I am always looking for a way to spice up what could be a very boring meeting. Whether it’s with my charming personality or incorporating some fun little activities or including pressing issues that create dialogue I think there is a way to make a meeting a little more lively than just perusing through the agenda like Charlie Brown’s teacher. The same can absolutely be said about recruitment workshops. I have sat through and led some doozies in my day. Did I learn from those experiences? Absolutely! I learned that never again did I want to lead a workshop that people dreaded coming to and wanted to leave after the first 10 minutes.
I think it also goes to show that you care about what you’re trying to teach if you put a fun spin on it. Obviously you think it’s important for your members to learn how to have meaningful conversations with PNMs, to bump, about your voting procedures, and your overall vision for recruitment. But you have to make your members believe it is important too. And sitting through six hours of non-stop ranting or monotony is not going to get them there. Here are some ideas to make your workshop more fun and interactive:
1. Play pump-up music when everyone is arriving. Who isn’t inspired by Beyonce? Turn on Beyonce or Spice Girls (a personal favorite) Pandora and let everyone know that they are in for some fun before they even find their seats.
2. Begin with an overview for the day. Nothing is worse than not knowing what to expect and feeling like the day is never-ending. Not to mention, are we getting bathroom breaks or a lunch break? Review your expectations for the day and let your members know your plans unless you want a bunch of hangry sorority girls stewing in their seats.
3. Start with an icebreaker. Yep. I just went there. Get people out of their seats and talking. Chances are your chapter hasn’t really spent time together since school got out so get them talking to each other and excited about your sisterhood.
My personal favorite is Bear/Man/Gun. It’s like rock, paper, scissors but everyone is up and moving around! The symbol for Bear is your hands up, man is waving, and gun is like you’re pointing a gun. The players stand back-to-back and yell “bear, man, gun” then turn around to reveal their pose. If they tie, do it again. Whoever, wins moves on to another team and the loser travels around with the winner cheering them on as loud as they can. When another wins, their little posse follows cheering on the winner until there are two winners left. They come together for the final battle and the ultimate winner can win a prize or the love and adoration of all your sisters.
4. Your first session should be whatever topic is most pressing for your chapter. If your chapter really needs to work on their conversations start with that. They will be most focused at this point during the day and may check out later on. Like I suggested in the Recruitment Questions post (linked above) play a game like Jenga with the questions written on the blocks. Put your sisters in groups and let them answer the questions. Be intentional about how you would like people paired up so that strong conversationalists are working with weak conversationalists.
5. Let your members share their worries. Whether this is their first year recruiting or their senior year, it is likely all of your members have questions on how to handle different recruitment scenarios. Let them voice these concerns publicly and address them individually. You can do this by members calling out their concerns one at a time or collect their concerns in a hat and discuss them all. It helps everyone realize that you’re all in this together (HSM, anyone?) and no one is really an expert when it comes to recruitment.
6. Bring snacks. This goes back to #2. Unless you want a bunch of hangry sorority girls, you better have snacks there!
7. Know that you have a plan of action, but hear others out. Just because you have done something a certain way for years does not mean you have to continue. A new member to your chapter may have a better idea for bump groups than what you’ve done in the past. Even if it is different that what other chapters are doing, if it follows the recruitment rules, try it out and see how it works for your chapter. Your chapter gets new members every year and loses members every year. You are constantly changing and the way that you do things can change too.
8. Work smarter, not harder. Being Recruitment Chair or in a leadership position doesn’t mean you have to be the end all, be all of knowledge on the topic. Bring in people outside of your chapter to help educate your members. Whether that person is your campus advisor, a representative from inter/national, or an alumna member bringing someone else in will help break up who is talking and help you understand their expectations.
9. Review your recruitment rules. It has probably been a few months since you’ve gone over them with your Panhellenic Association. This will serve as a fun reminder of what you can and cannot do before the semester and recruitment starts.
10. Plan a photo shoot for afterwards. Tell your members to bring cute colorful outfits and have someone take pictures of all of you around campus. Bring props and get creative! These pictures can be used as decorations in your room or for slideshows. It is such a fun way to end the day before you part ways.
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