Last month’s tip (‘Many a mickle makes a muckle’) suggested that mini-exercises can be just as beneficial as the more usual two, three or four-hour sessions that are far more difficult to organise, prepare and deliver.
Here are some suggestions for delivering mini-exercises. In each case, the scenarios are brief – usually just a couple of sentences or paragraphs. Prompts, specific questions or considerations for discussion may or may not be included. Participants discuss each scenario for a set time, e.g. five or ten minutes.
1) Single scenario : The facilitator decides the scenario and prepares a brief description, delivered to the participants at the start of the exercise on, for instance, a PowerPoint slide, a document or a shared screen in MS-Teams, Zoom, etc.
2) Pick a card : A participant randomly selects, or participants take turns to select, from a deck of several cards, each with a different mini scenario on the reverse, created in advance by the facilitator.
3) The numbers board : The facilitator creates a selection of different scenarios, each of which is hidden behind a number. Participants take turns to choose a number to reveal the scenario behind it. The numbers board could be physical (a bit like the cards in option 2) or be created in PowerPoint using hyperlinks to the various scenario slides.
4) Bring your own scenario : Participants are asked to think of a scenario in advance and take turns presenting their scenario to the others on the day, or over a series of sessions.
The above are just a few examples of ways to conduct mini-exercises, but there are doubtless many more, so feel free to indulge your creativity. The more interesting and original you can make the delivery method, the more engaged the audience are likely to be, which can only be a good thing.