Creating powerful workshops that have impact is actually quite challenging! Most companies try to outsource workshops to experts because of this. It's time consuming and to keep people engaged for a long period of time can definitely seem daunting. 

We thought we'd put together some top tips we have when it comes to building a workshop. 

1. Always consider your audience first. What is in it for them, for the individual and the team? Creating this workshop is NOT about you. It's really important that this workshop is going to resonate for people and so considering who it's for is the first step in creating something really powerful for the people you're there to serve. 

9 ways to create effective workshops meme - ARNA women leaders

2. Consider who is presenting this workshop and why? Are they are subject matter expert? Are they a good presenter? Make sure you also do a practice run of the whole workshop at least once! This will mean that you can keep to time, really understand how long things take, see what worked and what didn't when you actually say it out loud. 

With the presenting, make sure you're using your voice clearly and projecting to the back of the room. It's super important that your tone of voice creates light and share so that it's dynamic for the listeners. The best speakers always deliver with lots of passion.

3. Make sure there are clear learning objectives. Three - five learning objectives are good enough, keep it simples. Things like; you will understand the importance of the our company values, you will learn about what your personal values are, you will learn something new about your colleagues today. Also, include an ask, something that people will need to continue working on once the workshop has done. How will they keep weaving what they've learned through their everyday? 

Just be clear about these objectives and talk about them right in the beginning so people know what to expect. 

4. Make sure that your workshop isn't too much longer than 2 hours. People's attention span quickly dwindles when there is a super long session ahead. Also consider, what do these people do in their day-to-day roles? Are they normally standing for long periods or sitting? If standing, then consider how this might affect the length of time these people can comfortably sit and concentrate for. 

9 ways to create effective workshops meme - ARNA women leaders

5. Make your slides engaging. Use imagery, use colour, use bold and regular fonts to create dynamic, use videos, don't use too much text that's super tiny. Ask engaging questions to get people to think as you move through the slides. 

6. Make sure you're providing context of the content with examples in real life situations. 

7. Create interactive activities throughout your session to drive home the message. Also, this gets people out of their seats, talking to each other, connecting and creating. There should be at least 1 interactive activity each hour that lasts a minimum of 15 minutes. 

Consider including activities for both introverts and extroverts, not everyone wants to role play! LOL. 

  • Think of things like, writing down ideas on post it notes and then clipping them to themes around the room.
  • Going into pairs to discuss something, guided by questions. 
  • Doing a group activity where you get off your seats to team build, like throwing a rope across a circle from person to person and then untangling yourselves into a perfect circle. 

9 ways to create effective workshops meme - ARNA women leaders

8. Provide space and time for questions throughout the whole workshop. It should be a two way conversation most of the time. This keeps people engaged and means they can really buy-in to the topic. 

9. Get feedback! Leave space at the end or ask for written feedback about the workshop. What did people learn? What did they enjoy? What sucked? What would they like to see improved for next time? 

9 effective ways to build a workshop - ARNA women leaders

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