A list of questions to ask yourself to ensure that you maximize your effectiveness as a facilitator
To ensure you are being as effective as possible as a facilitator, ask yourself:
- Have I prepared a well thought-out agenda, taking into consideration the audience I will be facilitating to?
- Have I thought about any outside books, websites, TED talks, or other resources that might support the content on which I am speaking that I can offer to the participants?
- Is my agenda scaffolded with activities that start “easy” and increase in their risk-taking, vulnerability, or challenge level?
- Is my agenda multi-sensory, with a combination of group and individual work, physical and thoughtful activities, oral and visual, etc.?
- Have I timed out my agenda managing time as allotted?
- Do I have “extra” activities on the agenda in case I get through everything faster than anticipated?
- Have I done a few “run-throughs” of my agenda so that I am comfortable enough with the content that I don’t need to be glued to my notes or PowerPoint?
- Have I created a visual presentation to support the agenda, but that doesn’t replace me as the main provider of content? Do I need a visual presentation at all?
- What props or accessories do I need to make the presentation more dynamic?
- What supplies or handouts do I need? Have I made ample copies of anything I am distributing?
- Am I making sure the participants will walk away with something tangible that they can put into use immediately?
- Do I know where I am going and how the room will be set up?
- Have I allowed plenty of time prior to the start of the presentation to find the room, set out any supplies, check the cord/technology/screen situation, etc.?
- Do I have music playing to set the “mood” for the training?
- Do I have time allotted to set up ground rules for our common goal?
- Have I written out an agenda, or will I talk the participants through what they can expect for the day?
- If I have control over the room/space situation, have I remembered snacks or refreshments that might make the participants more comfortable?
- Are there notepads and pens for the participants?
- If it is a large room, have I thought about how I can move around so that everyone can see and hear me?
- Am I greeting people as they arrive?
- Am I projecting loudly enough?
- Did I remember to start by introducing myself and where I’m from, and have I figured out a way for the participants to introduce themselves.
- Have I set the expectations for the session clearly?
- Am I paying attention to signals from the participants that they might need to move on to the next activity, might need a break, might need clarification?
- Am I stopping to ask questions, and am I allowing space for answers?
- Am I checking for understanding?
- Did I leave time at the end of the presentation for questions and clarifications?
- Did I make sure to have some sort of formal “closing,” so that the presentation doesn’t just fade out when time is up?
- Am I at the door saying goodbye to people as they leave?
- Did I remember to email participants in a timely fashion, re-capping what took place during the presentation, and offering any additional information or resources that came up during the course of the presentation?
More Resources for great Facilitation:
- What are Key Facilitation Skills: Read Five ingredients for effective facilitation, detailing the importance of creating a safe and open environment for your participants to have the best possible learning experience.
- How to provide training that encourages participants to into problem solving and get their “heads nodding.”
- Reflect on any potential weaknesses in your training.
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