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Upgrade your workshop with a background story!

September 06, 2018 annavonsury Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

NadiaHynek Bures neu

How to create an immersive workshop experience, where your participants bathe in the juices of the workshop’s topics? Immersive doesn’t require virtual reality headsets, foremost it requires a story. Here a practical example.

Nadia von Holzen, learning moments and Hynek Bures, dubbed perceptions

 

For the DDLGN 2018 face-to-face event, we – Nadia as facilitator and Hynek as multimedia reporter – came up with a low-tech idea to tell the network’s background story: A timeline that portraits the network, its members, its achievements.

For your info: SDC’s face to face events are organized by the agency’s thematic networks, where participants exchange on the networks’ topics. In this case on democratization, decentralization, and local governance. This year’s event coincided with the network’s ten years anniversary.

 

The timeline

On the wall of the main event hall, we drew a horizontal line using a colorful scotch: a Washi tape. Each year with a different color. Below this timeline we asked the network core team to add key events, or publications in form of a picture or a short text. We then took Polaroid pictures of all participants on their arrival and added them above the line according to the year they joined the network.

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Immerse into history

From the first step into a cave with ancient paintings on the wall, or into the Sistine Chapel you are enveloped by the story of the place. Though less monumental, the timeline – its images from past events and the participants’ faces – has a similar effect: The networks history, its achievements enter the hearts of the participants: They become aware of their part in the story.

 

Enrich the learning process

While moderating participants’ interactions and reflections, Nadia would come back – time again – to the timeline: For example, recalling a past event or a key document to which present interactions make reference. We both felt that the historic background heightened the thematic complexity. It enriched the discussions among participants. New ideas were anchored in history. They had a reason to emerge, because they are part of a process that didn’t just start with this event.

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Reflect on your learning

One of Nadia’s key moderation tools is to let participants reflect on how their personal learning process feeds back into the network, changes their role as a member, or impacts their day-to-day job. The timeline played a key role in taking the participants on this meta-level journey. Without this visual tool, the participants would have struggled to let go of the immediate lessons assimilated and focus on the bigger picture: Reinforcing the network’s culture of learning and sharing.

 

Propel actors to take action

The last day of the workshop a list of next steps was proposed. Participants could subscribe to which activity they wanted to contribute with their expertise and time. The timeline serves here as a constant reminder and assurance, that their effort is not in vain. Their action will contribute to the network’s future story: a continuous enrichment of thematic expertise.

 

Do it yourself

Key to reap the most beautiful fruits from your timeline is to give it a presence, a role, in your workshop. Start by creating it yourself! Make it beautiful in your eyes. A visually appealing timeline will attract the participants’ attention. During the workshop, this attention should transform into an interaction with the timeline. For this you should keep the timeline in mind when you plan your workshop. For example, provide time for the participants to interact with it. Then during the event, make recurrent links to your timeline. For example, introduce the next workshop slot with a short backstory.

 

Let’s conclude

Yes, the timeline is all about the story: the story of a network, of a program, or of a theme. But don’t focus your story on the product or the output. Behind every good story is a hero. Thus, to create a time-line that touches your audience, tell your story through them, through the people.

Concept

 

 

Sparking attention with visual workshop agendas

October 30, 2017 Blog Admin Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Nadia

aP1420370aPresenting the workshop agenda is a unique moment for sparking energy, motivation and curiosity. A visual agenda gives a first clue what will happen in the workshop and serves as orientation all along the workshop. As facilitator, you can show where the group is in the process; and as participant you know what will happen next and how you can engage.

Marie Marchand, SDC and Nadia von Holzen, Learning Moments (more…)

Inspiring inputs for conversation

August 23, 2017 Blog Admin Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Hynek Bures neuNadiaPresentations are more than information delivery. Presentations should inspire conversation. When giving a presentation, we should always remind ourselves that the presentation is about the audience; and that the presenter has a supportive and facilitative role. Let’s flip our presentations and start with a question and a first small conversation. Let the audience talk before we talk.

Hynek Bures, dubbed perceptions and Nadia von Holzen, Learning Moments (more…)

Reading recommendations for facilitators

August 02, 2017 Blog Admin Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

NadiaThere is no shortcut in learning to facilitate. The best teacher is practice followed by observation and reflection through peer exchange, trainings and reading. Facilitation is creative work. Every workshop is an invitation to build anew the reflection and conversation space for participants to explore, learn and understand. This blog post presents three books for facilitators, beginners as well as experienced facilitators; they provide insights and ideas for planning and designing successful workshops

Nadia von Holzen, Learning Moments (more…)

Creating common ground for working together – what it needs and why it matters

May 17, 2017 Blog Admin Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Jany picture

Nadia

Workshop space is precious space we want to use wisely. Creating the right conditions is the facilitator’s job. It is part of the design process to think about how to create these conditions and the ambiance conducive for working and learning together in a productive and inspiring way. In this blog post, we share our reflection on what it takes and why it matters to create a common ground for working together.

By Jany Barraut, Beyond Boundaries and Nadia von Holzen, Learning Moments (more…)

Effective Presentation

April 13, 2017 Natalie Frei Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

quadraticIn the last Lunch & Learn, Yvonne Vogel talked – and sang – tips on how to overcome inner constraints and become a better presenter. Key to any successful presentation is an audience-centered approach, which many people struggle with. However, there are some simple exercises to make it easier.

By Natalie Frei, SDC

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Being the facilitator – a visual reflection

February 08, 2017 Blog Admin SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Jany pictureNadiaThis blog post draws a colorful picture of what it means to be the facilitator. A facilitator has many roles to play before, during and after a workshop or learning event. But what are these roles? And how do we as facilitators see ourselves? During a Lunch & Learn event a group of facilitators reflected these questions in a visual way and uncovered a series of interesting metaphors. 

By Jany Barraut and Nadia von Holzen (more…)

Dare to facilitate

May 25, 2016 Blog-Admin1 Change Stories, Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Nadia

Facilitation is (also) a question of confidence, of daring to “stand there” and to be the facilitator. But first facilitation is a question of good preparation and of getting the 3 Ps clear: purpose, people and process. The key task of a facilitator is helping the organisers to clarify the purpose of the workshop, to understand people’s needs and questions, and to design a good process that is interactive, relevant and meaningful. 

Nadia von Holzen, SDC 

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Creative Facilitation – an inspiring book for facilitators

November 18, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Nadia

The new facilitation book by Viv McWaters and Johnnie Moore for designing and conducting inspiring and creative meetings is available online. It is a book about the art of facilitation. The book is an invitation to reflect our role and our understanding as facilitators. It is not a book about techniques; it is a book about BEING the facilitator.

By Nadia von Holzen, SDC

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Learning together – what it needs and what it means

August 26, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5
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Nadia von HolzenBringing together 95 learning practitioners does not provide a guarantee to joint learning nor community forming. Learning together needs space for joint inquiry and deliberation. Learning together needs true and deep conversations. Conversations are connecting and connections are the condition for deep conversations.

 Nadia von Holzen, SDC
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Challenged by planning a learning event? Make it easy and visual with ‘Design for Wiser Action’

July 29, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

SKU-WSJ-VONNAPlanning and designing a workshop involves many aspects; and often many people too. A visual planning canvas might be the right approach to make the first crucial move. Bring the organizing team, the core group or the mandate giver to the table and do the planning jointly.

By Nadia von Holzen, Mirjam Walser and Kuno Schläfli, SDC

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Meetings can be done differently: The Flipchart–Chat

July 22, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Corinne-SprecherMeetings can be fun, interactive and productive. The ‘flipchart-chat’ is a good way to really discuss a hot issue at your next staff meeting.

Corinne Sprecher, Agridea (more…)

Facilitation Tips for Starters

October 13, 2014 Blog-Admin1 SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

facilitation tips for starters_1Corinne is known in SDC for her natural,  humorous and productive ways of moderating events. She started learning to moderate three years ago when she successfully moderated a workshop in Nepal for the elaboration of the Swiss cooperation strategy. In this short video interview she reveals her tricks and learning experiences that she acquired during her career. by Corinne Demenge, SDC

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The facilitator is the host

February 12, 2014 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools

Rating: none

NadiaWith facilitators it is the same as with dancers or hosts: Intensive preparation is crucial for the final result. As facilitator I see myself in the role of steward or host, as the one who ensures the workshop is a welcoming place, invites participants to connect and enter into conversation and observes attentively the evolving process.

 Nadia von Holzen, SDC

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A good facilitator is like a dancer on the stage …

January 22, 2014 Blog-Admin1 Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Ernst Bolliger… or do you feel like a monument, a tourist guide, a gardener, a porter when you are acting as a facilitator? What is your preferred metaphor? I am going to explain why I like the metaphor “a good facilitator is like a dancer on the stage” and why I think it is really helpful to better understand the own role at a given moment of a facilitation process.

Ernst Bolliger, Agridea

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Light the fire and keep it burning!

September 18, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Corinne-SprecherBuilding up a network and keeping it alive is like lighting a fire and keeping it burning! This article is the second of a series of contributions in which we share experiences and ideas on how to use metaphoric language in facilitation.

By Corinne Sprecher, Agridea 

 

 Fire the element of excitement, motivation, dynamics and energy (more…)

“Out of the box” – a popular metaphor for thinking afresh

September 04, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools

Rating: none

When our thinking and solution finding gets stuck we feel that some “outside the box thinking” could bring us inspiration and insights.

By Nadia von Holzen, SDC

 

 

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New guidebook for face-to-face meeting and workshop organizers – simple and powerful

August 21, 2013 bit-wartung Learning Elsewhere, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Are you soon organizing a face-to-face meeting or a workshop? Have a look at this rich Guidebook from the Rockefeller Foundation. The simple and powerful questions and how-to guides will inspire your preparation process. 

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Questions and Answers live – the Expert Panel “on the floor”

August 07, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

The “Expert panel on the floor”- Method can resolve open questions, alternatively to the expert panel and the fish bowl. The major asset of this method is the engagement of every participant’s knowledge in the solution finding. (more…)

Creating images in mind and memory

July 17, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools

Rating: none

With „Creating images in mind and memory“ we start a new blog series. We reflect what images and metaphors can do. We promote that images and metaphors belong to every facilitator’s toolbox. (more…)

Dynamic Facilitation – or the art of creating collective solutions

April 17, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Dynamic Facilitation is a facilitation approach addressing difficult or even complex issues. By taking notes on 4 flip charts the moderator supports the conversation and helps the group to make the shift towards a solution. (more…)

Simplicity wins – visualization as well. Tips for your next presentation

April 10, 2013 bit-wartung Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

How to prepare memorable presentations? Simplify it and make it visual. Inspiring and memorable presentations are simple, clear and meaningful. While preparing have your audience in mind and make it visual and easy for them to follow. (more…)

Three Reasons to Organize your Next Workshop in the Open Space Format

February 06, 2013 bit-wartung Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Are you planning a face-face meeting to explore key issues and design action plans? The Open Space methodology would definitively be an option. Read how the key elements of Open Space – the circle, the joint agenda setting, and the free discussion space – could create momentum to advance important issues.

By Nadia von Holzen, SDC (more…)

The Participant’s Shoes

November 21, 2012 bit-wartung Methods & Tools

Rating: none

Make your face-to-face meetings more learner-centered to foster stronger commitment and greater learning. Networks’ face-to-face meetings are a great opportunities for learning. What does it need to make it a learning happening? How do adults learn? What are the key ingredients to be taken into account already at the planning stage? (more…)

Guiding questions that matter for preparing the next face-to-face network event

November 14, 2012 bit-wartung Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

Rating: none

Are you at the point to start planning for your next face-to-face workshop, seminar or learning event of your network? Kick-start your planning with  a short checklist to gear up your learning event.

By Martina Lammer and Nadia von Holzen, SDC

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