AMC2013 will feature nearly 200 hands-on workshops, strategy sessions, presentations and performances. To support all of our presenters in making their sessions as dynamic and accessible as possible, we've compiled this list of resources and suggestions for leading a great session.
- Your session is 90 minutes. Be realistic about what you can cover and leave buffer time in case things take longer than you anticipate (they always do!).
- Make sure that the workshop you plan to present matches its description. Find and re-read your session description here: https://talk.alliedmedia.org/amc2013/sessions.
- Check in with your co-presenters. Schedule time to collaboratively plan how to most effectively bring your session to life.
- Make sure you've communicated your A/V and supplies to AMC organizers, especially if you have any special needs.
Content for all ages.
The Intergalactic Conspiracy of Childcare Collectives (hosts of the Kids Transform the World practice space) has put together an amazing zine, the Intergeneration Resource Guide to the AMC (PDF), about how and why to incorporate the youngest among us into AMC content. What makes kids feel most comfortable typically makes everyone feel more comfortable so look for tips no matter who your session is geared towards.
Accessibility is awesome.
Not all disabilities are visible, so ensure you have back-up plans for folks who may not be able to participate in certain activities, especially if the activities are physical. Read this compilation of tips for how to make your session accessible.
Safe space is important.
The AMC2013 Safety Team will be available to check in with you via phone, in-person, and online throughout the weekend. If you feel like your session content could be emotionally triggering or inspire the need for emotional support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in touch with a Safety Team member who can ensure someone is around to offer resources and guidance for your workshop participants.
Zip through our Zine!
Check out the "How We Organize the AMC zine vol. 1" which we published this year. The whole thing is pretty great (granted, we're biased...) but we want to draw your attention to the "What Makes Awesome AMC Sessions?" section (pages 37-39). Here it is excerpted:
What Makes Awesome AMC Sessions?
from "How We Organize the AMC zine vol. 1"
Tips for awesome Hands-On Workshops
- Recognize when something should actually be two separate sessions, decide what to share.
- 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.
- Be prepared for multiple skill-levels in the room.
- For pop-ed sessions that rely more on interaction than presentation, make sure there are awesome participants who will feed the “group knowledge” of the room.
- Know your subject matter inside-out. Hold the energy of the room with strong facilitation.
- Break down complex skills and ideas into easily digestible pieces that allow participants to jump in, build confidence and quickly shift from learner to teacher.
- Provide clear and inspiring examples at the beginning of the session.
- Provide handouts and other materials to take home.
Tips for awesome Panels / Presentations
- Create gorgeous visual aids
- 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. Ex: have people introduce themselves to the person next to them.
- Have a plan if your tech doesn’t work.
- 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 narrowly on one person/project/identity; aim to draw out 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 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.)
Tips for awesome Strategy Sessions and Caucuses
- 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?
We’re excited to see you in a few weeks!