Workshop Delivery

Element Descriptor

Even well designed workshops can be let down by delivery that is inflexible and does not engage participants, perhaps even excludes some. This is dispiriting for the individual’s (who may be able to sense this), and can test the patience of supporters. As workshops delivery might be viewed by some as a proxy for related skills such as public speaking, groups may lose trust and respected in other areas beyond workshops.

Level descriptors

NovicePractitionerExpertNinja
Gets all the basics right: starts and finishes at the agreed time, and manages to get through the agenda. Helps facilitate some connections. Carries out an evaluation and receives largely positive feedback.Delivers a successful workshop, even at short notice and with large or challenging groups. Able to think on feet, even when there are attempts to derail the schedule or another form of adversity strikes.Regularly delivers engaging and inclusive workshops, on a wide range of issues – some of them complex and sensitive. Comfortable delivering different styles and formats, as well as to different audience. Received positive feedback and sometimes asked to deliver workshops for other groups.New social movement organisations came into being through the connections facilitated at this ninja’s workshops. Much of their time is spent politely declining requests to run workshops. Accounts of or videos of their workshops are regularly shared and cited by others (‘were you there when…?’)

Element Overview Essay

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Causes of this being done badly?  I would say is pretty much identical to workshop design. Most people are crap at delivering workshops, because they’re not confident public speakers. They don’t know what the actual purpose of the workshop is for or the purpose of the workshop sucks because it’s to, you know, boost  the ego of the organiser and the host organisation.

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Right. And again, most people assume that as with facilitation and chairing that workshop delivery is you being the centre of attention all the time. Less is more 

So the consequences of bad workshop delivery, people are fed up, people walk away. They may not be able to articulate it. You know, it was about that crap workshop. But they do we decruit people through the crappiness of events. There’s a slow war of attrition going on. 

So what do you do about it? You think about times when you’ve seen someone deliver a really good workshop, you try and figure out what it was. You watch carefully at how people do little bits and pieces. Well, you end how they do them badly. You develop not just one style, but multiple styles that you can use in different settings with different groups. And of course, all of this is quite hypothetical because there’s every chance that until or until such time as we get a vaccine, the whole thing about workshops and meeting in enclosed spaces for prolonged periods of time with a bunch of partial or total strangers. Well, it just might not come back. 

Development Resources

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Assessment Resources