Presenting informal opportunities using audio, visual & kinaesthetic techniques.

Why choose a workshop, when you could use some other method like a course, or on-the-job training?

There are a number of different ways to teach people things, and because people learn things in different ways, a workshop has some advantages over other methods that make it a good choice in certain circumstances.

  • A workshop provides a way to create an intensive learning experience in a short amount of time, when the time for more comprehensive treatment may not be available. Participants may be working, they may be too far apart to gather together regularly, or may simply be unwilling to commit large amounts of time. A workshop can introduce a new concept, spurring participants to investigate it further on their own, or can demonstrate and encourage the practice of actual methods.
  • It's a great way to teach hands-on skills as it offers participants a chance to experience and practice new methods and without the ‘fear’ of failure. Failure is often the best tutor, and failure in this instance does not carry a cost. At the same time, feedback, from both the presenter and peers in the group, helps a participant understand what they can do to avoid failure in a real situation.
  • A workshop is an informal way for someone to pass on to colleagues ideas and methods that they have developed or find important.
  • For people who work together, a workshop can help to create a sense of common purpose amongst its participants.

When might a workshop be used?

As explained above a workshop is valuable in certain circumstances. When do those circumstances arise, and when might you choose to conduct a workshop over other methods of education or training? There are a number of situations in which a workshop would be the best choice:

  • The beginning of something new. If your organisation is adopting a new method there are often new pieces of information or ways of functioning that people must learn. A workshop, or series of workshops, is a way to introduce these in a short time and get people ready for the change.
  • The initial training of staff or volunteers. Workshops are often a good way to induct and train new staff members or volunteers in the philosophy, methods, and functioning of your organisation, or in techniques they will need to do their jobs successfully.
  • For ongoing training of staff or volunteers. Workshops in different issues, techniques, etc. are a good way to keep staff and volunteers fresh and thinking and motivated about their role.
  • Staff development. Workshops are often used as a way of refining professional skills and learning about new developments.
  • The demonstration of a new concept. If someone in an organisation has been exposed to a particularly exciting new idea or technique, they may want to conduct a workshop on it for colleagues, or the organisation may want to bring in someone to do so.

Although Workshop by their nature are best when they are relaxed and informal, like most workplace events they require careful planning if they are to be successful.


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