Beyond Traditional Talking Heads

A friend of mine in the facilitation world, Tree Bressen — along with Debby Sugerman and the Sunrise Facilitation collective — has written a paper about the Possibilities for Transformational Conferences.

Let’s assume that you are going to succeed at attracting 50-1000+ motivated, smart people from around the region or country to attend your conference, ok? As the convenor, you now have an amazing opportunity to engage and influence a large number of active and talented folks about an issue that is important to you. Inspiring speeches can energize attendees and spark new ideas, but that alone is not enough. There is nothing like active participation to prepare people to take what they have learned out into the world.

It covers a range of potential ways of including conversation and audience participation within ‘traditional’ conference formats.

Participatory Formats to put at the Middle or End of an informational presentation.

  • Pause for Pairs
  • Small Group Sharing
  • Attendees Interview Each Other
  • Panelist or Participant Fishbowl
  • Panelist Circles

Participatory Formats to Supplement or Replace One-Way Presentations

  • Storytelling
  • World Cafe
  • Representative Fishbowls
  • Kinetic Spectrum (Spectrograom)
  • Speed Dating
  • Project Gallery (Speed Geeking)
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Open Space
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