Power Prospecting Activity Kit
a multi-purpose, scalable, engagement activity that honors both introversion and extroversion; intended for in-person events
Note: the post that follows is also included in the Power Prospecting Activity Kit. You can go directly to the Dropbox folder containing the kit materials.
The Prospecting activity is intended for in-person events. You may be able to modify it for virtual events using a combination of breakout rooms or other networking space and individual screen sharing, but that has not been tested at this time.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 30 seconds.
If there's gold in them thar hills, there's wisdom, ideas, and insights in any meeting, workshop, or conference community. Helping participants more quickly connect with others to find that gold is the concept behind my Power Prospecting format.
The idea is simple:
offer a meaningful conversation catalyst
have individuals write down a few responses
engage them in several rounds of structured sharing with others
How things usually go
The room is filled with participants seated at rounds. Individuals at the same table introduce themselves informally and begin a little cliché-level networking conversation. Letting people network as they see fit is nice, but insufficient in our time-starved, info-overloaded world.
As the presenter or facilitator you might even start your program with a more structured activity to help them better connect with others at their table. That's great except people only learn a little from/about a handful of people.
Increasing content and community connections
Power Prospecting quickly and easily accelerates the number of people who connect with each other, as well as the relevance and quantity of content they share and acquire. The format is almost endlessly scalable, and it multi-purpose because you can use just about any conversation catalyst as the primary content for the exercise.
It supports more introverted learners by beginning with reflection and writing and moving them towards extroverted engagement only after they’ve generated their own content to share. No putting them on the spot!
It supports more extroverted learners with small group and one-on-one sharing. They can feed off the energy of others as they mix and mingle among all the participants.
It allows for participant autonomy and choice-making … in the content they select to capture and then share, the number and nature of participants they choose to interact with, and their pace for connecting with others.
It includes movement, proving a physical and psychological energy boost.
When to use it
The format is effective at many moments throughout a meeting or learning experience. I most often use it as an opening exercise to help people begin connecting with both the content and the community or as a closing exercise to distill and share takeaways and enable connections that did not occur during the rest of the gathering.
Power Prospecting is an activity/format that exemplifies the essence of facilitation: making it easier. In this case, making it easier for participants to quickly connect with—and learn from—a significant number of people on their own terms.
This linked Dropbox folder contains a complete Power Prospecting Train-the-Trainer Activity kit, including:
instructions for using the format
possible variations of the main format
sample PPT slides to support using the format
a sample handout/worksheet for participants
I welcome your reactions, questions, or suggested enhancements in the comments. Please email any suggested corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org
© Facilitate Better and Jeffrey Cufaude, 2020. All rights reserved.
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