Did not get the chance to share this when I first wrote it last year, but – having run and managed training programmes, especially for Model United Nations and simulation conferences – I summarised five strategies for facilitation, ranging from the obvious (good preparation and taking on board criticism) to hopefully the useful (summaries of big, thematic ideas throughout the sessions as well as tailoring session based on needs).
Read “Five Strategies From Five Years Of Facilitation“, and here are two of the strategies:
“2. Know your participants and tailor the session to their needs, not yours. Besides making the session more engaging, participant activities allow trainers to gauge the proficiency of their participants. This is especially important if the profiles of the participants are not known before the session, or if there are vast disparities between participants. In the Model UN context training programmes would therefore be different for first-timers and those with experience at conferences. Good lesson plans are flexible to these needs. There are many who adhere pedantically to scripts prepared beforehand without taking into account whether the content connects with their participants.
3. Check for understanding and summarise big thematic ideas at regular intervals. In this vein the trainer has to remain cognisant of how the participants respond to the points presented. Right from the start for the introductory course to the Model UN we present a big-picture overview of the seven modules, and at the end of each segment participants are reminded of the main perspectives. A common mistake is also to overwhelm participants with too much data and information during the session (this function should be fulfilled by the materials). Structure remains central. At the very least if the participants do not comprehend the intricacies of the modules they should take away key points from each, so that revision can be done with the materials after the session.”