Make sure they’ll be able to hear you. This means showing up early and doing a sound check, especially if you’re working in a large room and using amplified sound. Have someone sit in different places in the auditorium/gym/conference room to make sure you can be heard from everywhere.
Make sure they’ll be able to see the screen and hear the video (if you’re using either). If you decide to show videos of me leading certain exercises--feel free to do so--or if you’ve put together a Powerpoint of your own, test video and audio during your soundcheck. Make sure lights can be dim enough that students can see the screen, but bright enough that they can see what they’re writing.
Make sure they’ll be able to see you. Again, this may seem basic, but I was once halfway through a workshop before a student let me know he couldn’t see me. Oops.
One great way to resolve some of the issues named above: Once students show up, have everyone move in and sit in the first few rows. Makes the whole experience more intimate.
Make sure you’ve got enough copies of the right handouts printed out.
- Important: If all your students are working from laptops, you won’t need to print the full PDFs. They’ll only need a blank sheet of paper for the Feelings and Needs Exercise (I explain in Lesson 2.1 why this exercise is best handwritten). You might also consider printing Page 1 of the Values Exercise, as some students like to mark this page up.
- But if you do decide to use handouts, make sure they’re ready when students walk in. I can’t tell you how many workshops have been slowed down because we didn’t have enough handouts, or the right ones. Learn from my mistakes.
- As a reminder, you can download printable PDFs for the 1-Hr, 2-Hr, and 3-Hr workshops on the main page here.
- Do I need to worry about food? This will depend on the time of day and length of your workshop but know this: snacks go a long way toward keeping students energized, present and productive.
- Do I definitely have the room reserved? Also seem like an obvious thing, but I’ve had many a workshop moved or canceled due to a scheduling conflict.
- What homework assignment do I want them to have once the workshop is finished? Students will likely be motivated at the end of the workshop and I recommend using that momentum and having them send you a draft (ideally) within 48 hrs of the workshop. After 48 hrs some of the ideas begin to fade away, as they do when we wake up from dreams.