The beauty of teaching with workshops is that you can teach and reach people in the way that they learn the best. Everyone is different and learns in a different way and with workshops you can use methods that appeal to auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners in the way they learn the best.
Get the Participants Working, Sharing, and Discovering.
The traditional model of learning is what we all experienced in school a teacher standing at the front of the room feeding information to the students by lecturing to them while they take notes. I think we can all agree that there are better ways to learn and that is the beauty of workshops.
You goal as the facilitator of a workshop is to assist the process of discovery. You are setting up a process by which the participants are discovering what they need to know rather than you simply spoon feeding information to them.
Different people learn in different ways so you will want to fill your workshop with different activities for each style of learning. Some people are auditory learners. These are the people who actually do learn best by passively listening. A greater percentage of the population is visual learners meaning they learn best by seeing something. Another large part of the population is kinesthetic learners meaning they learn best actively through motion and touch.
Make sure you have activities in each workshop that involve all of those modalities of learning. A great way to include those modalities is with different creative activities, group discussion, drawing, and writing exercises.
You are the Director and Time Manager
This is a very challenging role because you must allow for the best learning environment possible while ensuring that there is time to cover all the material in the workshop.
You will have to be aware of the energy level of participants in general and for any given activity. This may require extending some portions of the workshop and cutting short other segments.
You will have to manage the overall time of the workshop to ensure that all the material is covered without rushing, dragging, or cutting off any particular portion.
This constant adjusting will take a great deal of focus on your part as the facilitator. You will want to make sure that you remain flexible yet keep the overall time frame within the allotted number of hours.
Your job as the leader or facilitator of a workshop is multifaceted and complex and when you do it well the learning experience is like no other for your participants. It is richer, deeper and far more fun.