BCS SPA Software in Practice

Lead a session

Making my session interactive

Every session at SPA Software in Practice is interactive in some way. To help you think about this aspect of your session here are some ways of getting people to participate.

Some practical details to consider:

  • Sessions are 75 or 150 minutes long.
  • Room capacity is 50, with seating around tables for working in groups, and you’ll be able to present slides.
  • Most sessions include some presentation material as well as interactive elements.


If the aim of your session is to teach people how to do something or to help them understand why it’s important or a good thing to do, get them to try doing it! Plan short exercises to structure the time. Workshops would typically spend a significant amount of time on this.


Ask people to spend time thinking about a topic and write down their ideas and experiences. You can then discuss these together or use them to inform next steps in individual activities. These quieter sessions can be a break from more collaborative ones and give people time to reflect.


Getting people involved in a discussion is a great way to help them learn from each other. Focus discussion on something specific to get people started, for example:

  • Share a few examples or case studies and ask groups to discuss each one, or to come up with their own
  • Show the thing - give a demo, act out a scene - and ask people to discuss their responses to it
  • Goldfish bowl - start the discussion with a few people who are familiar with the topic, and then others swap in to continue it.


Maybe your topic isn’t something you can easily get people to do there and then. Are there elements or aspects of it that you can illustrate through other activities? Games can help people learn about a topic from another angle and get them thinking.

More ideas

Gamestorming and Liberating Structures are great sources of techniques you could use to get people involved.