Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0371, Dec 2, 2008

Dear Friends,
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I assume most of you are back to your regular work week after Thanksgiving, perhaps even recovering from excess food, excitement, travel, etc. So this week, we invite you to practice doing less, even in your work with groups. In Be a Catalyst for Clarity, we discuss the upside of delivering less information in your groups. I look forward to your thoughts and experience on this subject.

There are still a couple of slots open in our upcoming Journey of Collaboration and Facilitation workshop coming to Madison Wisconsin the week of January 12th. I would love to meet some of you there in person. The workshop is highly experiential and brings an integral focus to facilitation that we feel is lacking in many trainings of this type. Details, testimonials, and a recorded teleclass explaining this offering can be found here.

We hope our work continues to bring inspiration to your world. Thank you for being a part of our growing community. Please continue to send the wonderful feedback.



journey of collaboration

The Point

Be a Catalyst for Clarity
Establish clear, manageable objectives, and deliver them.

Presenting Skill

It's easy when we're trying to present something new, particularly in a training environment, to be overwhelmed by all that we want our participants to know on the subject. As good trainers, teachers, and facilitators, we want our audience to get the most learning in the least time. The problem is that this type of thinking can get us and our audience confused. Trying to deliver too much information impedes learning. Learning isn't solely about information. It's about using information to accomplish something we couldn't accomplish before. This requires time to digest, integrate and apply new ideas.

With this in mind,
plan your presentation around only a few (no more than three) items in a single sitting. Seek to deliver these points clearly and succinctly. This will help to make your presentation clearer and provide the space for the audience to generalize new information with their own experience. Planning space in your presentation also allows you to adjust the course of the presentation to meet learning needs and interests that arise in the moment.

Finally, it's OK to leave your participants wanting a little bit. It's far better for them to leave hungry and curious about a few new ideas rather than overwhelmed and confused by too many of them!


Suppose you have one hour to present all there is to know about conflict resolution? You just happen to be an expert on this. You have at least 10 key points you want to cover, about 5 examples, and you can talk non-stop on this subject for hours with no problem. You are concerned about how to present this in the time allowed. Try putting yourself in the seat of the audience and pick three points on this subject you'd like them to leave with if you were one of them. Spend a few minutes before you start to query the audience about this biggest concerns on this topic. Select and refine your planned activities based on participant input. This approach assures that the audience leaves with the major points you want them to have, while addressing their immediate needs. They will likely leave feeling heard and excited about what they've learned. 


The next time you have something to present, try this. Limit your agenda to no more than three major points. Focus on creating opportunities for your audience to demonstrate to you and each other that they do in fact understand the material. This change in perspective will do wonders for your presentation. Not to mention your audience attention span! I'm interested in hearing what happened. Please
send us your questions and comments.

This Week's Offer

**New FacilitatorU Membership Bonus **

We're now offering a f*ree e-copy of my new book, This Meetings Sux: 12 Acts of Courage to Change Meetings for Good, to the next 20 members of Review membership details here. A download link for the book is included in your welcome email.

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