Quick Tips for Awesome AMC Workshops, Panels, and Caucuses

Here are some tips to get you going on designing and presenting an awesome session.

Awesome AMC sessions = awesome AMC!

Tips and tricks for hands-on workshops

  • Recognize when something should actually be two separate sessions, versus trying to pack too many ideas into one 90-minute session.
  • Be prepared for multiple skill-levels in the room.
  • Provide clear and inspiring examples at the beginning of the session.
  • For pop-ed sessions that rely more on interaction than presentation, make sure to plant some smart participants who will feed the “group knowledge” of the room.
  • Know your subject matter well and hold the energy of the room with strong facilitation.
  • Break down complex skills and ideas into easily digestible components that allow participants to jump in, build confidence and quickly shift from learner to teacher.
  • Provide well-designed handouts and other materials to take home.

Keys to really good panel discussions

  • Create gorgeous visual aids
  • Select a dynamic, well-prepared moderator who can draw out the brilliance of panelists
  • Select a moderator who can gracefully prevent "long-talkers" and "tangent-lovers" from dominating or derailing the conversation.
  • Facilitate two or more conversations between panelists prior to the AMC so that they are familiar with each other and can build off each other’s ideas.
  • Make sure presentations don’t focus n on one person/project/identity; aim to draw out a more universal relevance.
  • Test your technology well in advance (video-conferencing technologies always seem to break at the most inopportune moments!)
  • Structure the presentations to be really short, followed by well-facilitated group discussion.
  • Use creative mediums for gathering and synthesizing questions and input from the audience (pieces of paper, twitter, SMS, etc.)
  • If you want to have participants “introduce” themselves, use a quick-and-dirty method that will take up no more than 10 minutes of your session. For example, have people introduce themselves to the person next to them.

Things to consider when proposing caucuses / strategy sessions

  • Be clear in the description: is this session for a particular group only? Are particular groups especially encouraged to attend?
  • Make strong agendas that include discussion of “the problem” but allow enough time to shift to discussion of solutions.
  • Make sure to get participants’ email addresses so post-AMC follow-up can happen.
  • For caucuses that feel way too short for the topic, try focusing the conversation on the question, “how do we want this to show up at next year’s AMC?”

READ ALSO: AMC "Proposing Content" FAQs


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