Effective facilitation requires pre-planning. Hundreds of ideas including a library and templates are provided by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) through their Methods database.
The following is a partial list of things to consider when facilitating a meeting or discussion.
- Who are the participants? What sort of diversity (e.g. age, experience, ability or disability, gender, ethnicity, etc) does your group have? How will this affect the meeting?
- What sort of energy level can you expect from the participants? Have they already had a long day before the meeting?
- Do you have the supplies you need for the activities?
- Do you need an interpreter during the facilitation?
- Do you have adequate space for the activities?
- Are your materials accessible to all participants? Will they easily be able to see, read, and/or use them?
- Do your materials demonstrate cultural competency? Do they show respect towards different cultures within our society and accurately reflect the diversity of our society?
- Do you have back-up plans in case an activity doesn't work out?
- Do you know extra energizers that you can use to raise the participants' energy levels?
- If you have a group facilitating, are they all rotating roles and responsibilities?
- What different roles (e.g. note-taker, time-keeper) do you need people to play?
- Do you have time built in to gather feedback from the participants on the process?