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Process

HOW JULIE WORKS: PROCESS

Preparation

Julie does a lot of different things in her working week but there is one common factor in every thing she does and that is preparation. Before your event Julie will meet with you face-to-face or by teleconference to clarify the overall aims and the key issues for discussion in her session. She is very happy to read any documents or briefing materials you can give her to help her understand the keys issues in your sector.

For over 20 years Julie has participated in hundreds of conferences, seminars and events as an MC, facilitator or speaker. She is very happy to share practical ideas about what works well based on her years of experience.

Panel discussions

If Julie is running a panel discussion or hypothetical for you, she will draft a single-page summary of the overall aims and trigger questions for the session based on the briefing you have given her. You can then distribute this summary to all the panel members in advance so that they have a clear idea what to expect.

Often it is a good idea to distribute this summary sheet to all the participants on the day as well. It is a simple way of making sure everyone understands the key issues for discussion and the questions to explore.

Julie also likes to meet the panel members face-to-face 30 minutes before the event, if possible, to explain her approach and to answer any questions they may have. Julie recommends that the ideal panel size is four to six people with a maximum of eight. She recommends you allow one and a half hours for a panel discussion. This guarantees one hour and fifteen minutes of discussion time, while allowing time for introductions.

Hypotheticals

If you are planning to run a hypothetical, Julie can show you some examples of well-drafted hypotheticals to look at before you write your own. It is amazing how helpful and timesaving it can be to look at a few examples before you start writing your own story line.

Julie recommends that the opening scenario for your hypothetical is no more than half an A4 sheet long, followed by two or three short plot developments that each raises a new issue in a clear and simple way. Julie will also offer feedback and advice on your draft storyline.

Audience participation

Julie is very skilled at engaging audiences and involving them in a discussion through questions and comments. Julie’s style is relaxed, friendly and informal yet focused on the key issues. Her natural wit and humour bring warmth and fun to everything she does, even if the topic is sensitive. Participants at seminars and forums facilitated by Julie are often surprised at the open and frank contributions she elicits from the audience and panel.

On the day

Julie arrives at least an hour early on the day or evening of your event so you can brief her on any last minute matters. It also gives Julie time to do a sound check or a technical run through or to meet members of the panel and audience.

Technical requirements

Julie prefers to use two cordless, hand-held microphones, rather than a lapel mike. Cordless, hand held microphones generally deliver a better quality of sound and they enable Julie to engage the audience directly by walking amongst the audience for question time. When Julie is running a panel discussion she recommends that the panel members do not have individual microphones. Instead she asks for one or two cordless, handheld microphones for the panel members, depending on the size of the panel. Julie will ensure the microphones are passed rapidly between the panel members.

Keeping to time

Julie is well known for her capacity to keep events running smoothly and on time. In fact, she often finishes 5 to 10 minutes early because she believes in the motivational power of the early mark. As an MC she is tactfully able to keep speakers on time. Wherever possible, Julie is keen to provide the audience with the opportunity for questions and comments. Keeping the program running on time is the key to ensuring this happens.

Evaluation and feedback

Julie values feedback very highly. If you provide an evaluation form, Julie will ensure participants complete it during her session and she is keen to hear the comments about her work. Julie is also happy to provide her own feedback sheet. If you would like to speak to Julie after your event to discuss what worked and what could be improved, she is very happy to do this.