• Vickie Smith

VIDEO REVIEW: Designing Facilitation Agendas Using SessionLab

Updated: 7 days ago

SessionLab takes the guesswork out of manipulating times and blocks of content to create an easy-to-follow agenda for facilitating virtually online or in person. SessionLab enables us to focus on the art of design rather than getting distracting by the little stuff, such as making sure the start and end times are correct every time you change something.

We love this tool and there are many helpful features that we have hardly tapped into. For instance, there's a whole library on SessionLab of facilitation tools from the International Association of Facilitators (IAF). You can also find all of the Liberating Structures tools. With these proven modalities and energizers already built into the program, you will feel more confident in the design of your plan or program.

This video tutorial walks through planning a workshop for the Mid-Atlantic Facilitator Network (MAFN) called "Strategic Communications (Powered by Mural)." The purpose of the program was to provide facilitators a process for strategic communications planning that they can use with their clients for the purposes of developing messaging, specifically around change.

Read a full transcription of the video.

Try SessionLab and make designing agendas the easiest it's ever been.

Setting up your SessionLab agenda

(1) Create a title.

Double click and add a title on the top left of the new session.

(2) Create a new tab for each day of your program.

Click "Add day" to add a new tab for each day of your program.

(3) Add the time. UPDATE: It is possible to change the time setting away from the military time default in your account settings.

Click the time stamp to change and lock the time.

(4) Create a block and call it “Set-Up.”

Include any “housekeeping” things here, such as log in early, make so-and-so the host to manage breakouts, etc.

Click "Create block" and double click "enter name" to title it.

(5) Create a block and call it “Welcome and Kick-off.”

Click the "+" sign or add a new block.

(6) Create the remaining blocks. Add buffer time and factor in late arrivals.

Check out this article for tips on timing for virtual facilitation agendas.

Check out our blog on virtual energizers to keep your group engaged in way that supports your goals.

Pro-tips for for SessionLab

When you delete a block, it’s gone forever. Instead move the block over to the “notes” section, in case you want to revisit it later.

Click and drag a block over to the Notes area on the right.

Add “collaborators” to the agenda. You can also assign specific parts to your colleagues, so that it is easy to tell who is doing what.

Click "Share" and add collaborators.
Hover below the time stamp to assign a user to a block.

You can use the ellipsis tool to include details such as goal, materials and detailed instructions. Before wasting hours on slides, write the content you need to speak to or visualize in SessionLab first in the Instructions, then only create slides for what you actually need.

Click the ellipsis to add goal, materials and detailed instructions.

Upload files and materials you want to share during the program so they are easy to access.

Below the instructions, upload materials you want to have on hand.

Use one column for tech hosting notes and links.

Use one of the main columns for tech host notes.

Exporting your SessionLab agenda

I like to export as a Word document, then increase the font and highlight key areas or the times, so that they are easy to view.

Export as a Word document.

I like to print and work off the printed agenda for my programs; however you may also like to have it up on the screen and use it like a teleprompter.

Highlight the times and key content in the Word version.

Want to discuss this blog?

If you need urgent support on a virtual facilitation agenda, you can reach out to us for a 90 minute one-on-one consulting session. Our clients have found that this one-on-one time leads to adjustments in their agendas that encourage active engagement and participants who leave feeling energized and included. Book now.

Start trying SessionLab today!

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