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Chapter 4. The Art of Facilitation > What Is Facilitation?

What Is Facilitation?

Facilitation is a technique used by a presenter to involve his or her audience and help members of a group or audience learn from one another through the open sharing of thoughts, opinions, and ideas. In the role of facilitator, the presenter uses such techniques as questioning, silence, paraphrasing, and various nonverbal cues to encourage the audience to participate in the experience and learning. Although not every presentation you make will require facilitation skills, it’s important to be prepared to act as a facilitator when the time comes.

Becoming an effective facilitator requires practice, although good facilitators possess a certain intuition. They know, for example, when to ask a question and when to be silent; when to challenge a statement and when to remain neutral. Although you can’t teach someone to be intuitive, you can learn the basics of facilitation and practice them as you make presentations, as well as in your everyday interactions with others.


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