Sunday, December 18, 2016

Holiday Craft for Facilitators, Moderators and Speakers: DIY Speaking Cards

You are speaking, facilitating, moderating, or MCing at a BIG event.

You are in front of dozens, hundreds, a thousand people, and you are introducing people with big names and long titles.

The lights are bright, the video camera rolling, surrounded by a buzzing room full of eager participants. Can you remember all those names, important titles, their honours and awards, and in the right sequence up there on stage?

You need some notes! But you don't want to hold those crinkly printed white papers, or a handful of index cards that might accidentally flutter down to the floor like snowflakes, mixing themselves gleefully all around your feet.

Here's an easy DIY craft for the holidays (she said only partly kidding, because when you really need them you might not have the time or patience to make them, or the right materials, so think ahead!)

You need just a few simple supplies:


  • Rectangular facilitation cards in the color of your choice - maybe a different colour every day, one that matches your clothes, or the branding of the event? 
  • White paper to cut to size.
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Hole punch
  • Pen
  • Ring (that opens, I bought a pack of these in an office store)
Make your cards: 
  1. Cut the papers to size so they fit into the middle of the card and don't leave too much extra space, but a nice frame (remember people will see this in your hands).
  2. With the glue stick, stick the white paper on the card on one side (leave the back blank OR put your logo or the event logo on the back.) I think a plain volour back looks less fussy.
  3. Punch a hole in the upper left hand corner - try to put the hole in the same place for every card so they aren't uneven in your hands.
  4. Put the ring through. Click!
  5. Number the cards (still helpful so you know where you are.)
  6. Write your notes on one side of each of the cards.
  7. Feel happy that your notes look good, they won't get out of order, and you will remember everything to make things run smoothly and give you peace of mind! 

Happy Holidays and Happy Facilitating from Bright Green Learning!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Parachuted Presenter's Promise

You have received an invitation to fly to another continent to deliver a one-hour training presentation within the context of a longer, carefully designed workshop, on an important subject that you know a great deal about.

You are a Parachuted Presenter, dropping in to share some wisdom that can be helpful, hopefully, to the group as they go forward with their project, programme or task.

Here is the Parachuted Presenter's Promise - Please sign on the dotted line:

I will...

  • Be available in the weeks and days before hand to skype or connect with the organizers about my session. 
  • Ask questions and inform myself about the wider agenda so that I can connect my content most effectively to what is going on and the specific objectives of the programme. 
  • Send in my materials and equipment needs and any PPT or other presentation materials well in advance (and double check that they have been received). (Corollary: I will not send them in the morning of my session to someone who is in the session and won't see them until the moment I go on.)
  • Come into the session before mine to listen in, get to know the participants a little, see how I can best connect my content to the overall discussion, and get a feel for the tone of the workshop.
  • Take a moment to talk to the main session facilitator to see, from her perspective and understanding of the overall flow, how I can best connect my content to what is going on around it. 
  • Check in with the main facilitator prior to my session to see if timing has changed at all, whether it has shifted to another time, or changed in terms of length as I know that my intervention is connected to everything else that is going on in the workshop. I will be flexible.
  • Tell the main session facilitator how to introduce me and frame my intervention (if I have not been able to do that in advance.)
  • Come in early to see if the room is set up in the way I would like it, and check that my presentation materials have been loaded and tested. 
  • Bring my own specialised materials if I need them.
  • Keep track of time during my session, and stay within my allocated time. I know that I am not the only presenter and that time is a common pool resource that we have to manage together, even if I have flown in from 3791 miles away.

signed ______________________________ (Parachuted Presenter)

As the main session facilitator, I thank you very much for your understanding. I am doing a million other things and I really appreciate that you have checked your assumptions about what is and isn't and that you take full responsibility for the success of your session, so that we all can be happy about contributing to a great meeting. 

(...and when I am a Parachuted Presenter, I will do the same!)