That sequence doesn’t seem quite right!

“Always Be Prepared” is the Boy Scouts’ motto, made famous for how it can apply to just about any pursuit. And it’s a great principle for facilitators to follow, too!

Winging it when facilitating an activity or an exercise with your Forum is a risky approach. Instead, keep the following checklist handy and think through each item well ahead of time.

    1. Can you define the objective for the activity or exercise, and evaluate how well it relates to the Forum’s objectives? Every meeting is rated for its value to the group, and alignment on objectives is critical.
    1. Is it appropriate for the time and location? Perhaps you need a quiet environment, or a room to spread out in, or a certain amount of time.
    1. Identify the materials you will need and collect them in advance. It can be helpful to carry a box of materials you frequently use, such as: note pads, post-its, pens, props, a table flip chart, etc. Then you simply add the specific items for your planned exercise and you’re set! This can save you from a lot of last minute panics!
  1. Practice the set up. Plan how you will explain the objective to the group. Can you offer clear directions on it?
  2. Make sure your agenda has time to debrief on the experience. This brings closure to the activity in a productive manner.

Being prepared accomplishes many things. It creates a sense of unity when everyone understands the why and the how for the activity. It shows that you value your members’ time and contributions. And you, as the facilitator, will enjoy the confidence that comes with being ready.