If you are a consultant who has been trying to improve their facilitation skills, there are several small changes that you can make which can result in a surprising difference to your presentation skills. First, you should attend a presentation training seminar yourself on how to be a great facilitator as practice makes perfect.
Whether you are training in Tampa or all the way to Seattle, corporate training is not effective if you don’t have some knowledge of your own deficiencies in facilitating. While the goal is to improve your skills, you will not be taken seriously if you don’t have some basic knowledge of the field. In order for participants to follow your advice, you first need to gain their trust by speaking the same language.
The next step is to make sure that your deficiencies as a facilitator are clearly identified. For business skills training to be effective, it is important to make sure that everybody in the room understands where you are coming from and what you are trying to convey. If participants are trying to understand where you are coming from, then there is going to be a real problem with your training. Practicing your presentation until you understand the subject material like the back of your hand will help you tremendously.
Be sure to get everybody involved in the process. During training workshops, there are generally some people who are more likely to participate than others. Pay attention to the people who don’t communicate during the session. Encourage participation from them without creating an air of discomfort in the room.
Your primary goal as a facilitator is to make sure that the problems are being addressed. It is not uncommon for discussions to begin to move you off track. It is important to identify when this happens, and bring the discussion back to the problem at hand. At the same time, this shouldn’t be done too early, or an important contribution could be missed. This can be resolved by reserving a space on the white board for important ideas that should be discussed at a later time during training.