Format and Design

Over the years, NCG has received considerable evaluative feedback from members on what makes a program worthwhile.  We've learned that our members value sessions that are interactive and that encourage dialogue and exchange. Panel presentations are a commonly-used format, but we recommend that you create a session that allows for a high degree of audience participation.

Following are a few pointers and examples of formats that you might consider:

  • Allow time for “table talk” in which participants get to dialogue with each other in small groups.

  • Structure time for individual reflection-can be a simple as “quick write “ exercise in which each participants gets to write a response to a question you pose about what they learned and how they plan to use it.

  • Allow for brief participant self-introductions with a 20-second provocative question for discussion.

  • Designate half an hour for networking before or after the briefing.

  • Model interaction and engagement-The best way to ensure that audience is engaged, ready to take risks and raise provocative questions is to have speakers first take risk and raise provocative questions. If the conversation might be a difficult one, take time to do a five-minute icebreaker to put folks at ease and create a climate for open, honest dialogue.

  • Site Visit-Structure the briefing around a site visit to the field.

  • Experiment. Remember that most participants have been at numerous briefings that looked and felt the same and would welcome something out of the ordinary. We wholeheartedly encourage your creativity.

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