Think of a great conversation you have had. Why does that particular conversation come to mind? Is it symbolic of your life?



Where do the Flipcharts Go?

Trainers, facilitators and consultants have a predominant tool: the flipchart. Flipcharts are the scribe for our best ideas, important breakthroughs and plans for the future. So where does all that paper go? The trash!


Inspirational events, motivated teams, break-through innovation – all start with a good briefing.


Teams, like all of us, feel better when they know where they are going and how to get there.  

 “I am looking for hope for my people” said another client last week. Meanwhile, the window showed the aftermath of terrorism; while the newspaper on the sill carried headlines of Trump, Brexit and refugees. It seems everybody could use a bit more hope.  This was the third client briefing of the month that could be summed up as “Seeking Hope.”


We all strive for meaningful conversations with people around us, but there are also the lack-lustre, talk-about-the-weather moments. Facilitative leaders, have the ability to transform moments from the mundane to the magical. How to do it?

We gathered forty facilitators at the #IAFEMINA16 conference to explore their practices in an investigation into how to get people talking. Here are their insights:


We gathered a dozen facilitators from the IAF to explore how to unite people. These keen observers of human dynamics had been watching the world’s divisions grow wider – the left & right, the haves & have-nots; and closer to home our families and workplaces that have been increasingly taking sides. Facilitators know there is power in the middle ground. 


Imagine a sea of ideas. The ideas floating and bobbing in the waves. Suddenly there is a big hole in the sea, and the ideas come rushing in - there in the cavity, the ideas bounce and jump and mix and merge. That's what a conversation is, a place where ideas can mix and mingle - a space that creates a free zone for interaction.

You can create this conversation space by asking a great question.

What Makes a Question Great?


Why Are We Talking?

Why will this conversation matter? What needs to be explored? How might a conversation illuminate new perspectives on this?


Don't Have a Goal

Most ventures go better when we have an idea of where we want them to go. As Walt Disney’s brother said of his accomplishment, “because he could see it, we all can now see it.” Clear targets are easier to reach. Goals and objectives have become part of our culture.


Feedback: How to Say it

Being evaluated can be a positively transformational experience, yet often the feedback one receives feels too light, too polite.
In this article for Artful Orators, you can explore how to offer deeper, thoughtful, insightful, and actionable feedback.
You can also download an eBook designed for giving feedback on presentation skills, but relevant for all types of performance improvement.

Read the post at Artful Orators & get the eBook:

Visually Speaking

As part of an ongoing investigation into “Visually Speaking”, Jeffer’s drawing of the MC at Artful Orators, was featured on their blog under the theme of “Listen. Speak. Connect” Jeffer's drawing harvested participant poses and quotes as the evening unfolded. Yet another way to create and capture precious moments!



Stimulating Ideas & Building Futures