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019 – Workshop tactics: Can we design workshops without experience? – with Charles Burdett


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In this episode, I talk to Charles Burdett, a UX Designer and the founder of Workshop Tactics, a card deck with exercises for workshop facilitators. I reached out to Charles after I saw examples of his early alpha version on Instagram. And, I was lucky enough to get him to honestly share his experience of developing a physical product for workshop facilitators.

In the show, we discuss the needs of newbie and professional facilitators in terms of tools that make workshops work, what we can learn from UX Design about workshop participants. And, we speak about the difference between workshop exercises, tactics and strategies, namely how wording can impact participants’ engagement in workshops.

Don’t miss the part when we make up the workshop hierarchy of needs that could fail your session despite high-quality content, precise tactic preparation and world-class facilitation.

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Questions and Answers


[1:53] You have a background in UX Design and developed Workshop Tactics. What’s your story behind this idea?

[7:44] What have you learned from UX for workshop facilitation?

[9:45] How does UX works when we think of workshop participants as users?

[11:34] You mentioned in a previous call how you knew an exercise similar to the “premortem” for design workshops. Could you run us through?

[15:15] What are the skills a facilitator needs to make workshops with internal and external stakeholders work?

[19:33] Can you briefly explain the concept of OKR?

[23:33] What are the prerequisites for a facilitator to be able to use your card deck?

[25:24] What would be your advice for someone who uses your card deck for the first time?

[28:20] Where do you think this ‘eye-rolling’ when speaking about workshops comes from?

[30:11] What do you understand by tactics when you speak about workshops?

[33:32] As a facilitator, what do you need to do before starting the tactical part?

[40:17] Do we need creative rooms to host workshops that work?

[44:05] What’s your favourite exercise?

[49:15] What do you want the audience to remember from our conversation?


Links and Connection



Listeners of the workshops work podcast are prioritized for the beta testing! Sign up here!


Episodes mentioned in the show:


Alison Coward on Workshop Culture (Episode 013

Jeremy Akers on Mindset Management (Episode 007)


Connect to Charles:



Twitter or Instagram @workshoptactics

© 2020 workshops work

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