Is there something to do at a workshop besides write on a flip chart?
February 9, 2008 10:34 AM Subscribe
What is a workshop? I have been giving public speeches at conferences and the like for years, but occasionally I am asked to give a workshop and I'm not sure what one is or how to do one under the specific circumstances that I am often in.
posted by jessamyn to work & money (28 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I just gave a talk at a regional library get-together. They had originally asked me to give a workshop about social software and we were going to meet in a computer lab. That sort of thing, hands-on experimentation and exploration, I get. However the talk was changed to a conference room with iffy internet access and attendees with no computers. I switched format to more of a talk with examples and a lot of time for Q&A. It was appreciated, but got some feedback that it "wasn't very workshoppy" so I'm trying to work with this.
I get the feeling workshops include more "break up into groups and talk about these questions" sorts of things. I'm hindered by the fact that I present at many more of these things than I go to, so don't have much occasion to see other people doing this. My other problem is that I, personally, HATE being asked to do sort of fakey exercises and brainstorming especially if they are remotely touchy-feely in nature. As a result, I think I may overcompensate and have very few situations in my presentations where people are on the spot to do anything, even though I suspect most people wouldn't mind.
My general topic is software, social software and the online environment and "web 2.0" applications and how libraries can use them. I talk about twitter, facebook, and even things like email, IM and firefox/greasemonkey tricks. My audiences are usually librarians with low to medium levels of knowledge of these subjects but usually engaged and interested in them. Without internet access or computers I have no idea how to make this topic very interactive or remotely workshoppable. If you have suggestions, tips, or can just relate workshops you've given or attended (especially on technology topics) where something worked well I'd appreciate it. General feedback on what people expect when they go to something called "a workshop" would be useful as well. To repeat, I know how to do this when I'm in a lab, but outside the lab I'm wondering "what is a workshop?" Thank you.