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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

Effective Strategies for Crowd Control in Facilitation and Teaching

[#facilitation, #teaching, & 'crowd control’] "How do you control the room?”, someone asked me. There’s no one answer. There are lots of ways and things that help.


Greeting everyone as they come into the room (hat tip Liz!)

Onboarding them all as allies on our figurative “ship”.

Explaining what they’ll get in our time together.

And why it’s so good for them to join in. Deal?

Shuffling up the groups & room helps a lot.

And sharing a simple, clear, 3-part plan.

I indicate how long each part will take.

& importantly: the plan for a break.

I say they never need permission…

To excuse themselves for the loo.

I just ask they quietly let me know.

If they need to fully leave and go.

Sometimes we do hand signals.

Sometimes countdowns instead.

A big visible timer helps a lot.

A tall & straight posture.

Lots of eye contact too.

Some nods of my head.

Some expectant smiles.

And then sometimes.

Just occasionally.

A frown.

Or even.

A sigh.


Creative note: I almost got this post to read reversibly! Meaning you could read it backwards from bottom to top and it still kind of makes sense.

What do you do to control large groups?

Which line is your favourite method from this list?

How can I make it read better backwards?!

📸Photo: from the recent Cambridge resources training we did in Jordan at the lovely Rotana Amman.

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