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Seb Anthony

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large group workshop


Dear all,

I'm looking for some methods, techniques with wich I (with co-trainers) can facilitate a workshop discussion of a large group (approx 80 people). They can be divided into three according to their organisational structure.
I'm interested in half day and one day long procedures as well.
Any ideas welcomed!
András Preiszinger

5 Responses

  1. Large groups
    The easiest method is to ‘present’ key topics to the main group and then set up breakout activities that groups can work on individually in their table teams (small groups). The table teams can be supported by facilitators who are aware of what is required and what the outcomes are during these sessions.

    The elements that you present to the main group are the things that everyone must understand to push forward. The breakout groups can then help the individuals to embed their learning through discussion or activity.

    You can also use what I consider to be a fun way of reviewing the core content of a session by asking the groups to develop their own ‘presentation stand’ that they will create to emphasise what they have learnt throughout the day. They can do this with large posters and other creative methods.

    During the close, teams can walk around the presentation stands to find out how different groups interpreted the learning.

    I hope this helps in some way.

    [Edit] I have just added the instructions for this training game to our website at it is called ‘Exhibtion Stand’ and can be downloaded from our free training section.

    Andrew Wood
    Trainer Bubble

  2. Group Exercises
    Hi Andras

    The solution naturally depends on what the workshop is all about. In general you can set up problem solving activities to begin with. divide them all to groups. A group can go through a problem first to see itself fail or not perform so well. Then you can get all groups back and then walk them through the learning points and show them “how it is done”. Next set up another series of exercises for the groups and get them to solve new problems again, though this time they are encouraged to use the new methods. Now there will be lots of “Aha”. Finish off by a general discussion.

    This is a general formula based on Accelerated Learning that is known to work in many learning contexts.

    All the best.
    Training Materials

  3. Facilitation

    Not sure if this will help but we have designed a range of community scenarios which a person has to facilitate-very explosive mixtures to help identify,in part,the Tuckman model

    We also have a “marking” sheet for the processes followed by the facilitator

    Get in touch if you want copies

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  4. World Cafe
    Hi Andras
    You said that you want to facilitate a workshop discussion so I am guessing that it is not a session where you want to deliver content, but more where you want to get people to exchange views and ideas.
    For large groups like this I find the methods of World Cafe really helpful in providing a very structured process which enables individuals to exchange ideas and viewpoints. I ran a half day cafe for 150 senior managers and it worked really well. The method is flexible and adaptable to your needs and most of the work is in the set up.
    There is a World Cafe community site which I find a fantastic resource, if you have not already discovered it then have a look at their site:
    The other method you could consider, which is very similiar is Open Space (just google it and you will find references to it)
    Both methods ensure that the session will be based on real issues and concerns and can make a real impact on the process of change in an organisation.
    Enjoy the experience
    Best wishes


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