My facilitator’s toolkit

As a facilitator, there are a few things I can’t do without and bring to every workshop or training session. Things that I want to have on hand at all times when I am facilitating. They make up my facilitator’s toolkit. So, what’s in there?

Adhesives

Cellotape, masking tape and blue tack are unmissable items to put flipcharts on the wall. Some venues have clips or rails on the wall to put up flipcharts to make our life easier. I do check if there are rules in place about the use of walls and take all tape and tack off the wall before I’m leaving the room.

Sticky notes

I love sticky notes. I use sticky notes for all kinds of activities and always bring different colours and sizes. They’re great for affinity diagrams, brainstorm sessions, questions and activities that include ranking or structuring elements. The notes also help me to engage every learner and get them up from their chair.

Sticky dots

These little coloured stickers are great to let learners vote, prioritise or rank topics. For example, after a brainstorm: I give attendees a limited number of sticky dots and let them vote on the ideas that have been put forward to find out which ideas they want to discuss in more detail.

Pen and paper

I always bring pens and paper. Just to jot down some questions, make a few notes myself or for an unplanned activity. And when there are learners who didn’t bring a pen and paper to make notes, I am happy to share.

Scissors

After a while, I also added a pair of scissors to my toolkit. I noticed that I was regularly trying to cut cards, band-aids, rope, threads from clothing and a lot more.

Highlighters

I tend to offer highlighters as well as sticky notes to learners for whenever they would like to use them. They might want to highlight information in workbooks, on handouts or in their notes.

Whiteboard markers

I use whiteboard markers for writing on both flipcharts and whiteboards and have a bunch of markers available for activities on flipcharts. I stopped using text markers so I no longer need to check if I am using the correct marker on a whiteboard (and they smell).

Panadol and band-aids

Just in case a learner doesn’t feel well, or someone has a paper cut, I carry painkillers and band-aids. I offer the pain killers in the original packaging only. All venues will have a first aid kit, but this is so much quicker.

Extras for slide presentations

Laptop, charger and connector

Even if the venue has a computer set up for the facilitator, I do carry my laptop. If there are computer issues, I can swap and continue my presentation. I also carry both VGA and HDMI connectors to unknown locations.

Clicker and spare batteries

Whenever there is a presentation involved that includes slides, I use a clicker. It allows me to move between slides from wherever I am in the room. I also have spare batteries in my kit.

USB stick

I carry my presentation on a USB stick. To plug and play at a venue, or in case the connection doesn’t work with my laptop and I need to borrow another computer.

Printed slides

Computers do crash, projectors break down and materials get lost at venues. For peace of mind, I bring a print of the slides so I can always get it copied and hand it out for minimal disruption.

Ready to go

These items are in my standard facilitator’s kit and for me, it’s enough for facilitating in rooms that are set up for training. Of course, it’s not all I’m bringing. Besides my facilitator’s kit, I am also bringing training materials and a few personal items. I recommend stocking up the stationery after every facilitation job, so your kit is ready to go. It will save preparation time and last-minute stress.

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