Preparation is Key

This program was carefully developed to ensure participants build their knowledge as they complete the workbook. The workbook will guide participants and facilitator/s during the workshop structure. As such, it is important that you know this workbook well in advance. It is a good idea that you complete the workbook yourself as way to master the information and exercises and have a good sense of  how long it will really take to complete.

Introduction

To start, it is recommended to begin the workshop with a welcome which includes: information about the facilitator and his or her experience as well asking the participants about their experience and expectations. Other important information to cover would be details about the workshop content, how many sessions the program will run for, duration of the sessions as well as program format, such as when break times will be taken. Practical information about the locations of bathrooms, emergency exits and evacuation procedures should also be covered accordingly to comply with the health and safety procedures of your organisation.

Group Rules

Next, you should invite participants to contribute to the group rules. It is important you share your opinion about things that matter to you when working in a group setting but also ask detailed information about what is important to each member. Suggestions for creating group rules include using butchers paper and markers; and using a brainstorming technique to generate ideas. Place the group rules poster on a wall where it can be referred to where necessary. Group rules should cover issues such as: confidentiality and privacy, mutual respect and cooperation and acknowledgement of each individuals participation preferences.

Visually record all group rules on paper and review it carefully once it is completed. At times, it may be a good idea to ask participants to sign the group rules to make it clear they are to be taken seriously. You should keep and revisit the rules during the program, particularly if completing the program over multiple days. If a rule is broken, remind participants about it and how important it is. It’s ok to add new rules, if necessary, as long as this is done in consultation with each member. Be mindful of  participants\’ backgrounds and keep tuned into whether participants know each other or not as this may affect the group dynamics and the participation of members.

Ice Breakers

Icebreakers or warm ups are recommended to help participants feel comfortable and relax into the group experience. Which activity you chose will depend on your preference as well as what is appropriate for your group. Be prepared and rehearse your activity several times before you run your lesson. During longer classes, consider running several warm up activities to manage fatigue and maintain focus and interest. Below we share some of our favourite icebreakers. Please share your experiences with us by adding additional activities in the comments section below Tell Me a Story!

Using the ’Tell Me a Story Cards’, have participants pull out a card at random and tell the group a one minute story about the card they have just picked.

A \’Categories\’ game can be played in which participants are asked to stand up and start walking around. Call out different categories and participants must organise themselves into these categories. e.g. number of siblings, favourite food, handedness, birth order. \’Two Truths and a Lie\’ is a fun game in which participants are asked to write two things about themselves that are true and one thing that is not true. The participants stand up and read the three statements and the group votes on which statement is not true. It helps if all of the statements are out of the ordinary so it becomes a challenging task!

Materials Required

You will require a range of materials to successfully engage with your audience as well as encourage participation. The ideal room set up is recommended as a U-shape of desks and chairs which allows all the participants to make eye contact with each other without turning around.

A whiteboard and markers allow the facilitator to create an example of some of the concepts and activities, usually using information provided by a participant. Butchers paper and markers are important for writing and reviewing the group rules in each lesson. It is recommended that all the materials required throughout the workshop are easily available.

Audio Visual

  • Computer
  • Power Point Projector
  • Sound System
  • Music
  • Cables and Connectors

Art and Craft

  • Pen, Pencil and Markers
  • Paper small and big (eg. butchers paper)
  • Scissors
  • Paint and Brushes

Specific Resources

  • The Face It Cards by Quirky Kid
  • The Tell me a Story Card by Quirky Kid
  • Bolts and Strings
  • Tennis Balls
  • Video Camera
  • Sound Recorder

Required Skills

There is an assumption and expectation  that facilitator will have some pre-existent skills and knowledge on a range of areas like basic counselling, group facilitation and motivational techniques. Also, the facilitator is expected to have detailed knowledge in specific areas of performance if they are facilitating a group of performers of a single area: eg Gymnastics. The table below provides a basic summary of pre-existing skills required. Further information will be posted on our blog pages as we go along.

Counselling skills

Counselling skills are useful to assist participants in sharing rich and detailed examples of their experiences. Using open questions is preferable as it encourages reflection and storytelling as opposed to question and answer type formats.

Facilitating skills

Facilitating skills are useful to maintain  positive and constructive group dynamics and ensure participants are able to participate in the Power UP! program effectively. Skills such as being organised, having clear goals and objectives for each lesson and being sensitive and encouraging are necessary skills.

Motivational skills

Motivational skills such as recognising, crediting and praising participants and helping them to problem solve and work through difficulties is useful to enhance participant contribution and program focus and application.

Summarising

Summarising is also a useful tool, especially when mapping the participant’s experiences to the concepts presented in the workshop. Throughout the workshop, concepts are best illustrated with the real-life experiences of the participants, shared in the workshop.