Seeds for Change: Facilitation tools for meetings and workshops

We love this guide from Seeds for Change, which is jam packed with useful tools.

From the introduction:

This is a compilation of tools and techniques that we have found useful for participatory meetings and workshops. We've categorised the tools, but many of them can also be useful in other contexts.

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Don't be bound by our categories! You might also find it helpful to read our guides on Facilitating Workshops and Facilitating Meetings. Using a variety of techniques will help a much wider range of people engage fully in your workshop or meeting.

We all vary in things like how we take in information most easily, whether we prefer to speak in large groups or small ones, whether we need to move our bodies for our minds to stay active, how much reflection time we need to make up our minds on a topic... Building in a range of different activities will enable more people to stay involved.

At the same time, it is important to remember that not every activity will be accessible to every individual or group. Wherever possible, ask people to give you information in advance about their access requirements. Ask people to be specific about how to make things work for them, rather than you making assumptions. Try to choose tools where everyone will at least have a choice about whether to participate. Exactly how you set a tool up will make a difference.

For example, providing chairs and tables for small group work is likely to work for more people, compared to sitting on the floor! Even if everyone could take part in all the activities you've planned, be aware that not everyone will necessarily want to!

Give people a rough idea of what a tool will entail so they can decide how / whether to join in. For example, you could let people know that a game involves some physical contact, or lots of moving around. If people are having personal conversations in pairs, tell them in advance what kind of feedback you will be expecting in the larger group. You could also share why you think a particular tool will be helpful, to help people engage.