Running an effective and impactful workshop can be tough. This collection of tips, resources and design strategies aims to make it easier.

Intro text here to the sub-chapters

  1. Establish the motive
  2. Empathise with your audience
  3. Sort and analyse your insights
  4. Write the first workshop value proposition
  5. List out workshop activities and outputs
  6. Storyboard time, activities and narrative arc
  7. Scrutinise the conclusion against motive and business needs
  8. Build your deck, organise materials
  9. Practice and review
  10. Showtime, be one step ahead

Establish the Motive

Our brains love patterns. We are hard wired to find them and make sense of what we see, hear and experience. Jumping from a conversation to an answer is one of the most commonly seen brain pattern tricks in the workplace. Especially when your work is making sense of things, solving problems or answering questions. Effective workshops start at the very beginning with some really basic questions that are often forgotten.

Sales and communication trainer Jim Wigg refers to these questions when building a picture in a sales conversation. They are universally valuable and can be applied to team management, product strategy, customer interviews and more. When a workshop is suggested, grab yourself three sheets of paper and write down each question in the middle of each:

What are you trying to achieve?
Why is this important to you?
What is stopping you getting there?

Establish the motive.

Empathise with your audience

These questions will have different answers depending who you ask. Agencies might want to learn about their client and customer. Companies might want to their teams to be included in business change and ideas. Engineers might need leadership to understand the complexity of solving a problem. Once you have established your first set of motives you will want to continue to do this across the organisation and audience.

What are…
your boss,
your team,
your CEO,
your customer,
your engineers… trying to achieve?

Empathise with your audience. Working through the three questions with other audiences will give you lots of questions. Ideally you have access to the audience, if not you can fill

Sort and analyse your insights

If you have something to share, suggest or discuss please do — there is a contribution form linked at the bottom of this page.


Workshop Questions

### Discovery

In the past few years, what most surprised you about [ref]?
What has most surprised you about people’s use of [ref]?
If you were able to ask a fortune teller about [ref] in [year], what would you most want to know?
From the perspective of [ref]:
What would a good future be like?
What would a bad future be like?
What have you noticed about [ref] that’s hard to explain?
What one thing do you love about [ref]?
What one thing to you hate about [ref]?

### Project & Technical Planning

Who are the main project stakeholders?
Who will be on the project team?
Who are the stakeholders that we would need to talk to from the different services?
We want to book in deliveries of work for Fridays and feedback from you by the next Monday afternoon – is this possible?
Will there be a detailed list of requirements, or user-stories, already defined for each of the services before we start the project?
Has a competitor/market review been carried out or planned, or does this need to be part of the proposal?
Has a technology review been carried out or planned, or does this need to be part of the proposal?
Is the development team in place?
When will development happen?
What are your expectations for the ‘front-end’ role?
What are your expectations for the ‘support’ function?
What type of prototyping do you require?
Are there any fixed deadlines?
Do you have API or content databases for images/video/content that we can use in our designs and prototypes?
Do you have a TOV for style guide for language?

## Brainstorm Questions
How do you create loyalty (return visits)?
How do you increase transaction spend?
How do you solve customer frustrations that competitors don’t?
How do you simplify complexity?
What would you map to your 3 Horizons?