I recently delivered several programmes that covered values and customer care skills to a private hospital.

The audience was an eclectic mix with participants from Europe, Asia, North and South America-I suppose from all corners of the earth, all working in one organisation. Here is some of the feedback I received from the workshops:
· Ian was highly engaging.
· Ian was very engaging and helped us view different issues from different perspectives.
· Enthusiastic facilitator (Ian) worked well to help people go outside their comfort zone.
· Found the session informal, was very comfortable to speak out loud considering I’m bad at public speaking. This was due to the facilitator being so welcoming. Thank you!
· Ian always provides a good quality course; he is very interactive and engaging.
· Ian was a fantastic facilitator.

Great feedback and I love that I have been able to make a difference. However, I am always seeking to improve, so I thought about the workshops and “what did I do?” On reflection these are the steps I took.

1.   The environment and I were prepared. The room was ready so as soon as the participants walked in, they could find a place to settle and I could engage them without having to hand out material or fiddling with a computer.
2.   I engaged each participant, asking them who they are and where they are from and what job they do. I always aim to be curious and want to know one fact about their role that I can verify with them or later use in the workshop.
3.   Embed expectations, I started the session and set the tone by explaining it would be fun, engaging and that theirs and others opinions count.
4.   I set clear outcomes and meaning, in particular how they could impact on the business and the contribution they and others have in making this happen.
5.   I challenged them to challenge themselves, others and me. I explained that they were all experts in the subject as they had all experienced the topic personally.
6.   I made it personal, used their names as much as possible – particularly involving people and their departments in stories and scenarios – people like to be remembered.

How long does that take?

Steps 1 & 2 – five to fifteen minutes before the session starts;
Steps 3,4 & 5 – five minutes at the start of the session; and
Step 6 – repeated throughout the session so people feel that they are active parts.

Oh, I nearly forgot: I smiled and my mind is dressed to enjoy, have fun and get as many people to engage; I presuppose they all wanted to know something different.

That sounds easy to do, doesn’t it? Feel free to choose a couple of these and try them out or follow the steps and let me know how you get on.

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