As a facilitator, I am always looking for new ways to engage the participants. It is crucial to me to make the most of their time and provide a framework to which actionable outcomes are inevitable. In order to gain full engagement of the participants, you need to make it easy for them to think, engage and communicate.
The typical method of using a projector and PowerPoint simply focuses their attention on what you are telling them. It makes it easy for the participants to be in “receive only” mode. They are reading what you show them and listening to what you tell them. They are not “engaged in the process.”
To make the most of meeting, we need to have everyone’s thoughts and ideas expressed. Participants need to be thinking, talking and sharing, not simply listening. When you ask someone to write down their thoughts and ideas, they are fully focusing their attention. It is almost impossible for someone to write one thought and be distracted with another at the same time. You get full commitment and participation.
Asking your participants to write succinctly, also forces them to think about what they want to communicate. Its helps them to clearly and precisely express their thoughts in just a few words.
Posting these thoughts or words on a sticky board large enough for everyone to see helps to share ideas. A sticky board allows the group to re-classify, re-arrange, and remove ideas. It gives them a visual idea of what the others are thinking. Add some graphic characterizations for some fun. Using paper or markers of color will add some visual interest. Also simply the fact of getting up to place your idea onto the sticky board helps to break the monotony of sitting in one place for an extended amount of time.
The great thing about a sticky board is that you can use normal paper to write down your ideas. No more investing in large sticky post it paper. Graphics can be re-used in subsequent sessions. You can capture the moment by taking photos as we have done in this photo.
I encourage you to experiment with a little less technology and a little more “ideology”.
“Ideology is a collection of ideas.” Wikipedia.org