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Your purpose, Your aims, Your how

Written by Elle

So, in the last section I asked you to do something a bit silly, it could have seemed a bit purposeless…?

However, there is a point to the exercise: I wanted you to consider how you might break down a simple, everyday, learnt task. Something you know intrinsically and do without thinking. My aim? To get you to consider explaining each simple step, and think about the varying ways in which you might need to share the detail of each step. I want to point out that as a workshop facilitator, you cannot make assumptions about knowledge or previous experience. I also hope the task highlighted timing considerations, that something super simple can take quite a long time to cover in practice, in session.

Every session you write, deliver and facilitate will have a purpose. What this purpose is will be completely different for each facilitator and will depend on why you want to deliver the session. Your why is your Purpose, and it is personal to you. 

What do you think your <em>why</em> for facilitating workshops will be? Why did you take this Self Study Pack? Why do you want to facilitate? Make a note of this why…

What do you think your why for facilitating workshops will be? Why did you take this Self Study Pack? Why do you want to facilitate? Make a note of this why…


For example, if you are designing a session to support early career freelancers to organise their finance, tax and budgets, your why is most likely that lots of people feel daunted by this topic and feel lost about how to get started, so your aim will be to support them to feel confident in this area. Another aim might be to develop some systems to keep finances organised. A session can have multiple aims, but not too many! Depending on timings, 2 to 3 are plenty to get through. The more aims you plan, the less likely you are to deal with each aim well or deeply enough. 

If you have a really clear purpose to your session, your aims will be easy to identify. Once you have your aims, you then identify how you will go about exploring the aims of the session – your objectives. How will you achieve your aims? Let’s look at an example, using the session above. We will call the session:  

Un-Baffling Finances for early career Freelancers and Business Owners 

Aims of the session 

  • To build confidence around managing finances as a freelancer 
  • To explore some useful tools for managing finances, taxes, invoices and account 
  •  To use existing resources to develop our own method for staying on top of finances 

How will we do this (Objectives) 

  • We will share experiences and build peer mentoring and support networks so that we can ask questions, learn from each other, and get feedback in a safe space 
  • We will look at 2 freelancing applications that manage invoices, send reminders and keep track of incoming and outgoing payments to explore the pros and cons of these, and look at methods for developing your own.  
  • We will look at real examples of accounts and spreadsheets, explore applications and put together our own methods for managing accounts. We will all gave a go at some simple account management tasks and learn from this experience by discussing the process  

Watch this video that I made a few years ago, while we were in Lockdown, to support students in developing a workshop plan and approaches to running a session.

Planning a workshop video from Elle

Got a workshop in mind that you would like to develop?

Have a quick go at writing 2-3 aims and at least 2 objectives for each aim. Don’t think to hard over this, try not to use big words or sound clever, go with your gut, get something on the page!