- Whiteboard or sticky flip chart paper
- Write out what you are asking your participants to share so everyone can read it
- Introductions can be used to create buy-in from participants, get to know who is in the room, set the pace/energy for the workshop, etc. Be sure to use your intro time purposefully to accomplish the outcomes needed to create a productive learning space.
Goals & Learning Outcomes
- For you to know your participant’s names and pronouns.
- Participants will know your name, pronouns, and other relevant information about your role as a facilitator.
- Participants will understand the general flow of the training.
- Participants will understand overall goals for the training.
- Introduce yourself and share a short bio about yourself and relevant info to your role facilitating the training.
- Share the general flow of the training. This maybe longer or provide more context if the group isn’t knowledgeable about what the training is about and/or was required to attend. For example, “This training is going to take approximately two hours. We are going to be working through together a number of activities in order to gain a better understand LGBTQ identities and experiences. These activities are going to be reflective, small group, and sometimes large group discussions. We’ll take a break in the middle of the workshop so you can use the bathroom, send a quick text, etc.”
- Tell the group you’ll be having them introduce themselves sharing the information you’ve written up on the board/flipchart (e.g., “1. Name, 2. Pronouns, 3. Role/Position/Job, 4. One Thing to Learn Today”).
- Role model the steps you’re asking them to complete. For example, “Hello! My name is Fred, my pronouns are he/him/his, my role here is that I’m your facilitator, and one thing I want to learn is how I can best help you connect with LGBTQ identities and experiences.”
- Start with a participant on your left or right, and go around the circle allowing everyone a chance to share.
Make it your own
The process detailed above of how to do introductions is very simple and effective, feel free to get creative with intros by playing games or asking interesting questions of your participants.
Unlock the Magic
While participants are doing their introductions, draw a map of the seating arrangements in the room, then write down participants name and pronouns (you can use a symbol/shorthand) on your map. This will allow you to call on participants by name during the next activity, and learn their names more quickly in general.
While we ask people to include pronouns in introductions, we do not encourage facilitators to force anyone to share their pronouns. If a participant doesn’t include their pronouns in their introduction this maybe an intentional choice, and we suggest you call them by name for the duration of the training.
Introductions are something that can easily eat up a lot of time in your training. We recommend spending no more than 10 minutes on introductions in a two or three hour training. If you are doing a condensed Safe Zone we recommend doing even shorter intros, possibly just asking participants to share their name and pronouns.