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.

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.
posted by jessamyn to Work & Money (28 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I sympathize with this issue. My sense is that when attending a workshop, people expect something that is relatively hands-on and problem-solving in character -- so that the distinguishing features are active involvement by the attendees and application rather than abstraction. What does that mean for your role? My experience is that it means you're expected to serve less as an instructor and more as a facilitator.

Often, I think, this is bullshit: there is no helpful categorical distinction, and much more value is added by having someone who knows what she is talking about lay it out. But you're dealing with managing expectations, not any other kind of optimization.

P.S. Among academics, to "workshop" something has a meaning that is only peripherally related, which may add to the confusion.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 10:44 AM on February 9, 2008

if i'm going to listen to someone give a talk, i expect to go, sit, listen, and leave, generally in about an hour's worth of time. if i'm going to a workshop, i expect to go, sit, listen, apply, listen, apply, etc. i also expect that i'll have invested at least half a day, more likely an entire day.
posted by msconduct at 10:52 AM on February 9, 2008

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.

I think you get all the concepts of workshops. But you just don't want to do the more interactive kind of stuff.
Maybe because letting 'beginners' do exercises together feels to you as being very improductive since they don't know much yet.
You could change your perspective a bit by using these exercises as a way for people to get a grasp of the concepts you're trying to bring across. So the results of their exercises will probably be worthless. But the exercises will provide an opportunity for people to grapple actively with the concepts which doesn't generate information but works great as an educative means to get a feel for the problem space if you will.
Also it provides a change of them listening to being actively engaged.

So to recapitulate I get the impression that you over focus on the information exchange aspect and under appreciate that there are other forms of learning then receiving information.

Btw in NL the word workshop is also used for group session where one person facilitates the group process of finding a solution to a problem where collective intelligence and problemsolving capabilities must be involved. But it seems that's not what they are asking for.
posted by jouke at 10:54 AM on February 9, 2008

Maybe because letting 'beginners' do exercises together feels to you as being very improductive since they don't know much yet.

That is definitely part of it. Since I get paid for these things, I feel weird if I spend a lot of my time facilitating people noodling around with it and not imparting my own knowledge. This is part knowing where my strengths lie -- I am a very good public speaker, I feel adrift at doing workshops -- but also just not quite having a grasp on what is expected. Additionally, when talking about technology topics, having to "work" with them without having access to them seems undoable in my narrow view. I'm familiar with the flipchart/brainstorm way of interaction. What else works?
posted by jessamyn at 10:58 AM on February 9, 2008

Another part of your question
Without internet access or computers I have no idea how to make this topic very interactive or remotely workshoppable.

For instance if you have been telling them about the changing role of libraries as providers not of physical information carriers but as shepherds in an age where information has does not have a centrally controlled source or something. After having explained something like that you let them split up and generate ideas about what that could mean for their local library, how they could involve local people, what the needs of these people are, what the library should do wrt to the knowledge and skills of their own employees etc.
Afterwards you let them present briefly their findings and you highlight points out of their presentations and use those as a jumping off point for the next part of your presentation.
Since they will have been grappling actively with the problem space they will be much more engaged and asking questions etc.
Also people are people. Workshops are also a way to engage together outside of the day to day stress of work as normal. It's a small treat, a time to bond again, to feel interested about work again. Management often organises things like this with these effects in mind. If you don't present these social aspects they might be disappointed.
Maybe that's what they're saying: we want to have a good time together.
posted by jouke at 11:07 AM on February 9, 2008

It's pretty tough to do a computer workshop when you've not go a computer. But off the top of my head you could have some sort of hand-out which covers all the points of your talk with blank bits left for some important points they can write down and for workshop type tasks, which could be stuff like how the members of your audience could apply the points to their own situation(s)... like 'Name who you could 'friend'' (sorry if that's a trite example)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:10 AM on February 9, 2008

A workshop is a place where an attendee does something, usually practice what is being taught. Since you're usually talking about social software and you run into instances where you can't use software, why not use the attendees as illustrations of social software and the like?

For instance, to illustrate twitter, have a bulletin board, doesn't have to be anything fancy and start a twitter stream and then have people come up and add to it, as if they were on twitter or facebook. Hokey? Maybe, but the point of social software is the social, not the software. By illustrating that in a low tech way it may help to people apply those concepts to the actual software once they're at the computer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:13 AM on February 9, 2008

Another example: if you were to explain Twitter as an immediate broadcast of small events to a loosely organised group you'd use some simplified graphic to show all the involved concepts (groups, events, one-to-many broadcast, multi-channel reception, feedback).
Thy could use that simplified template in their groups to fill it in: what roles what broadcast, about what events, to what people, why would that be interesting to everybody involved etc. They could fill that in in a table for instance on a flipover.
My explanation of Twitter is probably nonsense. I'm just trying to give you a feel for how this might work
posted by jouke at 11:17 AM on February 9, 2008

but the point of social software is the social, not the software
Good point Brandon. That's also why software developers that use agile methodologies prefer carboard cards, yellow stickies, markers, pieces of paper on the wall over using computers in collaboration.
posted by jouke at 11:20 AM on February 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Excellent responses above, and I think both jouke & Brandon Blatcher are onto something. I work in an environment where social software/web 2.0 is getting a lot of play right now, but some people resist/don't understand it. So keep in your mental toolbox some hands-on stuff that can show them what it does (low-level concept) even in the situation where you have trouble showing them how (i.e., the network infrastructure available is completely inadequate to the task).

Simple:,'s Thorn Tree. These (or iterations thereof) are easily "portable" to the analog world. That sort of thing might avoid the insufferable touchy-feeliness but not leave you completely up a tree if you're in digital limbo. An additional participatory exercise, whether you've got computers or no, is to offer a place to give/post feedback/responses on the talk, encouraging them to respond not just to the talk but to you and other attendees, build points of commonality, ask one another questions, etc.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 11:23 AM on February 9, 2008

Also when you're doing a workshop the way the whole process goes is also a result of what other people bring to it. Not just you. You will stay in control of the overall process. But still.
If you were a very capable smart person for instance you might at a certain level not want to involve them too much since they will be much slower and inefficient. That might be true but then you are overlooking the fact that a workshop is very much about them. If their pace is slower than so be it.
So that might explain some resistance to 'touchy-feely' workshops.
posted by jouke at 11:30 AM on February 9, 2008

First, I am sorry this is so long!!

I'm assuming this is a smallish audience (20) rather than a big ol' auditorium.

I do a LOT of workshops, albeit to a different audience (adolescents) on a different type of topic (health). However, I've also done plenty of workshops with adults with success. I'll give you an example of how I might tackle a talk like this. I'll break it down into really small pieces. I apologize if it's too detailed.

First, ask yourself what you want them to get out of the workshop. Do you want them to come up with ideas about how they could use a new web 2.0 technology enhance services in their own library? Let's assume that for the sake of this example. The activities you do will be based on getting them to that point.

Now break that down. They need to learn about the possible tools they have access to (facebook, twitter, etc) and they need to figure out which of them they might like to use, and they need to figure out ways they can use them. Then they'll pick ONE tool and create a possible game-plan for their library.

First explain your goals for the workshop: "This is what we're talking about today. I'm hoping you walk out of this session being able to understand 4 (or however many) new technology tools, and a plan for how you can use one to better your library services." Measurable goals.

Before they can do anything else, they need a knowledge base--what are these sites, and why/how do you use them.

1) Start with a mini-lecture. Very basically tell a little bit about what the internet used to be used for and how it's changing. Explain connections, community, etc. 5 minutes tops. Maybe talk about some ways they've been implemented in other situations/companies.

2) Activity one: 5 minutes. identifying their "problem". Give some concrete examples of services that libraries frequently need enhanced that can be helped with these tools. Are they sad that nobody comes? Are they looking to market programs? Do they want to showcase new books? Do they want people to find reading buddies? (You obviously know these things, which I don't, so modify as needed).

Then have them individually write down one thing they'd like to improve about their library and collect them.

3) Activity two: Learning the tools. 20 min.
"OK, now that you have an idea of what you want help with, we're going to concentrate on the various platforms/tools you have at your disposal"

You're going to put them into small groups (4-5), and give each group a written overview (flipchart, handout, whatever) of how a different site/tool works. If you have a computer for the groups, just send them to the site to explore it. Give them 10 minutes to learn about the technology, brainstorm ways they could be used in libraries and consider pros/cons of the tool in general (i.e. consider real-life limitations they might have--non-tech savvy clients, maybe? budget restrictions?)

After 10 minutes, then you'll have each group report back to the whole group what they learned about each site, what they thought its strengths and limitations are, and how they might be used to better library services. Correct any mis-information.

While they're doing this, write a few of the problems they identified in Activity 1 onto flipchart paper and tape around the room. Choose the problems you think are clearly matched to one of the tools you're having them learn about, and maybe one or two that are more complicated problems.

4) Activity four: 15-20 min. They're going to use their newfound knowledge to choose a tool to solve their colleagues' problems as posted on the flipcharts. Give each participant a slip of paper that has a tool they learned about on it (Facebook, twitter, whatever you've discussed. I'd color code them so all Facebook slips are red, etc). Or you could give each participant several papers, one for each different tool. That probably would work better, actually. Read out the problems on each flipchart and tell the particpants to go stick their paper(s) on one of the problems that they think their tool will best address.

ex: Problem on flip chart: "We need a way to update people about new books as they come in." Participant sticks their "twitter" paper up on that sheet. Another puts "Blog" up there.

Regroup and go over each of the papers. Have the participants explain why they put their papers where they did. Ask if there are any other tools that could have gone there. Address any questions.

At this point they know about the tools and they've thought about ways to use them to better real-life library concerns.

5 minutes. Closing: Give a brief summary of what they've done. "OK, so far we've talked about 5 tools you can use and ways you can use them. Before we go, I'm going to ask each of you to tell the group in one sentence (quickly!) what tool you will be using when you get back to your library and how you'll use it." Model this for them "I'm going to use Facebook to set up book club discussion sites."

That's it. Sorry so long.

Do evaluations at the end and watch your timing.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:16 PM on February 9, 2008 [3 favorites]

Oh, and send them home with handouts to refer to later, including URLs and an overview for each tool. Also, collect their email addys and follow up with them later, emailing them an electronic copy and posting the content somewhere online. Basically, put the details in there for them to get later, rather than trying to impart ALL of your knowledge in the workshop itself.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:21 PM on February 9, 2008

I think one of the basic presumptions that is supposed to separate a workshop from a lecture or a presentation is that a workshop involves some sort of praxis on the part of the attendees. The framework for the workshop was to deliver practical resources for those who attended and provide them with an appropriate contextual frame for use in their own practice. As far as complexity of the materials goes, it is definitely for an audience of working professionals rather than experts on the subject - so I would stick with a few main concepts and ideas that are well reinforced.

I really like what Jouke said and I would take that and then place it in a larger frame of significance that makes Web 2.0 relevant. So the move is (a) take participants from where they are in their own understanding of the concept, (b) ask them to elaborate on that understanding and present it, (c) use this conversation as a basis for developing a working conceptual understanding of the issues you wish to discuss, (d) show participants how the greater Web 2.0 conversation is relevant to their own practice, and (e) give them some tools to move forward with on their own time.
posted by mrmojoflying at 12:28 PM on February 9, 2008

I think you get what a workshop is, but need to think about how to apply it.

I conduct a lot of workshops - most are branding/marketing, but I've actually held a workshop on the changing face of libraries (I even quoted you in my intro piece). I do a lot of "How do we communicate this to a broader audience" stuff. And I've found that figuring out how to apply things and messaging to a different constituency is a good use of people's times and brains. (But, that's how I think.)

Basically, I lay out the problems facing the client (in your case libraries) and then the things that pose opportunities (in your case, web 2.0 has done, things that cool libraries have done, etc.) I always start with a SWOT analysis, even if it's really loose.

Then, we pull out different research on different targets. In the case of libraries, it could be people who believe in libraries deeply, people who have no use for libraries, parents and people without financial means/internet access/lots of books at home/etc. Then, you give each group a target market. If you've got a lot of time, you give them old magazines and have them create a profile of the target - what her day is like, what she wants in her life, etc. Then, you have them list what your product (the net-enabled library/the library in general/social networking/whatever) can do for the target - if you've got a lot of time, you have the groups switch who they're working on between sessions.

You have everyone present to the group and then have the other groups ask questions, raise concerns, etc.

If you've got even more time, you let them separate again and think of different ways this can be implemented - what the main message is to convince one or all of the groups, what activities they'd add/create/etc. and present back.

Your job is to circulate, ask them questions, answer their questions, goad them a bit, show them examples, set up in the beginning and wrap up in the end.

At least, that's what I would do if I were stuck for a workshop. As silly as it may seem, getting people to work through things means they will understand and retain more, even people as sharp as librarians.
posted by Gucky at 1:09 PM on February 9, 2008

Small suggestion: the next time someone asks you to do a workshop, make them specify exactly what they expect, and then make to clear to them what kind of setup (including room layout and AV needs) that you will require in order to meet those expectations.

Sometimes, a "workshop" simply means that you have to provide specific learning objectives ahead of time so that participants can tell exactly what they will learn in your session; other times it means doing something primarily interactive, as several people above have suggested. Either way, you shouldn't be held responsible if the folks who invited you fail to provide the support that you require.
posted by googly at 1:13 PM on February 9, 2008

At the conferences I go to, workshops are in no real sense any different from any other platform sessions. More time is allotted for questions at the end of talks, and perhaps people are supposed to feel freer to interrupt the speaker with questions, but the end result is still a series of Powerpoint presentations delivered from the stage.
posted by nowonmai at 1:16 PM on February 9, 2008

The biggest hit at a workshop I run is to demonstrate a process (in this case, the study sections that review grants) that is usually behind closed doors via a "Mock Study Section." Instead of asking random beginner workshop participants to do the interaction, I call up my friends who are experienced.

Get a bunch of your colleagues to demonstrate a "live" version of what Twitter, et all actually do. So Thorntree would be perhaps putting post-its on bulletin board arranged by topic, Twitter would be more like poking people with a long stick. They should be feel free to be a little theatrical.

Meanwhile, you can supplement the live-action on stage with screenshot of what it looks like in internetland.
posted by desuetude at 1:34 PM on February 9, 2008

Oh, and I seat them in roundtables with one experienced person in the topic at hand, so that they can have some unstructured discussion time (which is also good for some of the more embarrassing questions) and allows the participants to help each other figure stuff out as well through discussion.
posted by desuetude at 1:35 PM on February 9, 2008

(I began this at 2:30 PM, did some errands, just finished it, previewed: what everybody said, but now I have written it so here it is:)

the point of social software is the social, not the software
carboard cards, yellow stickies, markers, pieces of paper
hands-on stuff that can show them what it does (low-level concept)

(for example:)

You recreate Askme, simplified:
- 4 big boards, one for each category (cooking, photography, travel, pets), placed in different parts of the room;
- each person carries his/her own cardboard, writes his/her name on it and the 4 categories;
- each person carries also 3 different colors of post-it: pink (question); green (answer); just reading (yellow);

You tell them how to play but not why: they move around freely, from category to category; they can ask questions (write it on a pink post-it, with their name; stick it on the category; stick a pink post-it on their own board); answer questions (write it on a green post-it with their name; stick it near the question; stick a green one on their own board); each time they pass by a category board and just read, they stick a yellow post-it on the category board and on their own.

Time to explain + preparations: at least 30mn.
Time to play the game: at least one hour.
Now, what have we learned?
For example:
- the whole process is asynchronous
- each person manage his/her own time as s/he pleases
- every action is memorized
- we have accumulated collective knowledge available to all on the category boards
- each person has a record of her/his every participation
- anybody can read the participation of anybody on their respective board
- we know how many people have just read
- etc.

Now time for lunch and this afternoon we do tags. :-)
Or we could do Metatalk, or MeFi, or Etsy, or Worth1000, etc.
posted by bru at 2:08 PM on February 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think it'd be expected for a librarian 2.0 workshop to just walk them through incorporating a few new technologies in their library.

So ask the participants to setup new accounts on facebook, twitter, and upcoming for their libraries. Then walk them through the workflow of how to add a new event at the library to each service with the least amount of work possible. If it could be automated from email or IM, that would be all the better.

I say this after going to my local library's website and being told to call a number to hear about special events and closures. I called the number and got a special message but it seemed to be in this day and age it's more trouble to record special messages than it is to simply update a tiny bit of text running on your website (which would have let me skip the call entirely).
posted by mathowie at 5:18 PM on February 9, 2008

Workshop - you say a bunch of stuff, people break into groups and write / draw stupid crap on butcher's paper, people stand in front of the group to talk about what they wrote/drew, you nod and say a little more, you wrap it all up, everybody applauds.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:00 PM on February 9, 2008

Workshop - you say a bunch of stuff, people break into groups and write / draw stupid crap on butcher's paper, people stand in front of the group to talk about what they wrote/drew, you nod and say a little more, you wrap it all up, everybody applauds.

Thanks, that is exactly what I am trying to avoid. I'd rather stay home than lead a lackluster workshop.

mathowie: if I had computers, things would be super simple but I promise I'll talk to your library about their phone message. The reason they have the phone message is because even in McMinnville, not everyone has computers. Also because they don't know other options and/or are probably held hostage by IT.

You guys have given me some really good ideas to get the ball rolling here ranging from making sure it really IS supposed to be a workshop thing (I have had experiences like yours too, nowonmai) to setting expectations properly with goals and "what are people supposed to get out of this" to trying to find good analog ways to explain what the tools are that probably will make using them in the digital world a little less threatening, thanks Brandon.

I'm already pretty good with handouts and lists of links online and I give people bookmarks with the URL of whatever I've been talking about that has both "for your information" liks as well as URLs to the sites I was talking about. I also may just need to GO to some decent workshops to get an idea of what's working for other presenters, or what libraryspeak for "workshop" means to more people. Thanks again for everyone who took the time to chime in.
posted by jessamyn at 6:18 PM on February 9, 2008

On preview: whoops, late and over-long addition!

Agreeing with people that suggest a "workshop" implies a longer time period and hands-on creation of some sort of product.

I don't give workshops routinely, but have been asked to do a few internal things on web 2.0. Mostly very very basic lectures, but I tried to dream up some interactive activities for one of them, to try to get people to actually perform "web 2.0" tasks. In a room without computers.

Let's say you're looking at three axes of 2.0: identity, tagging, and the long tail. First everyone picks four things to describe themselves professionally. Last four conferences attended. Last four projects completed. Whatever. They stick those tags (yellow) on their person. Represents public identity. Discuss: is anyone's categories of self-identification the same? Would you change your tags if you were in front of the whole library? In front of the college president? In public?

Then everyone picks a really arcane thing they've learned as librarians (how to find crazy financial statistics, how to determine optimal square footage for a new building) and sticks those tags (blue) on their person. Represents the long tail. Discuss: use Netflix as example, helps organizations harness internal expertise, can you find anyone else that's done the same "arcane" things you have, anyone that could help you with a project in your department?

Then everyone else goes around and tries to guess what that person's job is. They stick those tags (red) on the other person. Represents -- yes -- tagging. Discuss: inaccurate or accurate? clustered? broader/narrower terms? dependent on context?

This is only half-assedly thought out, and quite possibly idiotic. But it's an attempt at making people, on a super basic level, actually practice (a) creating a profile, (b) harvesting the long tail, and (c) tagging. Maybe additional layers of goofy (tying yarn to each other? physically sorting into various groups?) could illustrate the networking piece.

Short version is: workshops = making people stick post-its on themselves and each other.
posted by lillygog at 6:57 PM on February 9, 2008

One exercise i have successfully run is to ask people in the room to call out there (relevant) fantasies. This is particularly effective with non-techies. eg- "I dream of a world in which our patrons can keep a running list of the books they've borrowed, with their mini-reviews, and then be automatically sent recommendations" or "I'd love to have our clients get to know each other better" or "what if the last 4 people to borrow a Jasper Fforde novel could request to form a meetup".

And then blow their minds by how easily all of the above could be achieved.
posted by prophetsearcher at 1:49 AM on February 10, 2008

At most of the workshops I've attended I was given some sort of handout to take with me. I don't think a handout makes it a workshop, but it does make me feel like I've gotten a little something more out of my time.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 12:24 PM on February 10, 2008

I think it's not uncommon for people to ask for workshops without really knowing what one is. The crucial thing is to make sure tha the objective of the session is clearly understood - and this is something for you to solve with the organiser. Once they have been clear to you about what they actually want, you can plot out the best way to work towards it, and start to manage their expectations more towards receiving a presentation than a workshop, if such seems more appropriate. If they starts to splutter and can't articulate what they expect your workshop to achieve, you can assume they are probably one of these people. You can then try to let them down gently, suggest / agree a general objective, and tell them how you want it to be billed, in order to avoid misrepresenting it to participants.

FWIW I've always seen workshops as appropriate in one of two circumstances:
1. The audience has specialist knowledge that the presenter doesn't, in which case the session should aim to bring out that knowledge in service of the session goal
2. The audience is felt to be more likely to learn from an interactive session than a didactic one

For the types of workshop that I'm used to running, I wouldn't want to have more than 8 - 10 people in the group. Sometimes it's okay to have more if the subject is complex / technical lends itself to having breakout sessions (ie distinct chunks that different groups can work on), but it's out of my personal comfort zone. A "workshop" with too many participants, or which has too general or abstract a topic risks infantilising the audience with trivial exercises about obvious things. If this seems likely then I would personally push back very strongly on the organisers beforehand, and secure agreement to bill it as something else.
posted by bifter at 2:07 AM on February 11, 2008

I've had to put off answering this for a bit. Sorry about that.

First, I run a fairly successful workshop. I don't do it alone, but I'm the programmer and public face for this event. [ask me directly if you'd like to know about it]

For me: a workshop is something where the participants are directly involved, and have exercises (which do not need to be touchy feely at all.) They have to be relevant and help illustrate or solve problems in your field.

It can be another way to illustrate the information, often interpersonal and through direct example. Different people have different methods of learning, and this method is the 'do' method (vs. things like 'watch', 'say', 'read' or 'write')

You don't mention if this is a one hour or one day thing. If it's a full day (or multi day) there's no reason that you can't open with a hour seminar, do a workshop session and come back to another seminar.

Just like speaking; handle expectations. Have they liked/disliked other workshops? What did they like? (These are also great post evaluative questions.)

Some ideas
1) Print and bring up your facebook/myspace account.
Break them into groups and ask them to come up with one for their library. See how different groups compare/contrast

2) Break them into groups and ask them what the future of libraries as a community center should be. Attach these to web 2.0 communities

3) Have them create (at the beginning or prior to the event) a profile of themselves. In your directions specifically give no specifics
Show them the pitfalls and strengths of this (who do they know? did they let out personal information? phone numbers)?

4) Ask them to write down 3 names of people they know; show this as clustering and hubs of people

Last, as a speaker, I'll make sure I say one thing: verify your facilities before you go. If you expect internet and workstations, say so.
posted by filmgeek at 9:37 PM on February 24, 2008

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