Best Work Yet | Susan Gregory

How to start a great workshop

I admit it: when I participate in training, I’m judging right from the start whether I’ll enjoy it and get value. At Best Work Yet, it’s our job as facilitators to put people at ease from the moment they walk through the door. This helps them get engaged and sets us up for a successful session.

Here are our tips to start off leading a great workshop:

Before participants arrive…

Get there early and set the room up. Have a slide, sign or flipchart with the name of your session, so people know immediately that they’re in the right place. Have music playing; the silence has already been broken, so people feel more comfortable to speak to each other.

As participants arrive…

When people arrive at the workshop, they don’t quite know what to expect, other than what they’ve read about the content.  For example, though we rarely have assigned seating in a workshop, people will be unsure if they can choose their own seat when they arrive. Put people at ease by letting them know where they can sit.  Introduce them to others, invite them to have a coffee.  This will help you create a friendly vibe before you get started.

Starting the session…

By now, you’ve already set the scene for a great session.   Kick things off energetically. Stand at the front of the room, project your voice and make eye contact with people.  Describe your enthusiasm for what you’re leading. Let people know what to expect in the session, how they’ll benefit and any logistics.

After a short introduction, get the group involved in an icebreaker or a discussion in small groups about what they want from the session. This will engage people right off the bat and raise the energy at the start of your session.

With a strong start like this, people feel comfortable, engaged and ready to learn.  For more on leading a great session, check out our Train the Trainer session on our workshops page.

Categories: Courses,Our Approach.

Leave a Reply