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The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0059| June 25, 2002
7,700 Subscribers


Facilitating Entertainment
 Hey, good parties require skilled facilitation too!

The Point

Have you ever been to a party or social gathering where you had the time of your life, and you didn't require a whole lot of alcohol to do so? You know the kind of gathering where you've felt engaged and involved in activities or within a special atmosphere that made you feel at ease and connected with everyone there? 

Do these types of events happen by accident or are they carefully orchestrated behind the scenes by some all knowing party wizard? I suppose either possibility could be true, but I also know from experience, that any group event, even social gatherings, can be vastly improved with a little planning and forethought, given not only to the logistics, but to the facilitation of connection and entertainment among your guests. This is an element that many party-givers leave to chance, and many gatherings go flat as a result.

So now you're probably waiting for my sage advice on how to throw a great party, right? Well sorry to disappoint you, but I'm an introverted, cave-dweller, what could I possibly know that could help you here? Let me see if I can make something up.


Just last week I was asked by a close friend to do a "roast" for her boyfriend's upcoming birthday gathering that occurred this weekend. Now I've never done a roast but I loved the idea of doing one. Though I'm somewhat shy at times, I do relish the opportunity to be on stage occasionally and to be funny if I can somehow pull that off.

I searched the Internet in hopes of finding some tips on party roasting; those that didn't have to do with cooking animal flesh. I came up pretty much empty with the exception of a few one-liners that I could sprinkle in. I realized it would be best if I did this myself but not being all that well-versed with humor, I felt a little stymied about how to write humor. Though I can be funny at times, I usually fall into it by accident.

What I do know how to do however, is surrender to the creative process while holding a clear intention. Which was, to entertain with uplifting humor, using only minimal insults that truly related to the birthday boy. So, what I did was write a script that I would revisit often over a three day period to refine and collect ideas that would come to me throughout the day. And I picked up some props at the local thrift shop that not only added spice to the presentation but also inspired new ideas. It all came together an hour before the event and ended up being a big hit and a whole lot of fun to deliver, I must say.

So what's the point of this story in light of facilitating entertainment? My point is this. A good party, like any event you might facilitate, takes some planning and preparation up front. I was only a piece of the overall agenda which my friend thoughtfully compiled, coordinated, and orchestrated. An agenda that was invisible to most but that required planning for location, atmosphere, feeding, timing, etc. Just as my roast required the careful compilation of a script that didn't need to be rigidly adhered to but that contained plenty of material and structure that afforded me the freedom to improvise as desired. Was the preparation all fun and games? Not entirely. Was it free of struggle, like kicking back with a fine glass of wine. Not always. But the end result was well worth the effort, leaving the guests and the honoree something to remember for a long time to come.

Please email me your ideas for facilitating effective social activities. I'll email the entire collection to those who contribute.


This week, think of something you can do to make your next social gathering more rewarding for all concerned. I'd love to hear you're perspectives and experiences. Please email your comments to us.

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About the Author: 
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In the Spotlight

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by Jerilyn Ross

Are Panic And Anxiety Running Your Life?
Learn how to take control with this ground breaking program.

As seen on...


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As you work with the audio sessions, watch the video, and complete the corresponding workbook assignments, you will learn to manage your seemingly out-of-control thinking and behaviors and reclaim your life from the grip of anxiety.

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Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on July 2, 2002.   

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