Trainers Network Mtg, 9.10.2020

Parts of an Agenda: Goals drive the agenda!


      • time
      • next steps
      • opening – get people into this space – setting tone
      • “any other business” – have people add to it.
      • old business
      • something fun/ice breaker
      • introductions
      • “building a container” = make people feel comfortable for learning
      • closing
      • check ins
      • establishing roles
      • activities/ tools
      • evaluation

Why is Agenda Design important?

      • conference call didn’t work without one!
      • need one to structure participation
      • keep the facilitator on track
      • help you get through everything you want to
      • everyone can know what to expect
      • set up a framework in which you can have creativity
      • being realistic about what to expect you can get through
      • makes it possible to work with other people
      • people can prepare in advance
      • makes meetings more productive
      • not having one can cause conflict
      • makes people waste their time if you don’t have one
      • helps people achieve goals
      • makes it more accessible
      • something to go back and reference

What should you think about when you’re planning an agenda

      • who’s going to be in the room? so you can include them.  you might change your intros based on that.
      • what’s the purpose of the meeting – goal
      • in person vs not in person – also would necessitate different intros.
      • what kind of space you’ll be in?  basement vs sunlight, big vs small, heat vs AC
      • what you want to do with each topic – make a decision, discuss, learn, etc.
      • how much time you have for each activity and total
      • explicit vs implicit goals – eg building trust might be an implicit one.
      • checking in with people who would be there for feedback on agenda or get them on the same page
      • pre-meeting time can help with trust-building, relationship building.
      • find out about internal dynamics within the group beforehand
      • who is facilitating?  having a co-facilitator
      • flow of content and energy
      • ensure there are debriefs for role plays
      • different types of activities for different learning styles
      • set community guidelines/norms – expectations
      • thinking through what next steps might be
      • materials – what you’ll need and how to get it – what to prep

[small groups designing agendas]

Scenario # 1

– Storytelling –

Your group has been approached by a group of activists organizing against local school closings. They are seeking a speak out/storytelling training and have asked you to design something to help these folks feel prepared to share their stories with the media to advance the larger campaign. The group is made of 25 people and a mix of teachers, high schoolers, and parents. The training is for 3 hours.

Storytelling Spike #2 – (optional)

One of the organizers had been planning on organizing childcare for the event, but one of the parents pointed out that younger children speaking out would be an effective tool for the campaign. In addition to the 25 high schoolers and adults, you now have four 3th-7th grader

Skill level 3

Intro to Intro: suggested norms, agenda, goals (5 mins)

Introductions icebreaker “step with me”



How school closing affects you                     (15 mins)

Debrief: 1st exp storytelling (2 min)

SKIT: worlds’ worst storytelling to or with media (5 min)

Debrief: soliciting “what worked”? “what didn’t work” in terms of public speaking and storytelling skills (10 mins)

1 hour

Developing stories: story of me/us/now framework and worksheet

Explanation + modeling for group (from someone outside the campaign)


Personal journaling with worksheet (20 mins)

Small groups of 3 based on affinity/age (20 mins) à

BIG group debrief:  5 min story 2 min feedback (10min)


PROMPT: What makes a good story (10 min)

1 hour

PRACTICE TELLING YOUR STORY (separate littlest kids)

Dealing with difficult media

Fishbowl? Hassle line? Pairs/switch?

CLOSE: (23 min)

What did we learn? (5 mins)

How will we apply? (next steps) (10 mins)

AFFIRMATIONS: (on notecards, read by another individual) 10 mins


(1)   develop your story (as it relates to the organizing issue)

(2)Public speaking skills

(3) Practice telling your story

IMPACT: community-building.


Scenario # 2

Volunteer Orientation –

Your organization connects volunteers with homeless shelters to play with children and support healthier childhood development. To prepare for your upcoming orientation, all prospective volunteers have had one-on-one conversations with staff about their shared understanding of the systemic cyclical nature of poverty, as well as have had a general run down of the organizations mission and vision. Your goals for this orientation will be building a deeper shared political understanding of the work as well as providing the volunteers with tangible skills for working with these children.  This is a 4 hour session.

Volunteer Orientation #2— Optional

A service-learning group at a local college has decided they want to spend a day of service for the organization.  The team decides that you’ll invite them to the orientation pre-service to pair the experience with a political analysis.

Skill level 2

Ice Breakers/Games  –

-Interactive on topic – communication

-Communication – related

– Telephone

-Go Around

 -why are you here

-Ground Rules


– why is storytelling important? 
— What makes a good story?

Trust Building Activities –

                  -Journaling – Write narrative individually
                  -Pair Share – listen, repeat

Small groups

– story telling
– mock interview

Fish bowl – Role Plays

Giving & Receiving Feedback

Check out
debrief discussion on goals


Skill level 3

1.     Welcome

a.     Purpose of mtg

b.     Reviews of agenda/time/questions

c.     Guidelines

2.     Pairshare – (w/ someone you don’t know)

a.     How will the school closures affect you?

3.     Report back & introduce partner

a.     One common theme in stories

4.     Journaling

a.     What does this school mean to you?

b.     1 particularly meaningful experience that you remember

5.     Small groups – mixed –

a.      sharing your story

6.     Large group share – w person chosen from each small group

7.     Closing & review day  & next steps.


Skill Level 3

12-12:10- Eat & Gather

12:10-12:15 – Intros

12:15-12:20 – kids song

12:20-12:30 – Logistics & welcome & norms

12:30-12:45 – Video on homelessness in DC

12:45- popcorn debrief

12:55- pairshare – perspectives w/ homelessness

1:10 – assumptions & expectations

1:30 – break

1:45 – roleplay scenarios & debrief’s

-do’s and don’ts
– childcare basics

3:00 – break

3:15 –questions in a hat & discussion – re: hopes & concerns

3:45 – Logistics

3:55 – Call to action.


Skill Level 2



I.               (30 minutes) Introductions –

a.     Prefered gender pronouns

b.     Why are you here?

c.     Goals/agenda review

d.     Excellent video & transitional moment

II.              (1 hr) Storytelling –

a.     Guided                   questions (introduce with facilitator narrative/org’s POV)

b.     Small groups (four groups of five)

(10 minute break)

III.            (1 hr) Roleplay

a.     Situations/spikes (relationships/boundaries, challenges, etc.)

b.     Give/receive feedback

IV.            (20 minutes) check in & energizer game (to tie things together

V.              (40 minutes) Brainstorming activities

a.     Brainstorming activies

b.     Practice activity simulation & role assignment to spice it up

VI.            (20 minutes) closing & next steps

a.     Pairshare & volunteer popcorn


 Helpful Things:

      • goals –“build share understanding and cyclical nature of poverty + tangible skills” 
      • volunteer action: “play with children to support healthier child development”
      • contract in group dynamic.
      • new activity – energizer and ask questions anonymously – “snowball” exercise
      • don’t forget energizers, esp in a 4 hour training
      • breaking it into bigger chunks vs smaller exercises = easier to see flow
      • people need to feel appreciated – creating a space for affirmations at the end of a workshop
      • don’t forget to be explicit – eg why is storytelling important.  be explicit re goals and expectations.
      • it’s important to meet people where they’re at and don’t assume ppl know stuff.
      • liked being sorted by colors and shapes and able to self identify
      • detail-oriented
      • dynamic activities – “step in” exercise – use your body and energy
      • liked the sections that were clear – could see flow of how things are structured
      • what is the information people need and creative ways to transmit info – skits, brainstorming, etc.
      • connecting each piece of agenda to larger goal
      • you can get through content while being creative and interactive
      • you can say no if adding a piece would prevent you from getting to our goals
      • have interactive childcare that will also help with goals of training – engage the younger kids too.
      • you can say no – sometimes it’s important to do that.