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Penny PullanMaking workshops work by Dr Penny Pullan is a guide for turning the “Can you set up an workshop?” comment into a full-fledged, useful session for everyone.
It includes both in-person and virtual workshops. We used to advise people to have everyone dialling in or in-person, but that no longer works.
The book begins with a quick start guide that will help you determine what you need to do in each situation. This was a great way to find the right ideas for you, rather than having to read the entire book.
How to manage nerves
The book encourages readers to examine their own workshop facilitation style. This includes the way they present themselves, the words they use, and how they frame the interactions.
It includes competencies for facilitation as well as a section that addresses all your concerns.
The author addresses, for example:
How to manage stress (on your side, if you are nervous about running a session).
How to deal effectively with large groups
How to manage when there isn’t enough energy in the room
How to direct the conversation when there is power differentials and delegates won’t start (or stop speaking).
There are many other topics: conflict, culture, poor quality audio… it all is here.
Getting actions done
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably run workshops and facilitated sessions in the past… and then struggled with getting people to do anything.
Making Workshops Work contains a section about how to ensure that this doesn’t happen. The author discusses why actions don’t happen and how to make them happen. The author also offers tips for virtual workshops.
Learning by doing
There is a limit to the distance you can read. To get the experience, you have to be there and run some workshops.
The book ends with three stories about people who have done exactly that and survived. You will find the theory and step by step guide to leading workshops and real examples of what people have done.
There are many stories, anecdotes, and examples that bring the concepts to life.
My final thoughts
The book is perfect for nervous workshop leaders, as it takes you by your hand and shows you how to increase your confidence through effective planning.
It also has plenty of content for experienced facilitators. If that’s you, the section on choosing activities to make the most of the experience for everyone will be of interest.
This book has many ideas to engage your participants in small group sessions or facilitate larger groups. This book is the perfect choice for today’s times, as it recognizes the importance of virtual, in-person and hybrid strategies and shares them all. The book is filled with inspiring stories of workshop success and horror stories. You’ll leave the book feeling more confident and competent in running your own sessions.
Making Workshops Work: Creative collaboration for our timesPS9.99 This book is the perfect one for our times, as it recognizes the importance of virtual and in-person strategies and shares them all. The book is filled with inspiring stories of workshop success and horror stories. You’ll leave the book feeling more confident and competent in running your own sessions.
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