I love big groups, but their movement needs to be managed well, lest people get confused, or worse, start to drift away.
I had the pleasure of working with a couple of very large groups – kids and adults – recently, and I was reminded once again of the following key large group strategies:
Bunch people in. You don’t often need a circle, just invite people in closer to you. This invitation will raise the energy of your group, not to mention their ability to hear you. It also builds an air of expectation and excitement.
Instruct people where to stand, rather than ask people to find their own space. This latter strategy rarely works because it often produces two or more of the same types of people, eg when presenting Categories, two or more of the same categories form independently of one another. Instead, direct where particular types of groups need to stand, eg If you cross your left arm over your right, stand here, if you…
Inject tons of humour. It is said that the shortest distance between two people is a smile or a laugh. Nothing cuts through the ‘ice’ of a group more effectively than laughter. Share your observations of those silly little things that we all do, but don’t often admit to, eg forgetting someone’s name, and then avoiding them for the rest of the program.
You can learn more about how to work with large groups in Episode 12 of our Facilitator Tips video series.