Now that you’ve gathered a group of interested people for your first meeting, here’s a few ideas to get your message across. Begin by presenting a topic that this group is most interested of hearing, based on the interview questions you presented them prior to making them part of your target audience. Some Simple Steps to Get You Started: 1. Now that you have your audience, set a limit as to how many people will be attending the group meeting. Don’t be afraid of creating two or three meeting times. As people’s schedules will vary depending on their private lives. This will serve the dual purpose of also allowing you to create more control over the meeting. The less people, the easier it is to manage, and the more you can learn about how the group interacts together. 2. Reserve a public place that will hold the number of people you expect in your audience. Often restaurants will have facilities that will accommodate your group and allow you to use it as a meeting room. Plan a time for say breakfast or lunch (dinner is not recommended on a first meeting), that will allow everyone to socialize over a meal and can be followed by your presentation. (Just be sure to be clear that everyone tips accordingly and pays for their meal, otherwise it can be expensive if you pick up the tab.) 3. If you use a library, or community hall, be sure you design the seating seating that will also accommodate everyone in your targeted audience. For a small group, 15 people or less, you can place long rectangle tables into a square if the speaker will be sitting at the table. If they’re standing, a U shape formation is best. If you are planning a medium group of 16 to 30 people, then you can arrange seating with large rectangle tables and all the chairs facing the presenter. Although it is not recommended, larger group require a great deal of more space that would be best suited without tables, Lining the chairs in theater type rows would be best with an isle down the center. (Remember though, even community facilities for larger groups are usually not free of charge.) 4. Water and snacks during the meeting will also help keep fidgety hands busy. (And it’s a good idea to inform everyone “NO CHILDREN ALLOWED” as they will get quickly bored and disrupt your meeting.) 5. Put pens and pencils on the tables in case members of the audience had forgotten theres. 6. Provide simple snacks for the meeting on a table at the back of the room for a scheduled break, if you’re planning a meeting that will last over an hour, which more than likely it will. This allows the audience a chance to get up and move around if they need to without leaving the room so they can continue to listen to the presentation while standing. 7. Set up the presenters area with any required equipment. In the Shadows uses a 43” flat screen television that is quite portable and allows everyone to see your presentation well, as well connect to a computer for Power Point presentations. However, many facilities will have overhead projectors, TVs or Disk Players, and podiums available. 8. Place a sign up sheet next to the snacks so that you can know who attended the audience from your invitees. Name tags for each person will also help you know who they are as you makes notes about them for a later determination how they interacted with the group. Be sure to ask every to sign in and put on their name tags. It’s important for good record keeping as far as how many people showed up and what were the most attended meetings or workshops. Target your audience by sending out a survey, asking what times they would like to hold the meetings and what topics regarding the paranormal they’re interested to cover. Designate an assistant facilitator for the meeting so that person can keep the meeting on track if the presenter is unable to do so. Have the assistant take notes on the meeting, including people’s reactions, expressions, objections, interaction, participation, etc. Find like minded people you and your assistant can work with to join your team. When most groups first start, they are done so with friends and acquaintances. Be selective from the notes taken during all the initial meetings, and review the questionnaires that were filled out on the preliminary interviews. This will be your starting point for beginning a regular team meeting. However, it will not be the end of your search. Well that’s pretty self-explanatory. In the Shadows Paranormal Project had training sessions twice a month for the first six months. The objective, to bring everyone into a ‘like-minded’ state. This will create a camaraderie that will solidify your team, and as time progresses, and you loose people (which you will), you will know what gaps in skills will need to be addressed, and begin searching for the next person to fill it. All teams need to have regular training meetings. A standard time format is monthly. Some teams do weekly, or bi-weekly, some do every quarterly meetings once the team is seasoned. However, to keep your options open as you loose members who maybe find out that its not what they expected, have a monthly meeting where the team meets for breakfast at a local restaurant, and open it to the public.. Some our best members came from those who just happened to pop in! Generally all business is discussed during the closed team meetings. If your team charges dues, this would be the time to collect them. You also use this time to discuss pending cases, talk about peoples new experience, and try to add a little something extra to each meeting yourself. For example, always have a new lecture, short or long, setup for something related to the paranormal so your team can continue to learn as it grows. It’s imperative to make sure your team and each member involved with a client case always work as a well-oiled machine, and always be on the same page, and in control! Organizing a Paranormal Team The Paranormal Begin at the Beginning Tips and Warnings After the First Meeting Scheduling Team Meetings A Guideline on Recruitment
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