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Leanne Hughes, First Time Facilitator – InnovaBuzz 190

Leanne Hughes

Leanne Hughes, First Time Facilitator

In this episode, I’m really excited to have on the InnovaBuzz podcast as my guest, Leanne Hughes, Podcaster, Facilitator and MC, and Host of The First Time Facilitator podcast.

Leanne has worked across industries including mining, tourism, and vocational education and training,  presenting leadership and development programs, onboarding initiatives and presentation skills workshops. In her podcast, Leanne reveals all of her group facilitation, training and workshop tips, and tricks so you can be ahead of the curve the next time you step out in front of a group.

In our discussion, Leanne talked to me about

  • Being focused on workshop outcomes – keeping them close but not too close
  • Managing energy – keeping it high, but at the same time providing contrast
  • Why it’s important to think always about the learner (audience)

Sean D’ Souza on episode 179 introduced us to Leanne.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Listen to the Podcast

The best and most compelling facilitators and speakers are the ones who can tell stories really well. @LeanneHughes on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Leanne Hughes, host of the First Time Facilitator Podcast

Key points and take-aways from this episode include:

  • Facilitation is about being flexible. It is about having your outcomes close but not too close. It is all about being prepared for any amount of different situations and feedback that you might get and being able to wave what people are telling you in your workshop so that you can create a theme through the day and create energy contrast. It is not just speaking. It is through your design of activities, the way you open up, and the way you ask questions and listen. It is three dimensional.
  • Ideation is linking things that are sort of random, together in a way that makes sense.
  • When you are running a workshop, always think of the learner.
  • Remote teams should be treated in the same way as you treat people who are in your office but you have to make extra efforts. Be extra thoughtful but treat them in the same way as you treat any other one of your employees.
  • Stories are very powerful and often underutilized. The best and most compelling facilitators and speakers are the ones who can tell stories really well.
  • The more powerful side of facilitation is listening to the stories of the participants in the room and giving them the opportunity to share their stories.
  • Your role as facilitator is using what you are hearing from the audience and linking that back to the content and outcome you want to drive. 
  • Some activities that can help you elicit stories from your audience:
    • Name Activity – introduce yourself and talk about your name (where it originated from, why you were given that name, what does your name mean to you, etc.) Talking about your name can reveal so much about what you value.
    • SIFT Exercise – Stuff-Ups, Insights, Firsts, and Transformations
  • Using questions and giving it a bit of context and structure is a great way to elicit stories.
  • The art of segueing is extremely important in facilitation.
  • You have to develop a safe way for people to feel that that it’s OK to let their ego down and talk about it.
  • Facilitation is unpredictable. You’re not just there to give a speech. You have to really listen to what is going on in the room and constantly think ahead.
  • If you want to start a podcast, you should pick a topic that you want to learn more about.
Your role as facilitator is using what you are hearing from the audience and linking that back to the content and outcome you want to drive. @LeanneHughes on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Leanne’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Step back and think. Observe what is going on around you and think of how it links to what you are doing.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Helping other people develop their own. Ask questions.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation –  Morning routine – running. Notepad and pen.
  4. Keep project / client on trackAsana
  5. Differentiate – Reflect back on your experiences and do not take them for granted. Bringing all of those pieces together is what creates uniqueness.

To Be a Leader

Encourage a facilitative conversation with everyone in your team and organisation. The best innovations come from the ground up. The best way to drive innovation is to create an environment and culture where it’s OK to speak up.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Leanne through her website, Instagram and on LinkedIn.

Suggested Guest

Leanne suggested I interview Dr. Annette Koy and Cameron Fee of the Coretex Group. So Annette and Cameron, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Leanne Hughes.

Links

Books

Cool things about Leanne

  • She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management, Psychology, and Human Resources.
  • She played netball for the University of Queensland Netball Team and internationally for Papua New Guinea.
  • She’s a finalist of the Australian Learning Professional of the Year awards.
Encourage a facilitative conversation with everyone in your team and organisation. The best way to drive innovation is to create an environment and culture where it's OK to speak up. @LeanneHughes on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Listen to the Podcast

Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is a transformational marketing strategist, podcaster, speaker, the chief innovator and founder of Innovabiz who partner with innovative, exceptional business coaches and consultants to enable you to acquire more leads and more business by reaching your ideal target prospects with your message, so that you will achieve growth and be able to make a difference to more ideal clients. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, as well as on Innovabiz' Twitter, Facebook, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Tales of Marketing Transformation Show and his personal Photography website.

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