When facilitating groups at meetings, events and workshops, there are a number of useful items and tools a facilitator should carry with them (see list below).
This facilitator toolkit ensures the group achieves a successful outcome, as well as helping the participants quickly settle into the environment they are working in.
1. Useful facilitator tools:
- Name badges or labels for participants and you to remember each other’s names
- Note paper and pens for participants to make notes
- Optional boards for participants to rest papers on
- Stress balls to keep participants energised
- Small light training toys for informal events to help ‘break the ice’
- Handouts, supporting documents or visuals as appropriate
- Feedback forms to capture participant reflections on the event and identify further opportunities to progressing their goals and learning
- Presentation slides, DVD/Video on laptop if being used
- Ruler and Pencil for drawing lines on flip-chart paper
- Two large bull dog clips for placing flip-chart paper back onto the stand after small group work that needs presenting back
- Coloured and/or scented flip-chart pens (thick chisel tip are the best)
- Laminated visuals for ‘car park’, ‘ideas board’; and ‘ground rules’ to aid group working
- Mastic adhesive such as White Tack™ for placing working flip-chart papers or visuals onto permitted walls (this minimises paint peeling off) where wall rails are not provided
- Post-it Notes for capturing individual ideas and contributions
- Coloured star or circle shape stickers to aid the group decision making process
- Post cards for posing questions for small group work, encouraging individual commitments post event
- Optional sugar free sweets, chocolates for generating incentives and rewards for team work
- CD player with selection of music for creating impact, stimulating ideas, energising or changing the ‘mood’ of the group
2. Items to consider ordering at the venue:
- Data projector with connecting cables for between the laptop and projector
- Two flip-chart stands with plenty of paper and flip-chart marker pens for small group work. You can of course improvise with flip-chart paper around the room, but one central flip-chart stand is essential
- Semi circle of chairs for participants for informal events or those where you want to break down perceived barriers to encourage open, constructive discussion and debate
- Small side table for facilitator’s resources
NB Instead of flip-chart paper, you can use whiteboards with whiteboard pen markers and take photographs of the group’s work so that the output can be electronically circulated.
Alternatively you can now use an alternative to flip-chart paper such as Magic Whiteboard™ which is environmentally better and highly portable. However, you may wish to combine this with the use of a flip-chart stand if you are facilitating a training event or where you are spending a lot of time capturing participant’s contributions.
Over time, you will build your own facilitators toolkit that fits the needs of your participants ad the environment you wish to create as the facilitator.