Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0404, August 11, 2009

Dear Friends,
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As summer moves on, perhaps you're experiencing a yearning to relax and take a break from the force of mass production so typical in many of our lives. In that spirit we invite you to practice doing less, even in your work with groups this week. In this week's article, Be a Catalyst for Clarity we discuss the upside of delivering less information in your groups. I look forward to your thoughts and feelings on this subject.

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Be willing to explore and retrieve pearls of wisdom from inherent fears and learn to transform negative emotions to pillars of strength. In a safe circle of community we will answer tough questions and explore our relationship with self and life. Click here for complete details and registration. Visit to listen to the audio introduction of what the enlightened leader workshop is all about.



The Point

Be a Catalyst for Clarity

Establish clear, manageable objectives, and deliver them.

Group Dynamics 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 your participants. Pick three points on this subject you'd like to leave with if you were one of them. Spend a few minutes before you start to query participants around their biggest concerns on this topic. Select and refine your planned activities based on their input. This approach assures that participants leave 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 share your thoughts and experiences with me by replying to this email.

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Patrick Lencioni, author of the popular book Death by Meeting says; “As more of what people do takes place in teams, meetings become the setting in which the really important work gets done. Team and organizational success is becoming more dependant on the quality of its meetings.”

The Meeting Productivity Crisis

The book “How to Make Meeting Work” was written by Michael Doyle over 40 years ago. Yet, current studies still show up to 30% of meetings are unproductive. This equates to over $11 billion dollars of lost US productivity each year.  So what’s the solution?

The Meeting Productivity Solution

Running effective meeting can be very difficult.  But as professional meeting facilitators knows, the critical success factor is NOT about preparing an Agenda but about running the meeting as a Process and elevating meeting participants thinking effectiveness. Skilled meeting leaders do this by using four facilitation skills:

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