Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0180, November 23, 2004 | 7,000 Subscribers...


Dear friends,

This Thanksgiving week I'd like to start by expressing my gratitude for several things. I want to start by thanking you, my wonderful readers. I truly appreciate the support, encouragement, and insights so many of you have offered over the months and years that we've been publishing this journal. I want to thank all of you who have purchased our products, so important to the survival of this effort. I'm grateful for this industry we call Facilitation and those group workers that make it possible--what a fantastic innovation in human dynamics that's only emerged in the past few decades. I am grateful too for this incredible Internet resource that makes this business and so many other new things possible that weren't even envisioned a mere 10 years ago. With these and so many other blessings that will go unmentioned, I give thanks and wish for you a safe, happy, and fulfilling holiday season!

In the spirit of giving back, this week's article, "Prepare More, Meet Less," focuses more on our clients than on us facilitators.
It explores pre-meeting work that any meeting participant can do to advance their groups and further their own careers as a result of their contrast to the vast majority of attendees who don't do their homework. Please feel free to share this article with your clients, friends, and associates, or with anyone who complains about meetings for that matter.

Our expert interview with Bev Lutz and Cheryl Kartes, the Business of Facilitation, went very well last week, receiving accolades from many participants. It is available now in Real Audio or CD format, complete with detailed written notes and several bonsues. Please see details below.

Finally, please have a look at our new 5-day teleclass offering, "Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch," starting December 6th. As a first time offering, we've discounted the price to $69 and it includes bonuses worth $48. See details are at end of this issue.

In this Issue:

Feature Article: Prepare More, Meet Less

Facilitation Micro-Skills Tele-Seminar: The Business of Facilitation

Holiday Sale: 20% off on orders totalling $29 or more until this Friday.

New 5-day Teleclass: Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch

If any of you have any interesting stories or experiences about facilitation, group process, work groups, team building, training, etc. that might interest our readers, please send them to us.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis


$69 First Run Special
Click here

Click here for details

170 articles and growing
Group Management Skill

Prepare More, Meet Less
Doing Your Pre-Meeting Homework Will Make You a Hero.

The Point

The more you prepare for meetings the shorter they will be. Most meeting attendees and leaders are sorely under prepared and hence their meetings drag on longer than they should, and usually with mediocre results. A smooth running meeting or group event takes a bit of work behind the scenes before the event. Herein lie another common reasons why most meetings are less than phenomenal-- few people are willing to do the necessary homework. But, those who do, stand head and shoulders above the vast majority of their meeting peers, and they can really help move a meeting forward.

Have you done your homework?

The most successful people in the world come to meetings prepared. The number of people willing to do their homework, as you may have noticed, is rather low. So simply showing up prepared for a meeting sets you apart from the group, granting you increased credibility and says something very positive about the kind of person you are. Use the following tips as a guide to help you show up thoroughly prepared, helping to move meetings forward more quickly and with better results, whether you're the meeting leader or a participant.


Set your personal goal for the meeting

How will you know if the meeting you’re attending is a success for you? Spending a few minutes to define your goals or measures of success can go a long way to making them a reality. Use the following questions to help clarify these measures for yourself.

  • What will distinguish success from failure in this meeting?
  • What do I want to have accomplished by the time this meeting is over?
  • What kind of relationships do I want to leave this meeting having developed or improved?
  • How do I want people to view me as a member of this organization?

Pre-meeting persuasion

There may be specific meeting agenda items that are of special importance and relevance to you and other select meeting participants. Discussing and working through specific items or on issues that will support the resolution of these items with your meeting partners before the meeting can save a lot of time in the meeting. Many significant decisions are often made before they’re presented formally during a meeting. There’s nothing wrong with using persuasion prior to a meeting. In fact, we're often engaged in bouts of persuasion in meetings anyway, but usually without the benefit of a quiet and thoughtful focus between only those specific people who the decision directly involves.

Influence the Agenda

You may have noticed that many meeting leaders don’t do their homework very well and hence sometimes call meetings without an agenda. If you happen to show up to a meeting prepared to supply an agenda or plan of action, it’s likely to be the legitimate starting and ending point of the meeting. This is a great way to not only advance the progress and outcome of the meeting, but you’ve also just gained a good measure of control over the meeting using this approach.

Assure necessary authority exists

Before attending a meeting, check to make sure that the group or someone in it has the authority necessary to act on the decisions you’re planning to make. If this authority is missing, your efforts could be in vain.

Peruse the participants

Get a feel for the meeting attendees and how they might impact the success of your meeting. Ask yourself the following questions prior to the meeting to help you identify what you might need to do with respect to your fellow attendees to improve meeting outcomes.

  • Who will be supportive of the points or decisions you’re bringing forward? Can you enlist their help?
  • Who might oppose your efforts? Can you change their minds?
  • Who’s missing? Can you get them invited?
  • Whose attendance might prove unproductive or unnecessary. Can you ask that they be uninvited?
  • What can you do to lessen potential opposition and/or bolster support from participants?

Know what you need to know

In each meeting you attend, there is a certain amount of “content” or knowledge that must be present to achieve the intended results. Ask yourself the following questions to help clarify necessary information, the absence of which might jeopardize meeting success.

  • What are the priority issues in your mind and in what order should they be discussed?
  • Are there more issues being proposed than are necessary to accomplish the stated meeting goals?
  • Given the outcomes you’re after for this meeting, have all the prerequisite steps been accomplished?
  • Do you have all the information you need to accomplish these outcomes? If not, what more do you need and where can you get it?
  • What is your personal opinion about the issues?
  • What are opposing views and what merit do they have? Do you completely understand them? Is some form of compromise acceptable? If so, how would it look?

Having these answers in place before the meeting will help assure that fully informed decisions are made. Anything short of this and outcomes may be delayed, meeting time of the participants will be less than well spent, requiring more at a future date, or worse, the group rushes to an ineffective decision that has to be corrected later.

Is this practical?

Ok, right now you may be saying, "Are you nuts? Do you really expect me to do all of this groundwork before going to every meeting? I'd never get anything done. Besides, things seem to be working out just fine the way I'm doing them."

If what you say is true, then congratulations, you're in a "meeting minority." If things could be better for you, then just try reading through these questions before your next meeting. Consider them guidelines. Perhaps only one or two of the questions will call you to do just a little more preparation. See how this impacts the results and your experience of the meeting. Let me know what happens.


To make this easier for you, we’ve distilled the above points into a short list of questions that I encourage you to review well in advance of your next meeting. If you can’t answer “yes” to all of the questions below, do what’s necessary so that you can show up to your meeting as an exemplary participant. Please send us your comments.

  • Do I have the meeting agenda in hand, do I understand each item, and are there any items that I think should be added or excluded?
  • Am I clear on the purpose and intended outcomes of this meeting?
  • Are you clear on your personal goals with this group and with individual participants?
  • What are the priority issues that must be discussed or described?
  • Do I have all the information I need to accomplish planned outcomes and will any of this information be useful to other attendees prior to the meeting?
  • How will I know if this meeting is a success?
  • Does the authority exist to get the job done in this meeting?
  • Who’s attending the meeting or should attend?
  • Is there anything I need to discuss with them or know about them that will help me be more effective in this meeting?

Facilitation Expert Series

The Business of Facilitation

Keys to marketing and pricing facilitation services and outcomes while living a balanced life

Pre-recorded interview, featuring Bev Lutz and Cheryl Kartes, Facilitators, Trainers, and Consultants.

Includes detailed class notes and four bonuses, see below...

Thank you for this tele-class. It refreshed several important keys to business and pricing and brought up many others that will help me to be more successful in my business. And the class notes are terrific! --Christopher Haydock, PhD.--

"Just in Time" Learning

Get this pre-recorded one-hour tele-seminar with Bev Lutz, Cheryl Kartes, and Steve Davis and learn keys to marketing and pricing facilitation services, tips on selling outcomes versus activities, and ways to make a good life and a good living. Some of the following specific points are discussed...

What it takes for a Facilitator to be successful in private practice.
The 3 keys for successfully marketing Facilitation?
The typical angles facilitators employ in their marketing.
The 8 biggest mistakes Facilitators make in trying to sell themselves.
What common marketing and promotional wisdom works best for building your business as a facilitator?
8 tips on the pricing of facilitation services.
"Value-Based Pricing" and how it differs from typical pricing strategies.
Ways facilitators can use to form strategic alliances to increase their chances of success.

Four Free Bonuses!

1.Benchmarks of Facilitator Success. Article by Cheryl Kartes that speaks to expanded definitions of success and includes summarized results of a survey conducted with 116 facilitators looking at their practices in terms of variables such as income, hourly rates, leisure time, work hours, professional training, satisfaction, work/life balance, etc..

2. Business of Facilitation Survey. View the results of the survey mentioned above--answers to 15 questions asked by Bev and Cheryl's of 116 facilitators about their business and lifestyle, including 97 ideas they provided for improving their ratings.

3.Strategic Marketing For Professionals ($15 value). This collection of five articles provides an overview of marketing for professionals who provides intangible services. These articles offer ideas that help you design the strategy for your business. Use them to lay a foundation for your marketing effort, to provide an infusion of ideas and energy, or to get a few new hints that will provide a big payoff.

4. Business Building Resource List. 25 books and websites found useful by Bev and Cheryl for business building from an authentic perspective.

Click here for details and purchase information.

Holiday Sale!

Holiday Sale!

Order any combination of our other products totalling $29 or more by this Friday and receive 20% off your total. Click here to view our other products and take advantage of this offer. Your discount will be computed at checkout.

In the Spotlight

Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch

5-day teleclass for facilitators, trainers,
and coaches

with Steve Davis and Marion Franklin

First time offering special of $69, includes bonuses worth $48

Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch, 5-Day Teleclass

This class will meet over a telephone bridge line for five consecutive weekdays December 6-10, 2004 at 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time) to cover all the elements of workshop design using a simple, well-organized, and proven approach.
This course, that you can take from the comfort of your own home or office, is for facilitators, trainers, coaches, who want to design relevant, engaging, experiential workshops for groups.

How the 5-Day Format/Training works...
1. You dial into your class every day for 5 days (Mon-Fri) for a 60-minute focused training segment using a conferencing bridge.
2. You work a workbook during the 5 days (about an hour a day of study and field work) which you complete by Friday afternoon, or sooner if you wish that will lead you through the design of your own workshop (optional).
3. You will have the opportunity to discuss issues on the subject matter with the instructor and your classmates via an online discussion forum during the course.
4. During the week, you may access the instructor via email for specific help.

Course Outline...
Here's what you'll be learning and doing during the 5-Day course...

Introduction to Workshop Design and Framing Your Message

  • Choosing a Great Topic, whether it's chosen for you or not.
  • Designing a Fresh, Memorable Title
  • Developing an Overriding Message
  • Design your own workshop week

Knitting it All Together

  • Managing the three stages of a workshop
  • "The Beginning"
    - Building Trust and Rapport
    - Setting the Stage and Tone
    - Clarifying Objectives and Ground rules
    - Introductions
    - Icebreakers
  • "The Middle"
    - Delivering the content
    - Delivering your overriding message
    - Delivering experiences
    - Leaving them with inspired curiosity
  • "The End"
    - Reinforce learning and overriding message.
    - Clarify additional resources
    - Short promo about your services
  • JIT Coaching

Experiential Exercises and Just-In-Time Coaching. 

  • Creating Experiential Exercises
    - Reflect on your experiences
    - Read about and reflect on the topic
    - Consult Exercise sources
    - Gather supporting material
    - Generalize Observations
  • Delivering Experiential Exercises
    - The Kolb Learning Cycle
    - Adjusting to group specific needs
    - Managing emotional elements
  • JIT Coaching
    - Permission
    - Observe, question, comment

Being Prepared: 10 Critical Behind the Scenes Strategies

  • Know Your Audience
  • Resolve Introduction Issues
  • Room Arrangements
  • Presentation Equipment/Accessories
  • Handouts
  • Workshop highlights
  • Practice your presentation
  • Dress professionally
  • Wear your own nametag
  • Eliminate Gaps

Icing on the Cake

  • 7 Tips to polish your workshop
    - Be yourself
    - Marketing Tips
    - Client relationship building
    - Extended relationships with participants.
    - Join Online Training Networks
    - Manage your time wisely
    - Handle difficult participants
  • Individual Coaching and Q&A

Benefits to you of participating from the 5-Day Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch Training...

1. Remove the fear and uncertainty in workshop design.
Complete the design of your own workshop this week following Marion's 7-step approach.
3. Learn to create new revenue streams and sources of new clients for your professional practice.

5 Free bonuses included with your training...
In addition to the 5-Day training described above, you also receive:

1. Free copy of the 7 Simple Secrets to Successful Workshops ($30 value)

2. Free access to audio interview with instructional design expert, Marg Wall for yet another perspective on workshop design in this one-hour session,
"How to Design Winning Workshops and Seminars that Inspire and Engage Your Audience." ($18 value) This comes with 3 additional bonuses.See details here.

3. Free access to the RealAudio version of the 5-Day training.

4. Participation on the class listserve to share questions and opportunities with your peers.

5. Access to Steve and Marion for virtual coaching on this subject throughout the week.

Our introductory price for our first offering of this class is only $69 ($89 for the general public) including a free copy of the 7 Simple Secrets to Successful Workshops
($30 value) and "How to Design Winning Workshops" package ($18 value). Everything you read about above is included. And, we offer a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed guarantee.

December 6-10, 2004, 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST (NY Time), 60 minutes each day.

"You gave us such great tips on how to organize and run a workshop. I now feel more confident and can't wait to schedule my next workshop."


Immediately upon completion of your registration, you will receive an email with instructions to access the phone bridge, listserve, and teleclass workbook.

Click here to register now

About Marion

Marion Franklin is a Professional Certified Life Coach who coaches individuals and groups regarding personal and professional change, focus, human relations, and conflict management. Marion has coached managers at major corporations including PepsiCo, Toys’R’Us, and Reader’s Digest. She conducts and helps clients design workshops and presentations, has been a featured presenter at meetings, retreats, and an ongoing Women’s Workshop Series, has been cited in The Journal News and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on local Cable Television.


Listen to what others have said about previous classes on workshop design with Marion Franklin...

"The class was packed! I loved it! It was so helpful and moved at a nice clip. I have created workshops for 10 years and this gave me some information that I had missed!! Well delivered and engaging. I learned a lot. It is definitely an art."

"Excellent class. I am in the process of developing two different workshops and this class helped me get over a hump with both of them!"

Here are what people are saying about Marion's book, "7 Simple Secrets to Successful Workshops" which comes with this course...

"7 Simple Secrets to Successful Workshops is a fabulous resource. I have avoided putting a workshop together for over two years, for fear of how to begin, how to put it together, how to be sure it lasts long enough, what to say, and how to not make a complete fool out of myself. After reading this ebook, I feel like I could put together a workshop that I would be proud of by this afternoon."

7 Simple Secrets To Successful Workshops makes it easy for coaches, trainers and facilitators who are new to developing and delivering workshops. I wish this material had been available when I began my own workshops, but this eBook reminds me to stick to the basics when developing new workshops."

About the satisfaction guarantee

If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this training, simply email us with a request to refund/credit your credit card in the full amount and we will do so immediately. It's our policy to do this and we honor this in every single case.

©2008. Powered by All Rights Reserved.