A well-organized inaugural and introductory session is important for building rapport among the participants and the trainers and reinforcing the goals of the training.
What you will learn in this module
making people comfortable with one another
creating a good atmosphere for training
enabling participants to learn about themselves
enabling participants to gain useful information
about one another e.g. skills, experience and strengths
discussing objectives, the session schedule, methodology and agreeing on these
30 to 45 min
Introduction of participants
45 min to 1 hour
45 min to 1 hour
Invite a senior government or provincial official who has been associated with rural women's group businesses to be the chief guest.
Have the chief guest light a candle or lamp, as appropriate.
Start with an inspirational chant or song. Create a solemn atmosphere through reiteration of the cooperative spirit.
Ask the chief guest to say a few words about the importance of the training and how rural women can use it. Make sure that the guest is prepared with a short speech.
Have another person thank the guest, say a few words about the objectives of the workshop and then welcome the participants.
This session recommends a particular way of introducing participants to one another. Any other appropriate method may be used, provided the participants enjoy themselves, gain some useful information about one another and remember one another in future.
Make the participants stand in two circles facing each other.
Tell them to move and stop with the music that will be played for this game. They may infer, or you can point out, that their partners will keep on changing.
Each circle moves clockwise when the music is played.
When the music stops, each participant pairs with the one opposite her, asks the other's name, address and something about the women's groups she has known or belongs to.
Start the music again. When the music stops, participants form new pairs and ask each other the same questions.
It takes ten minutes to complete one round. Organize a maximum of three rounds.
Ask the participants to sit down after two or three rounds.
Participants are now invited to introduce anyone but themselves. In this way, each participant introduces another. Some people may be introduced twice.
Make sure that all participants are introduced.
It is good if the trainer/s joins the group activity.
If the trainer does not play the game, then at the end s/he must introduce herself/himself too. Joining the participants in the game or singing with them establishes quick rapport between trainer and trainees.
Give two to three cards to each participant. The trainers must have cards prepared for each objective of the workshop and the topics to be covered.
Ask the participants to write the objective of and their expectation from the workshop, one on each card. Give them time and ask them to write without consulting anyone.
Ask each participant to read out from her card and then to pin them on the board. Organize this according to the topics to be covered. Keep one column for cards which state objectives that will not be met during the workshop.
When all participants have pinned up their cards, trainers must place their own cards in key places to show which objectives will be met.
It is important to point to the topics that participants want to learn about, but which may not be part of the workshop. Tell them that this will be done in a subsequent workshop if possible.
Inform participants about the workshop schedule. Ensure that this is acceptable to all participants, especially if the hours of instruction are longer than the time participants have committed themselves to.
Ensure that all participants agree with the schedule and all the objectives. Make any changes that are necessary at this stage.
While it is a good idea to make changes to accommodate as many needs of the participants as possible, it is not a good idea to deviate too much from the original plan. The original plan has presumably been developed on the basis of a training needs analysis with a lot of preparatory work. There are two disadvantages of too much deviation from the original plan: first, the preparatory work is wasted and then there is inadequate preparation for the new topics. Make major changes to the initial training plan only if it does not meet the objectives of the participants at all.
What you have learnt in this module
Introducing participants through games helps them to open up to each other and to build up rapport between the participants and facilitators during the workshop.
Sharing of the objectives and expectations of the participants helps to match their expectations with the workshop topics. This makes it possible at the very start of the workshop to change topics according to the needs of the participants.