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Facilitation Finesse – Tips and Tricks

ATD Piedmont members Jim Blaylock and Daniel Lobb led the discussion today at the monthly ATD Piedmont meeting. These guys did a great job getting us to share during the meeting.

The topic of the meeting was ‘Facilitation Tips and Tricks’. Jim and Daniel turned the meeting into everyone sharing their own best ideas with the group. It was a great way to show us all lots of new tips and tricks we can use in our own classes, seminars, webinars and training programs.

Here is a list of some of the Killer Ideas the group shared with us:
(These ideas are intended to ‘poke’ you to see how they can apply to your own training/facilitation activities.)

  1. Get out from behind the lectern. Mingle with the students & attendees during the session.
  2. Start with a highly active and engaging group activity that breaks down barriers and creates more involvement.
  3. Make your programs highly active.
  4. Engage the introverts by asking them to write their ideas down and share on a sticky note on a wall.
  5. Switch up the seating arrangements so the attendees engage with others.
  6. Request or encourage one-on-one follow thru between the attendees to enable more discussion after the session.
  7. Start with Startling Facts that create more urgency and importance for the training.
  8. Have the attendees pick an animal noise and then find another person making the same animal noise.
  9. Plan up front as much as you can. Develop feedback during the session rather than just at the end.
  10. Use PopCulture information and music during the session to make it more enjoyable.
  11. Use Culture Shock to stir up the group.
  12. Shock the attendees with a worse case scenario perspective activity. (example – have them build a paper drawing beautiful neighborhood in a group setting, then FLOOD IT by dumping it in a bucket)
  13. Use Popcorn or candy during the session.
  14. Remind everyone in the room that ‘Everyone brings value, a perspective and new ideas to the group, therefore we encourage Everyone to participate.’ (Wow, this class was an example of this)
  15. Distribute simple desk phones and let attendees ring their phone when they hear or see an Ah Ha idea.
  16. Discover everyone’s learning style thru an activity before starting the program.
  17. Draw a tree and share it in a group setting as a group engaging session.
  18. Try to touch all senses during the session. Use discussions to virtually touch smell & taste if needed
  19. Eliminate all negativity in the discussions and thoughts.
  20. Use game boards and questions to have the attendees learn during playing the game.

What best Killer ideas to you have that have made your training/facilitation programs Rock?


If you are a trainer in any industry and are not a member of ATD Piedmont, you should visit our chapter meeting and join us. Reach out to Jim, Daniel, Teddy, Jen, Chris, Raina or visit our website to learn more.