Embarking on a workshop or series of workshops can be intimidating the first time you are tasked with it. There are many resources available for general guidance on facilitation and running workshops; numerous books on the subject, and many blogs and web-guides. But to be honest, we have used few of these, and don’t have any we would particularly recommend. Have a search yourself and see if there are any produced by organisations or authors working in domains relevant for you. We have learnt the most, and developed the skills to run workshops, from attending workshops ourselves, from discussing with colleagues with more experience, and through practice, both in ‘test-workshops’ with colleagues, friends, or family, and in the real thing.
We recommend organising a practice workshop(s) with some willing and friendly volunteers. This allows you to build skills and confidence and iron out problems in your approach. Give them a topic which makes sense for them, not necessarily the one you will use in the real thing. Ask them to treat you firmly and offer critique and questions, you want to be pushed a bit, not just have a fun few hours with friends.
There are guides for workshops for individual methods, which tend to focus less on skills of facilitation and communication, and more on the technical details of a project or workshop or reflect on applying a method in a participatory mode. These are outlined in the individual methods chapters.
Now, get out there and start workshopping! We have found it a rewarding and interesting thing to do, you get to meet all sorts of different people, and you get a real feel for the value systems mapping can generate for people. You may be nervous, but you will enjoy it, promise!