Small Team Reports to Large Group - Options and Exercises

Posted on by Brandon Klein

There are many ways to report individual or team work. Here’s a short run-down on the most common.

Standard Presentation -
Assemble the whole group into the Radiant Room, and have each team report their work in turn. Can be supported by HyperTiles, hand- copied WorkWall pages, and other materials. (Presentations can also be performance pieces, such as with Legends). Strengths — Effective and efficient. Straightforward. Usually allows for questions for clarification, if not short discussions of the merits of ideas presented. Weaknesses — Can become long.

Walk-About Presentation -
The group walks from Break-Out Area to Break-Out area as each group reports their work from their WorkWalls. Can also be used for individual work (see Take A Panel, where individual work is reported to teams). Strengths — Removes the requirement for participants or staff to copy or recreate work already on WorkWalls for immediate use in a presentation. Can be viscerally stronger to see the original work. Stand-up mode encourages shorter presentations. Weaknesses — Can be awkward: Break-Out areas may be too cramped to allow all the participants to see the WorkWalls. Can be tiring on participants if it requires standing too long. Walk-abouts of individual reports to the large group (as opposed to teams) can be very lengthy. More difficult for staff to document.

Board Reports -
Each team creates a presentation of their work on WorkWalls in the Radiant Room (often recreating much of what they had on their Break-Out WorkWalls). Teams are encouraged to develop a finished, graphic-rich presentation. This form is often used to close a day’s session, giving a boost to the verbal reports (standard presentation) given at the start of the next day. Strengths — Challenges teams to make a strong graphic presentation of their work. Promotes synthesis of ideas. Often is a fun gathering of the energy. Good bridge between one day and the next. Weaknesses — Recreating the work may feed redundant and unnecessary to participants. Takes more time than other modes.

Group Conversation -
Assemble the group in the Radiant Room and facilitate a discussion of the preceding round of work. For very short, “check-in” reports: no chairs (everyone stands). Strengths — Gets the highlights. Can be efficient when time is limited. Weaknesses — Can be dominated by a few strong personalities. Biases the presentation to short answers rather than specifics, and often leads to discussion and debate rather than presentation. Report Modes

Small Group Reports -
Put participants into new teams: each participant presents the work of his or her previous team, followed by discussion. This mode is more often used in the Scan or Focus phases of work, where the variability of the results is less critical to the process. Strengths — It works. Requires each member to participate. Often useful when you need to feed people. Weaknesses — Reports will vary, sometimes greatly; no team will get the same ideas and impressions of the other team’s work. The numbers don’t always work to allow each “old” team to be represented on each “new” team.

Carnival -
Rarely used; controlled chaos! Each team presents its work on a movable panel or report wall; these are arranged in a large room in a circle (or oval, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, et cetera). Each team selects a first presenter, second presenter, et cetera. The first presenter stays with the team board while each team moves one board (clockwise or counter-clockwise) to hear the first report. At the end of a set time (ring a bell), each group changes presenters and progresses one board. This continues until each team hears every other team’s report. Strengths — The chaos: a bit of chaos can be energizing. Weaknesses — Rigid timing; each report has to be the same length, so that all teams can progress. Chaotic.

Trade Show -  
Each team creates a graphic presentation or model of their ideas; akin to a trade show, participants wander from booth to booth and discuss the presentations according to individual interest. Presenters are rotated in some manner. Strengths — Allows participants to follow their interest. Encourages innovation, salesmanship from teams. Weaknesses — Each individual has a very different experience. Good “trade show” presentations take time to produce.

To communicate team or individual work to the wider group; to disseminate ideas and build understanding and agreement.

• Team produces a stand-along graphic report; another individual or team interprets and explains what the graphic communicates.
• “Fair Witness” – an “objective person” (sometimes staff) listens to a report, then presents a short, verbal summary of what they heard. This provides feedback to the team regarding the clarity of their report, and allows corrections and additional comment. Often, each team is assigned a different “fair witness.” It’s a fairly demanding role.