Designing hybrid workshops: sharing wonder

People talking to each other in a workshop room in Denmark

I may be giving a workshop on designing hybrid workshops in late September. This post just collects some fragments together that may go into it. The main themes of this workshop are Clarity and Confidence.

  • Clarity to know what you want to communicate thru a workshop (as opposed to a talk).
  • Confidence to deliver that workshop.

The image above is from a workshop I facilitated in Aarhus, Denmark in 2016. It was titled Sharing Wonder and was about designing workshops. The best feedback I got was a participant saying she was now going to resign and start the new business she’d been thinking of. Confidence gained thru clarity.

Sharing your wonder

Sketch diagram with arc of ideas for organising content in a workshop from title to conclusion

In the 2016 workshop, there were no slides as I was using participant feedback to try and work out what kind of support they were seeking. The above diagram was sketched later from the whiteboard diagram I drew during the workshop. It has a structure of Q to A – a pivot structure from sharing Questions to sharing skills for Answers.

  • Title
  • Open
  • Warm Up
  • Purpose
  • Trust
  • Transfer Passion
  • Teach skills
  • Conclude

A lot of this is drawn from ideas in a system I use for teaching how to make talks. Read the TalkMaker post on that. The key in that talk is the pivot from Me to Us – sharing ideas to understand that what I am concerned about is something we should be concerned about. Again it’s a pivot structure.

This diagram is a slightly tidier version of the sketch.

Blue box diagram of the sequence with some additional pointers about building cognitive maps and direction

It’s the first box about Title that I’ll finish this post with today. What is the wonder you want to share and how do you want to share it?

What kind of workshop? What kind of role for you?

A flowchart from I want to that sections off into Teaching and Facilitating different forms of content.

Having knowledge or skills to share is important. People will only learn from a person who is interested in what they speak of.

You don’t need to be passionate about it but trust and confidence is founded in respecting a person’s experiences.

You don’t need to have all the answers. Creating a place for people to think about problems and try and use their experiences to find possible answers is entirely valid too (frankly this is what I mostly do).

This is why the above diagram matters. Once you have decided on sharing some wonder you know of, you need to decide how to share it. The Teaching or Facilitating choice is strongly dichotomous but it’s useful when starting out and needing some clarity.

Teaching is a role with very clear models of behaviour. Using the college model of education means you (and your participants) know the patterns of learning and the ways in which everyone should act. This can be very useful for teaching very specific skills for work.

Facilitating is a role that shifts and shimmies. Facilitating is improvisational acting when the audience doesn’t know they are actors too. Participatory design and codesign workshops depend on facilitation to engage a range of people with differing types of knowledge and lived experiences.

Knowing what role you are choosing is important. Confidence is based on your level of comfort with the role you have chosen. The form of content you deliver then depends on this choice.

This version of the flowchart shows some ideas about content, authority and roles.

Teaching role: centre on self as authority, content is a syllabus, comprehension is tested Facilitator role: decentre authority, content flexs aroud what is known by all, explanations used to engage more sharing

Think about what you want to share and think about how you want to share it. Remember:

Clarity for confidence.

Perhaps this question sheet might be used with prospective workshop participants.

2 question survey: what do you want to share and what role do you want to take?

I will come back to this post and update it as I consider structure and content for the September workshop some more.

I will definitely be talking about design of hybrid content and wayfinding thru new knowledge.

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