3 SIMPLE STEPS TO OUTLINE YOUR FIRST CREATIVE WORKSHOP
Stop winging your workshop planning and creation and start seeing success with this simple strategy
So many people really over-complicate this step of outlining a workshop or they just wing it! But winging it and not having a clear structure to follow just leaves you feeling completely lost and overwhelmed. When you get down to the bare bones of a workshop there are really only 3 key elements that need to be planned. Get clear on these and you’ll have a workshop that makes learning your topic easy and enjoyable for your students.
The one thing I want you to keep in mind throughout the whole planning process is that what might be obvious to you, is completely new to your students and could be harder than you expect for them to grasp. It is your job as workshop leader to make it each step as simple as possible.
So you've got your workshop topic sorted, you know what you want to teach. But HOW exactly do you teach this topic in an effective way?
STEP ONE - IDENTIFY THE OBJECTIVE
The first step is to identify the aim of or objective of the workshop, this is different to the topic in that is much more specific. This is the how you will ensure you include all the relevant steps and also how you will measure if the students have learnt what you teach you them. The best way to come up with a strong objective is to complete the following sentence.
1. objective - by the end of the workshop the students will be able to......
Having this clear objective will inform all moving parts of your workshop. An example of an objective could be: by the end of the workshop the students will be able to… screen print a t-shirt or by the end of the workshop the students will be able to… knit a scarf using knit and purl stitches
STEP TWO - BREAK DOWN THE OBJECTIVE INTO SMALL STEPS
To keep this simple and fun I like to use post it notes, but it also makes it visually much easier to swap steps around until you get it into a logical and sequential order (and us creatives love the tactile nature of paper and pens handwriting and colourful post it notes!).
Brain dump every single step you can think of that your students will need to take to reach the objective onto individual post it notes. Once you have done that you can start to play around with them and move them into a logical and teachable sequence.
STEP THREE - DEMONSTRATE & FACILITATE. REPEAT
Identify the natural breaks in the steps above where a demonstration will need to take place. After a demonstration your students will need activity time to practice that step and you will be there to facilitate their practice.
These two phases will repeat throughout the workshop are phases through out the workshop. Often people are afraid to have more than 2 or 3 demo sections in a workshop, but if you try and cram to many action steps into one demonstration it can be hard for your students to remember and leads to lots of questions and confusion during the activity and facilitation phase.
It is during the activity phase that most of the learning takes place for the students, this is where you will float around and be available to assist, you will probably find that you will revel in this phase of the workshop because you can really connect with your students on a closer level. If you notice that quite a few of your students are struggling with the same thing, don’t be afraid to re-demonstrate that step.
These three steps form the outline of your workshop. Once you have this figured out the next step is to start fleshing it out and get clear on things like the resources you will need, timings, handouts etc, this is where a lesson plan comes in to play.