Hey, I am Dino Zafirakos, Agile Coach, coordinator for the group of facilitators at the Business Agility Conference in Vienna. I will be happy inviting you to apply for joining our facilitator team in May 2020 in Vienna, Austria.
May I ask you to read carefully below, what we are looking for. Given the highly inclusive format of this conference, our ambition is the art of facilitation. Just tell us, if you have any question. In any case we are looking forward to reading your application, after the call has been opened.
An interactive Conference with Facilitation
Join us as a facilitator at the Business Agility Conference in Vienna. Integral to successful events is the ability to “deep-dive”. That is to give participants the opportunity to learn from each other, share their own stories and converge from the “art of the possible” to “what am I going to do on Monday”.
Our unique Format
A requirement of a good deep-dive is facilitation of dialogue. In our experience, each group of 8-10 people needs to have 1 facilitator to guide the discussions. Facilitators are not mini-speakers or leaders, their role is to ensure everyone has a voice, not to be a voice. Deep dives are kept simple – this is not a training course – and are designed to encourage sharing and interaction as much as possible.
After each series of 3 short TED-style impulse sessions, followed by a panel and interactive Q&A, these groups of participants start their deep-dive with their dedicated facilitator on what was heard and discussed. This is run like a mini co-creation session.
What Makes a Great Facilitator
Here are high-level functions of the facilitator and the mindset they need to bring into the deep dive facilitation:
- The facilitator should be articulate, confident and knowledgeable about the topics discussed by the speaker. This enables them to effectively guide the conversations around the table.
- Plan a very short icebreaker/fun introduction for the table
- Encourage the participants on each table to be collaborative in nature.
- Ensure time is managed carefully, with plenty of time for discussion.
- Facilitators should not dominate the discussions. Involve and encourage less confident participants. Recognize patterns in the discussions and lead the discussions to the desired outcome.
- Contain overzealous members of the table and keep the discussion moving in a reasonable but purposeful way. In other words, do not allow any single participant to monopolize the roundtable
- Stay on point/issue/target with the group as much as possible.
- Stay active, attentive, standing, engaged.
- Maintain a very positive, neutral, supportive, on-point attitude. Challenge thinking patterns.
- Use flipchart or any other visible tool for tracking the high points and to help manoeuvre the participants through the discussions.
- Appreciate people for their contributions to the discussion. This will encourage them to bring back more thoughts for the future sessions and bring introverts out of their shell.
- Lead to end at the high point of the discussion. This will be the sticking point or the main take away of the session.
- Develop thought-provoking, open-ended questions to get at and discuss the issues surrounding these topics (understand what the intent of the outcome is)
- Facilitators should assist in creating an environment of safety, non-judgment, respect and lively inquiry that fosters deep learning and curiosity at the same time. No one wants to speak up in an environment where they are judged or undermined.
As remuneration for their efforts, facilitators will be provided with complimentary entry to the event and access to all event social events.
Planning and preparing for a conference of this nature takes intention, alignment and coordination. A few weeks prior to the conference we will be hosting facilitator calls. Our purpose will be to connect as a community, spin up our system, and coordinate the logistics and details of the conference. We ask you to commit to the following:
- Participate in all of the facilitator calls (probably 2 online calls). If you are unable to participate, please connect with someone who can fill you in on what you missed. If you miss all calls you will be asked to step down from the facilitation role.
- Arrive at the conference the day before the conference begins and be available for a planning meeting the night before.
- Arrive at the conference 2 hours before the conference starts.
- Be able to stay for the full duration of the conference, not leaving early.
- Participate in a retrospective at the end of Day 1 and after the conference ends.
We’re Here to Help
When you submit your application to facilitate, depending upon our impression, we may reach out to you to schedule a time for a short interview. Ultimately, we’ll be selecting the best facilitators based on our overall impression no later than 4 weeks prior to the conference. Submit now to get the best opportunity for detailed feedback from our busy review team.