Is there a podcast on how to run a workshop?

Or does the "effective meeting" advice effectively cover workshops, too?

Recently, a direct of mine came to me with an idea for a workshop for about a dozen technical contributers in my dept. I think his idea has merit. But I'd like to give him some guidance on how to run his workshop (I don't think I should attend myself, as I'm concerned that having someone of my seniority may stifle discussion).

Any ideas?


Tom Caton

Eila's picture

Hi Tom,

I have just posted a topic regarding a training 'map' which may tie into what you are asking although I am assuming your workshops will be larger & longer sessions than the basic training to which I am planning. We should be able to bounce some ideas together with other M-T listeners.

I am not a qualified trainer, my starting points below are based on training sessions I have attended which may provide some assistance -

1. Overview & objectives - these will be determined through staff requests or areas where weaknesses are evident.

2. Role clarity / responsibility

3. Core content - what / WHY / how

4. Working example

5. Questions / feedback

6. Revisit objectives have been met - have participants 'close' to the rest of the group

7. Close

Best of luck.

Eila (DiSC - 7711)

asteriskrntt1's picture

A big part of this is doing a good prewire and making sure people are buying in to what you want to sell.  Otherwise, you just have a bunch of reluctant people doing more useless training that prevents us from doing our jobs etc.

As someone who has taught hundreds of classes and delivered a ton of training, I quickly learned that just because someone at head office thinks something is a good idea doesn't mean everyone else does.  Doesn't matter if it is the knee jerk reaction or it really is a stupid idea.  That is often the default mentality.

  1. The person delivering the workshop must be an expert in what he/she is delivering
  2. Must have a high-energy long running motor
  3. Probably should take a couple of train the trainer seminars if they have not delivered training before
  4. Must prepare 2 lesson plans, a very detailed one to guide the trainer and the big picture one (aka agenda & promotional material) to give the participants.
  5. Be aware of the differing learning styles and your lesson plan should include components to meet each style.
  6. Decide how you want to measure the effectiveness of the training over how long a period....after all, you are delivering the training to accomplish something, aren't you?

I think this is a good start.




asteriskrntt1's picture

Dr Raymond Wlodkowski - Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn.I did a week-long seminar with him, plus a course based on this book. I still use material from him. Probably available on Amazon.

afmoffa's picture

I've given a number of technical and writing workshops, with groups ranging in size from 5-40.

1. Unless you're doing this workshop in your own office/bullpen, arrive at the "classroom" early and make sure the markers have ink, the slide projector talks with your laptop, the door is unlocked, etc.

2. Even if you're known within your division as an expert on _____, even if the CEO introduces you to the group as "expert," spend a few minutes establishing your bona fides with the group.

3. Give them a high-level lesson plan/schedule of how the workshop will unfold. This should be only one page long. If your lesson plans are full of detailed information, some people will read the plan instead of listening to you. Coffee breaks and lunch should be scheduled on the lesson plan so people can budget their energy and attention.

4. Do your best to stick to the schedule for the first half of the workshop. If people ask questions, answer them, but don't let questions derail the lesson plan too much. After the lunch break (or whatever midway point) , encourage everyone to take a breath and re-center. The second half should be flexible, and you should tailor it to the needs/interests/weak points you observed in the first half. It is entirely possible that you, the presenter, might end up working through lunch because you realized you needed to re-work your lesson plan to suit this particular group.