Business Moderation: Analysis of the Participants – Tips for a Successful Workshop-Design

Two weeks ago I explained to you, why it is so important to decide on a theme/topic for your workshop– today, we shall take it a step further and will take a closer look at your participants.

2. „Who are the participants of your workshop?“


This is THE central issue, which you should take into account in the development of your moderation designs. You may not be able to answer this question fully, but a rough estimate is better than not to worry about it at all. In the following you can ask yourself additional questions to help you clarify who your target group is.

  • Who is participating?
  • Are there different hierarchies?
  • How many people are participating?
  • Where do they come from? (Arrival time!)
  • Do they know each other? Well?
  • Do they like being here?
  • Are they here voluntarily?
  • What is their goal?
  • How familiar are they with the content?
  • Which social and political orientation could they have?
  • What interests could they be representing?
  • What kind of attitudes could there be?
  • What are their expectations?
  • What concerns could there be?
  • Which conflicts could arise? (personal, contentual)
  • How familiar are they with the moderation techniques? (if the methods are new a thorough introduction is necessary)
  • Have they already had (good?) experiences with it?
  • Have they worked with other moderators?
  • Perhaps they already have had an „overdose“ of moderation?

If you know WHO your participants are, you can start thinking about how best to approach them, to get them all on board with all their different expectations, attitudes and interests.

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Have you ever heard of the Graves levels? The Graves levels model of the US American psychology professor Clare W. Graves is a stage development model which you can use to assess your participants. For details see:

For the time being, enough about the participants. Next time we’ll look at the objectives and non-objectives of your workshops! I am looking forward to seeing you again!