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100 tips for presentation mastery: How to co-facilitate without conflict

How to co-facilitate without conflict
How to co-facilitate without conflict
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This article is a continuation of a series offering 100 tips for delivering a masterful presentation that will leave them cheering for more.

Past articles introduced the topic and have discussed client expectations, persona, design, scripting, rehearsal, packing, habits, openings, and delivery.

This article examines co-facilitation: tips for working well with others.

Tip 32 – Divide the content

Prior to your facilitation, meet with your co-facilitator and identify subject areas each one of you prefer to teach. Divide the content so that you both will be on stage for an approximately equal amount of time.

Tip 33 – Don't hog the stage

When it is time for your co-facilitator’s subject area, surrender the stage and move to the back of the room. Although you have valuable stories and key points you would like to make, or would make differently than your co-facilitator, don’t interfere. There is no need for your participants to hear two experience a storytelling contest between two facilitators. Although your co-facilitator’s story is not as good as yours’ it’s likely as much as the participants will want or need to hear.

Tip 34 – Pay attention

Regardless of the fact you are not on stage, you should still pay apt attention. If your co-facilitator gets distracted and loses his place, be able to jump in and assist. It also might be advisable to work out a private code in advance to signal help. Your co-facilitator could, for instance, ask if you have anything to add. That would be your cue to help get the conversation back on track.

Tip 35 – Disagree in private

A co-facilitator will invariably say something you disagree with. There are very few points that absolutely must be corrected immediately. Resist the urge to jump in and correct the statement. Instead, wait until a break and private time to talk the question over with your co-facilitator. If you do interrupt, you will likely confuse the participants and look unprofessional. If the interruption is unavoidable, start by saying something like, “Yes, and…” or, “Another way you can approach the problem is to…”

Tip 36 – Share logistics

As a part of your pre-planning, identify the logistical issues of the program and determine who will handle them. The most likely split of responsibilities is for the facilitator in the back of the room to handle logistics.

Tip 37 – Build trust

Before, during, and after the program, compliment your co-facilitator. They are likely as uncomfortable with co-facilitation as you are. Use sincere compliments to build rapport. If, however, you have a problem with something your co-facilitator does, tell him. If it is serious enough, report it to management, but never without sharing it with your co-facilitator first.

Tip 38 – Accept and react

Finally, during when actors go through Improv training they learn to accept anything that happens as a gift. Instead of regarding what another actor says as an intrusion on their performance, they view the comments as an opportunity to advance the skit. They then use those comments as a starting point for what they will say next. Regard your co-facilitator interactions in a similar way and you may be surprised at how much better your own facilitation will become.

What related tips do you have? Feel free to share.

In the next article of this series we will examine interacting with participants as we offer 100 tips for delivering a masterful presentation that will leave them cheering for more.