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We mentioned earlier that you need to ‘stand out from the crowd’ and be better than the rest. The key to achieving this is delivering a session that is remembered by your audience, this is achieved by using your best assets – which is your audience.

Often icebreakers are used to get the session off to a good start.

This means getting the group to introduce themselves in some way. Icebreakers are an excellent idea if conducted correctly. At no point should you embarrass yourself or your audience, so group hugs are a bad idea!

Simple icebreakers include speaking to each member of the group and asking them to state their name and the reason that they are on the course. There are many icebreakers available, we have uploaded some examples of icebreakers to the dashboard if you wish to have a look later.

When you are delivering a session try to promote an open and honest environment, one that actively encourages audience participation in a controlled manner. Ask clear and open questions so that your audience becomes part of the session. Open questions are things like ‘What experience do you have in this area?’

These open questions will allow you to facilitate a discussion.

At some point, you will encounter questions that are answered incorrectly, the worst thing you can say is ‘no’. No is a negative word and can easily embarrass the audience and will cause them to think twice before contributing in the future.
Instead, try ‘Thank you, I can see why you mentioned that I don’t think I phrased the question quite right. What I was looking for is…..’

You should always thank you audience for participating, this is a verbal pat on the back and they feel as though you appreciate their effort... invariably this makes them want to contribute again in the future.

Getting your audience to participate in two fundamental benefits. The first is that they stand a better chance of remembering and the second is that you get an opportunity to assess learning. We discuss assessment later in the training.

Questions are not the only way to encourage participation, you could use activities. These activities can be anything that can be completed in a safe environment, that doesn’t embarrass the audience and that meets with legislation such as Health and Safety.

Energisers are often used by facilitators and these have many benefits including; building group confidence, encouraging communication, helping the audience relax and often to wake them up after a theory session! Energisers are different from Icebreakers. Icebreakers are a way of introducing ourselves at the start of a session, whereas energisers are focused on an activity with an already established group.

When you are designing your session ask yourself ‘what activities can I include and what benefit will they have?’