Your style, the group's preferences, and the length of the meeting will determine the type of introduction that is used.
- Quick and Easy Intros
- efficient and effective these intros will work for most gatherings
- More Intense Intros
- if participants are going to spend a significant amount of time together more intense intros will allow a better understanding of one another. While this may take a more time, it will be a worthwhile investment in getting the group more comfortable.
- Session Starters
- These are intended to reinforce introductions when it's important for participants to get information, give information, and provide a transition.
- Session Starters:
- involve everyone
- are low-risk activities
- relate to meeting/workshop/training content
Session starters are designed to be a bridge between the Introductions phase of the workshop and the meeting/training/planning content itself. Choose one or more Session Starter activities to create a safe environment and build group rapport. Session Starters also offer the advantage of 'buying time' to help establish and maintain the credibility of your role with the group as a whole, as well as any latecomers. This activity also offers any stragglers an opportunity to settle in without interrupting a more intensive part of the program.
The tool you select will depend on the facilitation design and your style. However each introductory segment should include:
- Introductory remarks/get-acquainted activity
- Acknowledgement and thank you to participants for their attendance (even if mandatory)
- Explain your role as facilitator
- State the purpose of the session; express desired outcomes and results of the session
- Familiarize participants with a program or agenda (either individual printed handouts or common-use display by overhead, projection screen or flipchart, for example)
- Develop group norms (rules of behaviour, cell phones off, break times, etc.)