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Facilitating meetings for active participation EMIF workshop Brussels, March 17, 2010, 12:30-5:00PM Ib Ravn, Ph.D., Associate Professor Aarhus University,

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Presentation on theme: "Facilitating meetings for active participation EMIF workshop Brussels, March 17, 2010, 12:30-5:00PM Ib Ravn, Ph.D., Associate Professor Aarhus University,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Facilitating meetings for active participation EMIF workshop Brussels, March 17, 2010, 12:30-5:00PM Ib Ravn, Ph.D., Associate Professor Aarhus University, Denmark,

2 1. Todays program 12:30How to design meetings that inspire and involve participants? Presentation, reflection and demonstration 1:45Break 2:00Lessons learnt so far 2:30Designing your own meeting 3:15Break 3:30Presenting your meetings designs and facilitating discussion of them 5:00End

3 2. The problem: Meetings treat participants as recipients As it isDrawbacks One-way People: two-way PassivityUse it or lose it Q and ASilence, or Im clever, too! DebatesMany tangents. Success is random WorkshopsSo many mini-conferences PanelsCongestion on One-Way Street

4 3. The transfer model of teaching

5 4. The conference as a forum for human co-flourishing People have potentials, interests and projects We want to learn and flourish We go to conferences to get inspired by others and grow

6 5. Design principles for learning meetings Blah 1. Concise presentations 2. Active interpretation 3. Self-formulation 4. Networking and knowledge sharing 5. Competent facilitation

7 6. The design principles (for your own reading) 1.Concise presentations. Fewer, shorter, more provocative. 2.Active interpretation. There must be processes that help participants actively relate what they hear to their own experience. Time to digest, think and talk. 3.Self-formulation. There must be opportunities in pairs and small groups for everyone to talk about the personal interests and projects that brought them to the conference in the first place. 4.Networking and knowledge sharing. Facilitated activities that help the participants discover each other as resources. 5.Competent facilitation. The facilitator must create a safe and trusting space where people will go along with the new learning processes.

8 7. What was interesting ? In my presentation, what did you find interesting? Jot down a few things (2 minutes) Share them with your neighbor (6-8 minutes) Lets hear some of them, and your questions and comments

9 8.Techniques (with page numbers) 1.Semicircular seating(?); so everyone can see and take part (17) 2.Meet people; warms up the room, creates trust (58) 3.Ask a few delegates whats nice about beeing here (60) 4.Concise presentation, cut in two; helps attention (64) 5.What was interesting?; focus on the constructive (24) 6.Silent reflection and notetaking; clarifies thoughts (70) 7.Minimeetings; pair and share, ideas are tested (72) 8.Take inspirations; helps people inspire each other (76) 9.Always a bit of Q&A; otherwise people feel cheated

10 9. More techniques that activate participants 10.Separate colleagues after lunch; people perk up (58) 11.Question cards; easier for timid folks to contribute (68) 12.Start your future, here, now; use todays material (86) 13.Take-aways: Reflection, minimeetings, sharing, at the end 14.Facilitate all presentations; dont let the presenter (60) 15.Use a script; blow-by-blow, for internal use, program (46): Welcome Meet people Presentation, etc.

11 10. Task: Design a meeting Design a 2-4 hour meeting using a few techniques Write a script (6-10 lines/elements) Print large and legibly on flip chart. Hang it on wall Take a break at _______ and be back by _______

12 11.Your role as a facilitator 1.You host the event, helping everyones participate optimally 2.Explain your role to speakers, so they let you 3.Introduce speaker, including length of presentation 4.Finish speaker and elicit applause 5.Do a technique, or take questions for speaker 6.If questions and debate move along spontaneously, fine. But stay up front, for easy intervention 7.Check bad questions. Refer them to later, if necessary 8.Finish when the time is up, even if more questions 9.Conclude by thanking the presenter; elicit applause again

13 12.Running a participative technique 1.Dont speak until you have everyones attention 100% 2.Be friendly, calm and firm as you ask delegates to do X and Y 3.Never ask if the delegates would like to do it. Assume they will do what they are asked to 4.Help the delegates do it in practice (pair up, find paper, etc.) 5.Accept without comment if someone chooses not to do it – unless it disturbs other people 6.Say Thank you afterwards and little else. Dont apologize if the process did not seem a success. Move on.

14 13. Todays basic ideas Meetings need techniques/processes that involve particpants Active participants learn more, have more fun & come back A script details all processes A facilitator hosts the meeting and helps everyone be their best

15 14. More about facilitating meetings Steen Elsborg and Ib Ravn: Learning Meetings and Conferences in Practice. Copenhagen: Peoples Press, Various papers (The Learning Conference and Creating Learning at Conferences Through Participant Involvement): click Publikationer About our group, Facilitating Knowledge Processes: and minor texts of ours at: fac-vid.squarespace.com My blog on facilitation: The Learning Meeting Module: A web-based tool. International Association of Facilitators:


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