Engaging facilitators create experiences.
Why It Matters: Effective workshops are not a transfer of information. Workshop facilitators must create an experience for their audience, otherwise they are just concluding a live online class. Boring.
The following are some of my favorite strategies (hacks) for keeping audiences engaged in their facilitation.
1. Stress Them Out: Whenever I ask a question, I tell my audience that I am going to call on the first two volunteers and then call on someone randomly.
Why It Works: Rarely do call on someone randomly. People like to be in control. To avoid being called on randomly, they will volunteer so that you don’t call on them later.
2. Interrupt Them. Some audience members would rather be on stage than be in the audience. Get permission from the attendees to “intentionally interrupt” for the puroouses of time.
Why It Works: Rarely do you actually someone. When you give this direction, audiences members hear that they can’t be long winded in their responses.
3. Tease Them. Always have a backup activity in case time goes faster than you think, or if you need to fill more time.
Why It Works: You never have to stress about going undertime and your audience sees there is more to learn from you!
Final Thought: My facilitator mantra is I am the context, my audience is the content. I am there to create the environment where they can learn, not just from me, but from each other.
Final Laugh: When I taught middle school, my teaching mentor had this piece of advice: If you want to see the efficacy of a teacher, see how they react when there is a bee or flatulatce in the room.
If you want to watch the video expanding on this topic click the link below!