Essential Workshop meeting Equipment for Facilitators

Workshop meeting equipment recommendations for anyone facilitating a workshop particularly if it includes any form of process mapping.

Have you been tasked with running a workshop?

Need to facilitate a discovery session?

The key to running a workshop is to have all your attention on your audience. The following workshop meeting equipment recommendations are recommended to allow you to do just that.

Notepad

Everyone needs a good notebook in their workshop equipment setup. I have tried many over the years… Rhodia, Leuchtturm1917, Oxford Black n’ Red are but a few. I have always come back to my old faithful, the one and only, Moleskine. The perfect size, quality and of course impression. Sleek professional looks, an elastic closure to keep it secure with a matching bookmark ribbon. They also have a handy expandable pocket at the back which I use to store business cards received. Cannot recommend these enough. Moleskine Classic Ruled Paper Notebook

Pen

During the workshop, capturing detailed notes is essential and quite often you will need to highlight notes with different colours. I use a Zebra Sharbo X pen, it looks sleek and professional with great functionality with its 3 customisable pen/pencil choices in a single pen.

Post-it Notes

Post-it Notes, the essential piece of kit to work collaboratively to layout a business process. I would recommend having different colours and getting yourself set up beforehand by assigning a colour to a particular type of action or step relevant to the process you are mapping.

As an example, red for an automated step, blue representing an out of system action, green for an existing process step and blue for new steps, yellow for a step with an outstanding question.

Don’t forget to take enough pens for everyone to use when writing their steps and information down. Permanent Markers are best, such as Sharpie Fine point or Sharpie Ultra Fine Point.

Flip chart paper

Office Flipchart Pad – many people use brown paper rolls to hold the post-it notes process, personally, I prefer to use flipchart pad sheets secured with Blu tack to the desk or table, why? well…

  • Transportation – you can take a qty of sheets and fold them so you can carry them easily in your bag, this is particularly useful if you are working outside of your office or traveling by public transport.
  • Natural phase boundaries – each sheet can represent a high-level phase of the business or customer process which helps to keep things ordered and structured.
  • Post-workshop – they can all be separated, folded and put back in your bag, keeping your important newly defined process in place ready for the write-up.
  • During write up – you can do a sheet at a time on your desk rather than having to handle a huge roll of paper running the risk of post it’s falling off and losing their place.

Laser pointer

Trying to facilitate groups of people and reference information at the same time is not easy. Being able to highlight information on a screen from the other side of the room without having to move closer to it will help tremendously. When you have the attention of your audience don’t lose it by disengaging and trekking to the other end of the boardroom to highlight something in your presentation. Get yourself a clicker and laser pointer that works for you.

Laptop

Clearly, you will need a laptop as part of your workshop meeting equipment portfolio and everyone will have their preference. If your interested in what I use currently, here it is:

Dell Latitude 11 5175 LTE, Core m5-6Y57, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro, UK (5175-1839)

I love this 2 in 1 laptop due to its keyboard choices (x2), extendable keyboard battery, stylus, and small form. Additionally, its 4G LTE capable so I always have backup internet no matter where I am. (I even installed a dual boot with android running alongside windows)

However, I do drool over these….Samsung Galaxy Book (2017, 10.6, 4G) or (2017, 12.0, 4G), Dell XPS 13 9370 Intel Core I7, 16Gb Ram, I will have one…one day

HDMI Cable

It will be probably be required to connect to an overhead of some sort, whether your own or the one in the meeting room. don’t be caught out with no connectivity, carry an HDMI cable in your bag.

There are many HDMI cables available of all shapes and sizes, I find a retractable HDMI the best solution as its highly portable and keeps your laptop bag tidy. Standard HDMI cables tend to be quite bulky in your bag but with a retractable one, it is compact, neat and easily fits in your bag.

Mouse

Built-in trackpads are fine for general use but when your under pressure with an audience watching your every move I guarantee things will go wrong. Mistaken clicks, lost cursors and unplanned trackpad movements. Get yourself a portable mouse to portray a more professional image and allow yourself to focus on the job in hand. Microsoft Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse

Portable projector

If you are frequently visiting customers or using meeting rooms without projectors, these small yet powerful overhead projectors will fit right in your laptop bag.

LG Minibeam PH550G Portable Projector (HD, LED, 100,000:1 contrast, 550 lumens)

or

APEMAN Mini Portable Projector Video DLP Home Cinema Pocket Projector HD Support 1080P HDMI Input Built-in Rechargeable Battery Dual Stereo LED Life up to 25000 Hours (Black)

I hope you find this useful and feel free to comment or add you’re essential workshop meeting equipment.

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