There is nothing more inspiring than attending a session in which the facilitator captivates the audience through interactive, hands-on, collaborative experience.
What’s the trick to transform a meeting, working group, or information session from boring to fun and motivating? It’s not just one, but several elements that make the difference.
At the Mozilla Festival, these interactive, community-led sessions are the heart of the experience, inspiring others to take progressive action towards positive change in the digital world. Whether you are a digital rights activist hoping to propose a session at MozFest, an educator looking to enhance your tech working group, or a developer looking for ways to design sessions that attract more collaborators, we’ve put together 5 tips for designing a session that will bring you and your work success.
Be sure your session is delightful, fun, or otherwise compelling and engaging for your audience members. Design engagement with a strong sense of purpose and productivity in mind. Make sure that your attendees feel involved in the work of the session and that they see its importance and benefit to them and their communities and work. Online or off, think of yourself as a facilitator, not a lecturer. Your role is to help attendees actively engage with your work, not just to tell them about it.
Think about accessibility as you design your session.
Consider accessibility guidelines like these ”Accessibility Guidelines for Presentations” from the Society for Disabilities Studies as you imagine your session proposal. It’s also always a great idea to share your proposal with people who have lived with disabilities and can give you authentic feedback on your ideas.
Think through your session plan and content to make sure it is inclusive, safe, and welcoming for everyone. Here are a few examples of how to do that:
Decide what you want to get from your session as part of your design process. You probably already have a good idea of the content and kinds of experiences you want to share with audience members. You might already know what you want them to get out of your session. You can check by asking yourself questions like these:
You should leverage your session not only to amplify and share your work, but also to advance and improve it in ways you couldn’t without the help of the community.
Build in a call-to-action for your audience members as part of your session proposal. That could be giving participants an opportunity to exchange contact information with you and each other in a voluntary and secure way so that you can follow up with each other after MozFest. You might research how to provide a voluntary, opt-in, email sign-up form for a newsletter or share your project’s social media details and invite people to follow you.
Have an idea of what you might do together beyond the session and share it before the session ends. You might contribute to one another’s projects, join each other’s online communities, or start something new together. Imagine your session as a specific moment and place to check in with each other while combining your efforts for a healthier internet and trustworthy AI throughout the entire year.
Our call for session proposals opens later this month, we’d love for you to submit your ideas as a potential festival Facilitator. Until then, check out these resources to keep track of when the CFP launches and to get help kicking off your proposal.
The The MozFest 2021 facilitator guide will also be available soon!
We hope you’ll submit a session proposal that shares your work and reflects your perspectives on internet health and trustworthy AI. MozFest depends on you! Thank you for everything you contribute to the festival and its community. We hope you will join us at MozFest!