Dry run the session

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TL;DR recommendations
—Use the same hardware and software —If possible, invite your friends —Go over the session flow in detail —Record the session and go back to it

You certainly don’t need to dry run all your sessions, but if you are hosting them for the first time, using new tech, or with a co-facilitation, dry running your workshop has wonderful benefits, and it’s well worth the time and energy investment.

It will help you:

—Troubleshoot any technical hiccups in advance: audio, video, screesharing, whiteboards, etc.

—Refine the content and design to ensure if flows smoothly, and fits the allocated time

—Improve communication, coordinate transitions and further clarify the roles if you are working with the co-facilitator

—Boost your confidence before the actual delivery, and give you peace of mind

Here are some tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of the dry run!

👉 Tip #1: Use the same hardware and software as the session itself

The main reason to do a dry run is to test any potential tech friction point or issues. Use the same computer, microphone, camera, lighting, internet and virtual platform you are planning to use on the day of the session itself. Practice using all the tools and features, like whiteboards, polls, breakouts and so on.

👉 Tip #2: If possible, invite your friends

Ideally, you will be abet test the environment and interactive tools with a “mock” participant. Colleagues, friends, family, or your co-facilitator are perfect!

👉 Tip #3: Go over the session flow

Go through your entire presentation or workshop flow, including the introduction, main content, activities, transitions, and closing. This ensures that your content fits within the allotted time and flows logically. Pay close attention to timing during your dry run so you can make any adjustment there as well.

👉 Tip #4: Ideally, record the session and go back to it

Recording the session is definitively not a must, but reviewing the recording allows you to assess your delivery, presentation style, pace, use of visuals and so on. It’s definitively helpful if you want to refine your body language and delivery.

Don’t be attached to the content and flow of the session before the dry run, and use it as an opportunity to iterate and tweak so that the actual session can run smoother.

In the Butter Community, we’re hosting Facilitation Sandboxes every two weeks. You can bring your design and test it in a safe space, and get feedback from other facilitator on how you can improve! Read more about it here.