Tips - What's in my bag?


"What's in your bag? So many stuff?!" Yes, I always carry my big bag when I need to work with a group of people. You want to create an environment that you want it to be, and it's all about how you set it up with... these stuff. What's inside my magic bag? Let's see...

My first priority! I always bring my own speaker and my music playlist is always ready in my mobile phone. Before the participants walk in a room, they can already hear spry and lively music, then they know what they are expecting - a fun and relax time. You don't want the group to feel pressure, boring, or worry too much about the day. Bringing them a happy and friendly first impression will bring you a group of happy and friendly participants.

A bottle of room spray; use it before the session starts and after lunch time. It can immediately and totally change the feeling of the whole environment. That's the power of SCENT. My favourites are the combination of lavender, bergamot and geranium, also I have lemongrass and candy sweet. Imagine if you step in a room and you can smell coffee, you feel fresh and spirited (or hungry)! Candies bring you joy, and flowers bring you the feeling of love and warmth. That's the idea.

If I facilitate a workshop for brainstorming or problem-solving that requires a lot of thinking, energy, and peace of mind, I will definitely put a few candles around the space, creating an environment for connection, creativity and inspiration.

Ding.... Ding....

My secret weapon to get the group's attention! Works every time.

These are no regular markers, these are SCENTED markers. I've been using these magic markers for years and the group always love them. "Hmm I smell cherry!" "Oh mine is lemon!".... Suddenly the room is full of laughters and kids.

These are for me. I like extra large markers for my own flip chart writing and drawing.

Small permanent markers (name pens) are also useful for participants to write on post-it notes, name tags or note cards.

A deck of note cards for participants to write down key learnings of the day or exchange insights with partners. If you are looking for an one-stop-shop online stationary store, vistaprint is always my first choice.

Colorful sticker is a very effective tool for moving people around the room, visualizing group thinking, setting priorities and making group decisions.

A lot of post-it notes for the thinking process of individuals, small and big groups. The magic of using post-it notes is that you can easily write your ideas on the notes, stick on the wall, move around the ideas, combine with other's ideas, organize them, add or remove ideas. You can work individually or in a group.

Do you know you can use your mobile phone or ipad to record and organize your post-it notes? Check this out Post-it Plus App.

I am not a big fan of blu-tack, I always carry a roll of masking tape.

In fact, masking tapes have different colors and patterns that you can create arts and special activities in the class.

A pack of picture cards! The purpose is to wake up participants' right brain, generate insights, make connections, walk around and talk about it. You can actually discover quite a lot of good storytellers in the group. Any kinds of picture cards can serve this purpose, such as Dixit card game or Points-of-you.

Another secret weapon - TEA. My favourite is camomile, honey and vanilla flavoure. The tea smells so good, makes you feel calm and relax. Passion fruit black tea and apple green tea are very nice too. You can simply get a box of tea with different flavoures for participants to choose.

How to enjoy a cup of tea without a cup? This is my old and reliable partner traveling around with me, it could be an old mug but definitely serving its purpose!

Another old partner, my slide pointer.

Well that's all the gadgets in my bag. No wonder why it's so heavy!

See more TIPS and TOOLS here.

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