The Quest #162: 🌟 5 Timeless Session Design Principles to Live By

Hello friends,

Greetings from Colmar, France πŸ‡«πŸ‡·where I am traveling with two of the most loyal readers of this newsletter – my dad and stepmother. πŸ˜…

πŸ™ŒMany thanks for reading The Quest, your weekly round-up of tips and insights to help you design and lead exceptional online sessions that your group members will love.❀️

Let’s jump right in!

🀷Why aren’t tips and tricks enough when leading live sessions?

The answer clicked for me 20 years ago during a workshop called Creative Facilitation. At the time I didn’t know anything about leading groups or even what facilitation was.

That workshop was a revelation πŸ€―

I had never been more engaged in a workshop – or in any learning experience for that matter. And it wasn’t only me. Every single person in that workshop was immersed.

It was a masterclass in live session design.

The two visionary facilitators who designed it – Charlie Murphy and Peggy Taylor – didn’t just teach us the mechanics of facilitation. They showed us what truly ✨exceptional✨ session design looked like.

It worked every time.

Charlie and Peggy became my facilitation mentors and collaborators for many years. We worked together to bring Creative Facilitation to audiences around the world. It had the same magical effect. Every. Single. Time.

Their secret? βœ¨Timeless design principles.✨

They knew that by grasping the core of how session design works, they could take their workshops to a whole next level. It’s like knowing how to cook and not just following a recipe. You understand why certain ingredients work well together.

These principles can transform your live sessions.

You’ll understand what truly engages participants at a deeper level. You’ll have a trusted framework to create consistently high-quality sessions. And you’ll boost your confidence as a facilitator.

“What are these timeless design principles?” I hear you asking. That’s our Quest for this week: πŸ”Ž

πŸ‘‰ 5 timeless design principles to live by


πŸ‘‰This week’s Facilitator Finds

πŸ‘‰Free event invites and more!

🌟5 Session Design Principles To Live By

Sometimes when I am stuck designing a live session I find myself wondering, “What would Charlie and Peggy do?”.

Over time, I realized that in trying to answer that question, the same core principles kept coming up.

They have become the timeless design principles I use in every session I lead. They transcend tips and tricks. And they apply to in-person, hybrid, and online.

Here they are in case they help you πŸ‘‡

1/ πŸ’ͺ Start strong.

A strong start captivates attention and sets the tone.

In practice, ease participants into your session and engage everyone from the get-go.

2/ πŸ—£οΈEngage everyone.

Getting all voices heard taps into the group’s collective experience, builds buy-in, and leads to better results.

In practice, design activities that invite input from everyone, and use tools that make it easy for everyone to participate like polls or breakouts.

3/ πŸ€Prioritise Connection.

Connection builds trust which is the bedrock of collaboration and learning.

In practice, connect early and often, build rapport, and facilitate group discussions to build bonds.

4/ πŸ’₯Spark Interaction.

Active participation is key to a memorable session. Interaction accelerates learning and keeps the energy high.

In practice, mix up your methods by asking questions, including hands-on activities, and using digital tools.

5/ βœ¨Close well. β€‹
A strong closing reinforces key takeaways and leaves participants with a sense of accomplishment and clarity.

In practice, recap important points and design a closing prompt to end on an emotional high.

What timeless design principles do you live by?

πŸ’ͺThis week’s Facilitator Finds

1/ πŸ’»Activate Zoom AI Feature. I’m experimenting with Zoom’s AI companion. It comes free with the paid version of Zoom but you need to activate it to get started.

2/ πŸŽ₯Cat Mulvihill. If you want to sharpen up your virtual presentation skills you Cat’s your person. She turned me onto the Elgato teleprompter. Check out the amazing resources on her website.

3/ πŸš€Boom App Walkthrough. A brand new app for your virtual camera to bring more energy and engagement into your video calls. Brought to you by Robleh Jama and team. I’m excited to test it out!

πŸ“…You’re Invited! Butter Mixer Session – Facilitating Breakthroughs – May 16th

Join me and the awesome Butter team for a 1hr interactive session on Facilitating Breakthroughs: From Insight to Impact.

When: Thursday, May 16th, 5-6pm CEST

Register πŸ‘‰ here.

I’ll be sharing one of my all-time favorite activities called the “Story of Breakthrough” framework.

It’s an experiential way of learning how to create the conditions for breakthroughs in your live sessions.

Plus, in the session, you’ll get to see the Butter engagement platform in action. 🧈

πŸͺ„The Live Session Magic Course Page is Live πŸ”₯

We are one step closer to launching Live Session Magic! You can now check out the new ​course page​ for more details and join the interest list. Check it out hereπŸ‘‡

πŸ’Œ Thanks for reading The Quest

I always love hearing your feedback and suggestions. Just hit reply to share your thoughts and ideas.

If you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to The Quest πŸ‘‰here.​

If you enjoy The Quest, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with anyone you think might like it.

Creatively yours,

Whenever you are ready there are 2 more ways I can help you:

πŸ‘‰Custom coaching & team training. Book a free 15-minute zero-commitment call with me to see how I can support you and your team.

πŸ‘‰5-week Live Online Course. The Breakthrough Facilitation course gives you tools, personalized feedback, and a proven framework for designing and leading high-engagement live sessions. Join the interest list and be the first to get the next cohort dates and discounts.

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