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Posted on October 3rd, 2022 in Leadership & Civic Engagement

by Steve Yoder, Community Development Regional Educator, Purdue Extension 


On September 20, Regional Community Development Educators Tanya Hall and Steve Yoder led a daylong workshop on verbal facilitation skills for a group of six faculty members from Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, India. The participants spent a week at Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus to learn more about Purdue Foundry’s Firestarter program.  

The workshop focused on identifying and practicing the verbal skills that meeting facilitators can use to help groups brainstorm ideas in ways that are engaging, inclusive, and group-driven. The visiting faculty practiced effective ways to pose questions, share leadership, and guide the overall process.  

Most of Purdue Extension’s facilitation workshops are geared toward individuals who want to increase their ability to guide community organizations through a decision-making process, such as developing a strategic plan. September’s workshop was an opportunity to teach these same facilitation skills to an entrepreneurial audience that will use them to guide groups through a process to generate new business ideas. 

Firestarter is a cohort-based program connecting entrepreneurs with resources to commercialize their innovations. The six-week program covers a wide variety of entrepreneurial topics, including business plan development, value proposition, ideation, validation, and market discovery.