Archive for the 'facilitation' Category

Presentations Workshop

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Last Friday I led a four hour workshop on giving presentations. The audience was primarily parents who have children with disabilities. These parents are very active in the community as advocates, educators, and activists and sought new ideas for communicating their message. These are the day’s graphics.

I organized the class into three basic sections: Content, Methods, and People. Of course, these elements all overlap to create a successful presentation, but by taking each in turn, we didn’t get overwhelmed.

We discussed ways to hone in on and organize content. My guiding principles are clarity, honesty, simplicity, immediacy and impact.

We talked about four common methods for presenting information. I discussed the limitations of PowerPoint presentations and the benefits of using graphics as a way to share ideas and informations.

I divided the People section into two parts: the Audience and the Presenter. Throughout I emphasized the idea of a call-to-action. What do these people need to know right now? What do you want them to do tomorrow? I’ve worked in human services long enough to know that if you don’t provide clear instructions and a strong impetus, even the best idea will die slowly and painfully in committee.

The last section of the day was about the Presenter. At Chloe’s feet you’ll find practical ideas for making your presentations go smoothly. Arrayed around her head are many of the more conceptual ideas that guide a good presentation.

Many thanks to Darlyne Sahara, Gwenda LedBetter, Fred Lashley and Jim Johnston for their contributions to making this workshop a success.

Marketing Plan: The Tree House

Friday, November 18th, 2011

A few weeks ago I led a workshop on DIY marketing. I liked the workshop and engagement I got with the group, but I came away from it wondering if I could deepen the impact and increase the likelihood that the strategies I advocate would be used. I decided to pilot a facilitated marketing plan. The structural core is the same as the workshop, but the primary goal is to create a meaningful plan with a business owner and their team. Tanya of The Tree House, a soon-to-open early learning center and cafe in North Asheville allowed me to test the idea with her team. We met this morning for three hours in business space, even now in mid transformation. The graphic above represents our work for the day.
We started with a title and then spent some time detailing the big picture goal- to the right in the graphic. We discussed some of the unknowns, fears and assumptions that might derail the project. I don’t linger in the negative, but I think it’s a powerful tool to recognize the doubts and roadblocks; it strengthens the resolve and helps us to move towards the goal. We discussed the people we wanted to reach with our marketing campaign before taking a short break. After the break we dived into the strategies we would employ to reach those people: media, content, and distribution channels. Names in blue indicate persons responsible for the work. That’s an important aspect of a good plan. Ideas are good; actions are great; people making those actions happen are golden.
I think this model has some real power. People in the group talked about how it made the marketing concrete. Diffuse ideas accumulated over the last few months of planning are becoming real. Just in time too! The Tree House will open within the next few weeks!

Click the image for a larger, more legible version.

Recent Facilitation Project

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Yesterday I facilitated a meeting of students from Warren Wilson College’s Service Learning Office. Small groups of students researched a focus topic on a community level, meeting with city and grass roots leaders to get a holistic view of the issue. In many cases they were actively involved in school gardens and local food banks. Meeting people in the system and receiving supports was an important component of their experience. As the semester was wrapping up, the program leaders decided to use graphic facilitation to gather the learning and seek connections between the different but overlapping issues. About twenty students took part in the meeting.
Because the groups had such varying focuses, I opted to start the process at the concrete level: What did you do? What did you learn? I recorded this to the outer ring. From this we started to find themes that were recorded in the center. We created action steps for change that were recorded to a second sheet of paper.

Food security.


The Daily Icon: 31 January 2009

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

A graphic about graphics that I’m using as part of my nascent marketing campaign.


Co-op graphics

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

The final graphic from the co-op board meeting posted inside the store.