The Master of Ceremonies (MC) in 100-Day Challenge workshops provides the glue between the various sessions, and he/she creates and manages the energy and engagement of participants in the workshop.
The role is relevant when there are multiple teams in the room. The MC handles the plenary sessions and prepares the teams to do work in break-out groups on their specific 100-Day Challenges.
Minimise the use of slides, and keep each slide as simple and visual as possible.
Early on, and as frequently as possible, invite the participants to do an activity that involves them standing up and walking around.
Pay special attention to the transition between sessions. When a session is ending… Recap the highlights or the work done…. And mention how this will relate to the session or sessions that follow:
“We just decided on our 100-Day goal. In the next session, we will decide what we need to do to achieve this goal – we will develop our work plan.”
If you have a peer Ambassador with you, ask them to monitor the room and to give you a signal to invite them to speak if they are feeling there is a need for an intervention. For example:
“I think some people are still confused about what we are asking them to do when they go into the breakout groups. Let me try to summarise the assignment…”
Check with participants periodically about the pace and about how they are feeling:
“Are we going too fast – or too slow. Show of hands for too fast. Show of hands for too slow.”
“How are you feeling – on a scale from 0 to 5? 0 for feeling horrible, 5 for feeling amazing. Raise your hand. Fist is 0. 5 fingers is 5.”
Avoid talking or explaining things for more than 5 minutes. If it is necessary to do so, see how you can break down what you need to present or say into 5 minute “episodes”. After each episode, you can stop and ask for clarification questions or comments. Here are some questions you can use:
If you pause and solicit questions and comments and you get the dreaded dead silence in a room with 50 people in it, do not be disappointed. This is normal. Paradoxically, the larger the group, the less likely anyone will ask a question.
If they are seated classroom style (not the best seating for an engaging session), ask some of them to shift their seats around so they are in clusters of 4 participants, and then ask them to discuss what they heard with each other for four minutes and agree on 2 questions they have.
Go around and ask a group for one question. Then ask if another group has a different question. And so on.
Jot down thoughts on these questions – to the extent they are relevant to your experience at the session:
They did some work before you received the Challenge Note. This included:
Mentors will participate in all or part of the Lift-Off Workshop, mostly at the start to provide context and answer questions, and at the end to give you and your teammates feedback about the goal and plan you develop.
During the 100 days following the Lift-Off Workshop, here’s what the Mentors will do: