Training on the moderation of discussions - report by a participant

Fotó: Várady István
from Közélet Iskolája on Picasa

As a homeless activist of The City Is For All, I took part in a two-day moderator training of the School of Public Life. In the course a wide range of people participated:people living in housing poverty, parents of handicapped children, LGBT activists, trade union activists, even a family support centre worker.In the first round, everyone introduced themselves, we did not only give our name, but also told the story of our names, why we are called as we are called.Several people told stories about where they come from, the history of their surnames; we also mentioned how we preferred to be called.

Tessza Udvarhelyi and her instructor companion, drama teacher Ádám Bethlenfalvy organised the training perfectly and introduced us to the secrets of moderation. Miklós Fetete-Nagy homeless activist of The City Is for All (AVM) briefly presented the moderation practice of AVM.

During the course we played a variety of community games to perk up the participants’ attention.Sometimes breaks were put in and – to everyone’s great amusement – we could try out different moderation situations.We found out that it is not so easy to start and channel a conversation or to lead a group to decision-making.We have learnt that a good moderator holds and carries forward the conversation and can guide the group to the stage of decision-making.We picked up special moderation techniques which aim to make sure that people in a disadvantaged situation within the group get a chance to speak.

I took part in this training as hearing impaired and told the group how AVM helps me to communicate when there is no sign language interpreter there. In such cases someone always notes down the conversation and I can follow the topic in writing via shared links through Google Drive. This is not only good for me, but also for those who cannot be physically present as they can follow the conversation as well. During the training sign language interpreters were present who, in turn, helped me to understand what moderation was about.

I really enjoyed the two days of moderator training:we mastered the ins and outs of public moderation in a fun and playful way.We had a very good time thanks to the excellent organisation and sign-language interpreters.

Éva Németh

Photo: István Várady