A Guide for Workshop Leaders: Pre-Workshop Planning

As a workshop leader running a workshop from The Guild of the ROSE, it's essential to have a well-organized plan in place before conducting one. Here are six things to consider during the pre-workshop planning stage:

Step 0: Choose a Workshop

You may choose any of our workshops to run, but here is a recommended selection of our best workshops:

Meta workshops (do these first):

Path Mapping: Path Mapping 1: Character Backstory | ROSE

Creating an Exobrain | ROSE

Meta-Learning: Week 1: Learning to Learn | Rose

Standard workshops (in any order):

Practical Social Networking (should be done 1 / month instead of weekly, we recommend interleaving it among the others) Week 1: Foundations of Friendship | Rose

Practical Decision Making Week 1: Thinking in Buckets | Rose

Context and Communication Week 1: Model of Communication | Rose

Street Epistemology v2 | ROSE

Feeling Rational | ROSE

Step 1: Define Objectives

Read the workshop. Clearly define what you want participants to learn or achieve by the end of the workshop. Having clear objectives will help you structure the workshop activities and ensure that participants get the most out of the session.

Step 2: Develop an Agenda

Workshop will have objectives, and a detailed agenda that includes time slots for each activity. Be sure to factor in breaks and time for questions to ensure that participants remain engaged throughout the workshop.

Step 3: Prepare Materials

Gather all the materials you'll need for the workshop, including presentation slides, handouts, and any other resources. Anything you need will be provided on the workshop website but some activities in person may require print outs. Make sure everything is easily accessible and organized, so you can quickly share the materials with the participants during the workshop.

Step 4: Check for pre-workshop resources

Some workshops offer resources for participants to review before the workshop to ensure everyone has a basic understanding of the topic. If possible make sure to send these to people before they arrive. If not schedule in some time to account for the fact that people will need to review this before activities or discussion can begin.

Step 5: Select a Platform

If you're conducting an online workshop, choose a reliable platform for hosting the workshop. We recommend platforms with features such as breakout rooms, chat, and screen sharing to support the smooth running of the workshop. The Guild has its own Discord server and we highly recommend you join!

Step 6: Test Everything

Before the workshop, test everything to ensure it's working as expected. Test your presentation slides, the platform, and any other tools or resources you'll be using to avoid any technical difficulties during the workshop. Double check that both your Internet connection and the website are functioning on your browser and computer. Remember, a successful workshop depends on proper preparation.

During the Workshop

During the workshop, it's important to keep everything running smoothly. Here are some tips to help you do that:

Start on Time

Start the workshop on time and stick to the agenda as closely as possible. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you cover all the material you planned to cover.

Introduce yourself

Start the workshop by introducing yourself and the topic. Explain what the participants can expect to learn and achieve by the end of the workshop.

Set Ground Rules

Establish ground rules for the workshop, such as how participants should ask questions, how long each activity will take, and how to use the platform features.

Use a Mix of Activities

Using a mix of activities keeps the participants engaged and active. For this reason each workshop includes group discussions, individual exercises, and breakout sessions.

Facilitate Group Discussions

During group discussions, be sure to facilitate the conversation and make sure everyone has a chance to participate. Keep the discussion focused on the topic and avoid getting sidetracked. Don't be afraid to say "that's a great idea, but let's put a pin in that until we finish this discussion"

Use Breakout Sessions

Use breakout sessions to give participants the opportunity to work in smaller groups. The optimal group size is between 3 to 5 people so merge groups together to achieve this minimum or to break up larger groups. This can be a great way to encourage collaboration and discussion.

Take Breaks

Taking breaks throughout the workshop gives participants a chance to rest, refresh, and refocus. For this reason each workshop has a 5 to 10 minute break structurally Built-in around the halfway point. Be sure to include the breaks in your agenda.

Post-Workshop Follow Up

After the workshop, it's important to follow up with the participants to ensure they got the most out of the experience. Here are some tips to help you do that:

  • Thank-you email. Send a thank-you email to the participants, thanking them for attending the workshop and summarizing the key takeaways.
  • Collect feedback. Collect feedback from the participants to see what worked well and what could be improved for future workshops. You can submit your suggestions in our feedback form.
  • Provide resources. Some workshops will provide additional resources to the participants, such as a list of recommended reading or links to online tutorials. If your workshop was run in person make sure to collect emails so that you can send this to those who are curious to look into it further
  • Keep in touch. Keep in touch with the participants to maintain the relationships you've built during the workshop.


Q: What do I do if there are technical difficulties during the workshop?

A: Have a backup plan in case of technical difficulties, such as using a different platform or having a phone conference.

Q: How do I handle disruptive participants during the workshop?

A: Establish clear ground rules at the beginning of the workshop and enforce them consistently. If a participant is disruptive, politely but firmly address the behavior and remind them of the ground rules. If the behavior persists, consider removing the participant from the workshop. Remember everyone here is trying to learn and improve and if someone is through their actions not participating in that goal they've already defected

Q: What if participants have different levels of knowledge or experience?

A: The Guild of the ROSE is not meant to be an exclusive organization. With that in mind all of our workshops are designed to cater to different levels of knowledge or experience, and encourage participants to share their knowledge and expertise with each other.

Q: How can I ensure that everyone participates in the discussion?

A: Encourage participation by asking open-ended questions, calling on participants who haven't spoken up, and using breakout sessions to give everyone a chance to share their thoughts. Additionally, establish a culture of respect and openness where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas.

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