 😉🤣
Hi everyone 🤝 👋! My name is Donatella, I have transitioned from a previous expat career as a Public Relations director in multinational companies to full time certified facilitator on the topic of community design, helping teams in organisations and citizens transform into communities that face change together. I am super excited to be there, AJ&Smart training and school when I first started were essential for getting a new profession out in the world, and do it with confidence and fun 🔥. When this community was born it was like they read my mind! I am really excited to exchange practices, connect and collaborate together with you. I am convinced facilitating is what the world needs right now, and I am determined to not make it a solitary pursuit anymore. Looking forward !
Welcome @Donatella Caggiano . We look forward to your contributions, questions, and general discussion. It is a friendly community here.
Hello Folks! Wonder if you have an suggesttions. 50 teens. Approx 20 mins. Exercise to illustrate our resistance to change! Any suggestions? I look forward to hearing from you......
@Kerri Price : the crossing of arms activity was the first thing that came to mind on this... and you beat me to it 😂. Though, don't need 20 minutes for this one.
Hey all! Very excited to be here in the Facilitators Club. Makes me happy to see already so many people from the Workshopper Master Community but also a lot of new faces who are interested in facilitation! I have a background in architecture and am located in Belgium. Interested in anything that has to do with facilitation, architecture, our behavior in buildings, workplaces and how that affects our mental health, productivity, collaboration and so on. Currently doing more research about it so if you know any podcasts, articles, books, people, ANYTHING 😂 please let me know! PS: I'm also a beauty and the beast fan and I can sing every word to 'Be Our Guest', but only in Dutch (with facial expressions). Working on the English version at the moment. Take care and I'll see you around!
Welcome to the community @Katrien Schepers . The role of space/environment in collaboration, learning, and facilitation is a rich area, and one I have an interest in. If you are doing some research into the area, take a look at 'environmental psychology' (it is an academic sub-area). A book you might find interesting by Donald Rattner (an architect) is "My Creative Space: How to Design Your Home to Stimulate Ideas and Spark Innovation" (2019). It is focused on the home environment, but I believe he is working on a book on the work environment as well. He has been a guest on a number of podcasts. Donald is the one who pointed me to the scholarly research on environmental psychology.
I have started the Design Sprint Master Class. So far so good. However, the company I facilitate for and will NEVER go for a 4 or 5 day Sprint. What is your approach for putting together a one day workshop, say that is 7 or 8 hours long?
I try to avoid 7-8 hour workshops if possible. Allowing space for incubation and ideas to emerge is valuable. And you often aren't getting the best from people at the end of 7 or 8 hours. Are you at least able to break it into two half days? And then take the ideas that @Shannon Wagers shared above into the 2 half day format. Giving space for the subconscious to work will pay dividends in spreading it over two days.
Hello everyone! My name is Jason and I am an expat 🇺🇸 living and working in Beijing, China. I work in a private school, but also 'moonlight' as a workshop facilitator 🕝. I have organized and run a few 'design sprints' 🏃♂️ within the context of senior leadership in schools. Most of the time our topics are about 'community optics' or 'curriculum'. However, as a 'design' educator I use sprints with students as well. Cannot wait to connect and collaborate! 🤝 I also created and host a podcast all about the 'design' of education if anyone is interested then please give me a shout! And happy year of the rabbit!
Welcome to the community @Jason Reagin . As you can see it is a friendly group. I spent many years in Hong Kong around the turn of the century. And I am very much interested in the 'design of transformative learning experiences,' though I'm not a design educator.
Hi everyone, I saw that a lot of you are not only Facilitators but also Trainers and was looking for an exercise recommendation. I am looking for workshop exercises for a hands-on practice session for a (sales) team to practice asking a set of pre-defined questions. For context: - We ran a workshop on "what are the right questions to ask" during a qualification (similar to BANT in case someone is familiar) - We compiled a list of questions (not a word-by-word script) based on that workshop (with dot voting) - We would now like to practice asking these suggested questions (no strict order, no fixed script) , so the team feels more comfortable with them - We are looking for exercises that go beyond the usual roleplay or analyzing a call recording. It can be experimental and out of the box - 4-8 participants per group around 45 mins I understand this is not a pure facilitation question. But I feel a creative facilitator mindset could help with coming up with something fun and engaging. What would you suggest to do?
@Shannon Wagers : I have a very student-centred 'teaching' approach that is very much discovery-based where I come in at the end to fill in the gaps in knowledge. My students have commented that my classes are more like workshops than their conventional lectures (I do as little lecturing as possible).
@Renko P. : you are welcome. And all the best. I enjoy creating this kind of thing
Hello! I am excited to be a part of the community of Facilitators. Just joined today!
Welcome @Janet Tarr . Feel free to ask questions and contribute. It is a friendly group in here. Where are you based?
@Shannon Wagers ... multi-talented 😂
Hey guys I wanted to ask you : what’s your key(s)to growth personally or professionally ? Can’t wait for your answers 😁
I'm with @LaYinka Sanni on curiosity. I'm constantly dabbling in other things, buying books (that then sit waiting to be read), purchasing courses (that then take a couple of years for me to finish). If I am being intentional, having a coach to hold me accountable and challenge me is also valuable.
Just wanted to say hello and say that I am grateful to be a part of this community!
Welcome @Pernell Horton . Where-abouts are you based?
@Pernell Horton : ahhh.... I did my MFA at Ohio University in Athens many years ago (about 30). Am in Vietnam at the moment, but when I'm not in Vietnam I'm based in Vancouver, Canada.
Hi all! My name is Caterina a.k.a. Cat (pronouns: she/her) and really excited to connect with fellow facilitators! I just joined AJ&Smart's Workshopper Master program and am already blown away by how this is going to amplify my skills and offerings. And I'm excited to continue sharing with and learning from you all in this community as well. In my full-time role, I'm a national program director and facilitator for anti-bias and DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) education programs across the US. I'll soon be shifting roles to lead change management. In my side hustle that I'm launching this year, I'm a DEI facilitator, consultant & speaker that focuses on shifting org culture through systems work, strategic planning & mapping, and change management. I've been facilitating for a few years now and absolutely love it, so I'm excited to have found this community. I'm originally from Dominican Republic and currently based out of Orlando, FL in USA with my partner and two Golden Retrievers. Big foodie and cook over here, so I'm always happy to talk food and recipes. Excited to get to know folks here, and happy to connect: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caterinamrodriguez/
Welcome @Caterina Rodriguez . Some of us joined the community a bit later. Look forward to your contributions in here.
Hi, I'm Isabella. I'm from Colombia and living in Chicago. In university I did Graphic Design, mostly interested in illustration, packaging (and surprisingly to me at that time - I was seriously thinking I wouldn't like it) UX/UI. I first learned about facilitation and workshops when I graduated and was very lost and unsure on how to go forward. I found it so fun and interesting, but to be honest it took me two more years before I decided to give it a shot. Now, I recently did the Design Sprint Masterclass and I'm excited to start workshopping!
Hey Y'all. Looking forward to sharing and learning in this club.
During workshops, Sometimes i experience a sense of losing control over the process / participants. I'm interested in hearing about how you handle such a situation.
... what do you mean "...losing control"? Should we be controlling the participants? Or are you concerned that the direction of the workshop isn't going the way you had planned or expected?
Hello community. I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina. My training is eclectic, I have a degree in international trade; Actor; Mago and for a few years I have been training in topics such as Innovation, Agile Methodologies, design thinking and I am studying the career of ontological coach. My interest in becoming a facilitator and generating networks. My weakness is that I don't have a very good command of the English language, but I always find alternatives to understand. I read the book SPRINT by Jake Knapp (in Spanish...) and I am open to talks in Spanish. Thank you so much
Welcome to the community @Germán Suarez . Feel free to weave Spanish into your posts as well. I'm sure there are Spanish speakers here.
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Vancouver, Canada + Vietnam
Creativity Alchemist. Unleashing creativity, empowering innovation, and creating transformative cultures to nurture creativity and innovation
Member since Jan 21, 2023
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