Workshops thrive in the right environment

Last week, Daniel Mouqué and I gave our workshop again on how to use audience psychology to give inspiring presentations.

The workshop was hosted by the Imagination Club here in Brussels which runs a wonderful format.

The room (holding 15 people comfortably) resembled more a living than a meeting room: no desks, only sofas and comfy chairs. It has no air condition but windows that you can actually open and Jeffrey and Andy of the Imagination Club organize a little buffet with snacks that people can grab something from at any moment.

The room that we used (without the tables)

When giving a workshop, don't just choose any old room.

All of that made a big difference. Daniel and I got great participation because the environment put us all into the right mood. It’s something I experience again and again: the environment has a huge effect.

Notably, the Imagination Club ticks three boxes that we all should tick all the time:

  1. Don’t take any old room: choose a room that is pleasant and different and designed to make people feel at ease. If the weather is good, consider having the workshop in a garden. I’ve done that, it’s magical.
  2. Windows are a must: daylight and fresh air make such a big difference that I wouldn’t easily compromise on this.
  3. Move the chairs: many rooms are set up like a class room. Why? An open (or U-shaped) arrangement is almost always more effective. And do you really need the tables? They build a barrier that hinders participation. In short, don’t just go with the seating arrangement that you find.

Or, if you are in Brussels, simply book the T-Room that the Imagination Club uses at Timesmore. Brussels-weather permitting, you could even use the wonderful garden.

Giving a workshop in a garden: it's magical.

Sunflower photo by Cindy Bonfini-Hotlosz on Unsplash

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