Workshop ninja – a great way to START

9th July 2019

A workshop’s first 10 minutes are critical. Win them then, and you’ve got them all day. Lose them, and you’ll never recover.

Here’s a great way to nail that start:

  1. Explain briefly why they’ll be better-off afterwards. So not “Today we’re learning about Excel. We’ll cover X, Y and Z”. Instead “Today, I’ll show you how to save at least 2-3 hours every week. We’ll do that by mastering Excel, including how to X, Y and Z”
  2. Put delegates in pairs, and ask them to agree what they want to learn today. This is a low-pressure way to get everyone talking
  3. Ask everyone three questions. ‘What’s your name? Are you pleased you’re here today, or have you been sent? What do you want from the day?’

Why these three?

Well, the first one is easy! The second gets a laugh, which can help stop the “I’ve been sent brigade” sulking about being there. And the third asks them to share what they’ve just agreed in pairs. Write their answers to this on a flipchart.

So, after 10 minutes, they see the benefits, have all spoken, and all agree on the day’s outcomes.

And, because you’ve won them then, the day should go well!

Action Point

Next workshop, start like this. See if it gets you a better response. If it does, keep going!

And for more tips on how to master this, and other critical techniques, there are hundreds more here:

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