Virtual Facilitator Training Solutions

Delivered Virtually

Upcoming Virtual Workshops

See our upcoming virtual workshops!

Now more than ever, virtual meetings and training workshops are an absolute necessity for geographically dispersed teams who need to collaborate, drive projects, solve problems and exchange critical information. Ineffectively lead sessions, however, can be complete time wasters, undermining the group’s productivity and buy-in.

The reality is that virtual sessions require even more rigour and understanding of facilitative techniques than in-person meetings. Virtual facilitators are competing against distractions, multi-tasking, and potentially more passive participants.

Facilitation First has adapted our most popular and proven workshops into highly interactive virtual learning sessions. Participants will learn core facilitation best practices while experiencing and practicing highly practical strategies and techniques that will engage virtual meeting participants.

Looking for quick bursts of learning? Facilitation First has developed a wide array of highly interactive 60-90 minute micro-workshops allowing organizations to create a custom program to suit the unique needs of your learners.

For a listing of the Virtual Facilitator Micro-Workshops, click the orange PDF below.

Virtual Facilitation Workshops

Download Overview PDF

With many teams working remotely for the foreseeable future, the skills needed to structure, engage and guide a group through critical virtual meetings has never been more important. Whether you’re new to facilitation or have years of experience, this workshop provides a unique opportunity to enhance your mastery of any group situation. Learn essential skills from certified, veteran trainers who have taught meeting facilitation skills for years. Experience a dynamic and totally interactive learning environment.

The Learning Opportunity:

  • Gain a clear understanding of the roles, core values and behaviors of meeting facilitators
  • Work with powerful process tools and techniques
  • Learn techniques and best practices to keep virtual participants engaged
  • Develop your confidence in handling dysfunctional behaviors
  • Receive personal feedback and coaching
  • Practice new tools in a safe learning environment

Download Overview PDF

This one-day workshop can be delivered in one full day session or two half day modules.

Everything we know about work is changing – where it’s done, how it’s done and who does it. Most conversations are not going to be face-to-face, and we need skilled facilitators to broker dialogue between a widening range of stakeholders.

As facilitators, we work to create conditions where vital collaboration occurs and flourishes. Many of us already know a range of tools and materials to unleash a team’s potential. But, as the circumstances of work evolve, so too must our mastery of new venues for facilitation. This workshop is focused on helping you to attain that mastery of virtual meetings.

Workshop Purpose:
To ensure participants have the foundational tools and confidence to engage in facilitating most types of virtual meetings.

Workshop Outcomes:
You will leave this workshop with…

  • A framework for facilitating all virtual group meetings (video and teleconferences)
  • Practical experience with using concrete process tips and tools in a virtual meeting environment
  • A strategy for overcoming specific breakdowns in virtual groups

Download Overview PDF

This half day workshop can be delivered in two 90 minute modules or one 3.5 hour session.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn the role and beliefs of the facilitator in the context of creating powerful virtual meetings that engage, inspire and achieve outcomes
  • Understand the Five Core Facilitation Best Practices and how to use them to gain group alignment
  • Recognize the importance of making your virtual meetings POP – defining purpose, outcome and process in creating meeting context
  • Learn practical engagement and process techniques to optimize group participation
  • Understand how to establish and get buy-in to group norms to minimize challenging virtual meeting behaviours

For more information about this workshop and upcoming dates, follow this LINK

Download Overview PDF

This workshop is designed to equip participants with the foundational skills and knowledge necessary to conduct active, engaging virtual learning events with confidence. Participants will engage in two highly interactive half-day sessions with many opportunities to practice new skills and receive coaching and peer feedback in a safe environment

Workshop Purpose: To enable subject-matter experts, internal trainers and managers to feel more confident and competent in being more ‘facilitative’ when leading virtual training sessions

Workshop Outcomes:

By the end of this workshop participants will:

  • Be more competent and confident in their ability to ‘virtually facilitate’ training
  • Appreciate the additional challenge and opportunity virtual training presents
  • Distinguish between their dual roles of subject-matter expert (content provider) and virtual facilitator (process leader)
  • Have clarity on how to effectively prepare for and set context to successfully launch a virtual workshop
  • Be able to deal more effectively with typical individual and group challenges experienced in a virtual session
  • Be better able to maximize participant engagement and leverage the groups wisdom during training
  • Have tools and checklists to ensure you are prepared to deliver engaging virtual workshops

Download Overview PDF

This workshop provides participants with specialized skills and knowledge necessary to design active, engaging virtual learning events with confidence. Participants will engage in two highly interactive half-day sessions with many opportunities to practice new skills and receive coaching and peer feedback in a safe environment. This workshop focuses on designing content that results in highly interactive workshops.

Workshop Purpose: To enable training designers, managers and subject-matter experts to create virtual training materials that are guaranteed to engage learners.

Workshop Outcomes:

By the end of this workshop participants will:

  • Clarify the five most common design challenges of the virtual environment, identifying strategies to overcome each challenge
  • Commit to an adult learning approach that strives to teach through asking and engaging rather than through excessive telling of content
  • Use research-based guidelines, decide what to teach in the virtual session and what to relegate to asynchronous teaching such as pre-reading, video, and quizzes
  • Structure and sequence workshop topics for maximum learning, and demonstrate how to show the participants the structure
  • Design enhanced openings for their workshops, using 1) a checklist of context-building elements and options and 2) strategies for focusing participant attention
  • Design Training to reduce learner’s cognitive load (Using a standard hour-long template, help learners focus, link new learning with existing ideas, organize and remember the new information)
  • Use five powerful strategies to overcome the challenge of technical or content-heavy training content (ensuring that the training engages participants)
  • Design visuals that support engaging delivery – increasing visual interest in slides and graphics to encourage discussion and learning versus reactive note taking
  • Create appropriate competition to illustrate key learning points from the content

Facilitation First has designed a series of highly interactive micro-workshops that will be delivered via Zoom or your organization’s preferred video conferencing platform

How It Works …

Select one module or build a customized series. Each 90-minute workshop is scheduled as follows:

  1. 15 Minute technology check-in to ensure everyone’s audio and video is working
  2. 60 Minute interactive content delivery built to create an experience, debrief & theory, and practice
  3. 15 Minute Q & A

The Virtual Facilitator Primer – Learn how to effectively prepare for and structure any virtual meeting. A great micro- workshop to pair with any other. Learning outcomes include:

  • Tips and techniques for how to “show up” professionally on camera
  • List of preparatory steps/questions to consider when designing a virtual meeting
  • Practice designing a typical virtual meeting

How to Launch A Successful Virtual Meeting – Learn effective virtual meeting start techniques such as how to set context, set participation expectations, get buy-in on meeting Purpose, Outcome and Process and getting buy-in on meeting norms.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Critical steps to include when setting context for simple and complex meetings, including Parking Lot and Action Plan
  • Practice gaining buy-in on your meeting’s Purpose, Outcome and Process
  • Suggested norms for virtual meetings and when and how to collaborate with participants to agree on meeting guidelines/norms

Managing and Engaging Participants in Virtual Meetings – Dealing with low participation, setting expectations, utilizing virtual tools for maximizing engagement, virtual warm-ups, handling power issues, etc

Learning outcomes include:

  • Clarity as to why engagement is even more critical in virtual meetings
  • An understanding of critical virtual engagement principles
  • Best engagement practices for teleconferencing and videoconferencing
  • Tips for prepping, starting and managing great videoconferences
  • Application of learning to mitigate some common virtual engagement dilemmas

Virtual Brainstorming Techniques – Learn and experience fun and engaging group virtual brainstorming techniques that promote great generative ideas! Learning outcomes include:

  • Clarity on the norms that encourage safety in idea generation
  • Understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities of virtual brainstorming
  • Methods for “priming” the pump ahead of the meeting
  • An array of easy to use virtual brainstorming techniques, including anonymous brainstorming

Virtual Techniques for Achieving Consensus – Learn simple, yet powerful processes for helping a group/team come to consensus, overcome polarization and gain buy-in. Learning outcomes include:

  • Clarity on what consensus is, what it “looks like” and when it is worth taking the time to use this decision-making method
  • Understanding of the most effective processes to bring a group to consensus, including synthesis, impact/effort, multi- voting and criteria-based processes including how to leverage virtual feature such as polls, chat and breakouts

Facilitating Through Resistance to Achieve Buy-In– Learn various methods for achieving quick and sustainable buy-in when leading change related group meetings.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Better clarity as to why people resist
  • The common forms or signs of resistance and what they look like in a virtual meeting
  • A 3-step model for facilitating through resistance
  • Practice naming the resistance which can often be the only step necessary

Facilitating Virtual Problem-Solving Meetings – Get armed with practical, easy-to-apply processes that help groups/teams move from problem identification to problem resolution in a virtual meeting.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Clarity around the pitfalls of problem solving in virtual meetings
  • Understanding and practice virtually facilitating a quick and effective structured problem-solving methodology

Facilitating Highly Productive Remote Teams – Team, Project and Program Leaders will learn effective tips and techniques for forming (or re-forming) their teams to accelerate performance.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Clarity around why teams need to form or re-form in the remote environment
  • Virtual strategies to achieve team alignment including:
    • Transforming work into measurable and trackable output
    • Sharing, understanding and agreeing to uses for available collaborative tools (Teams, Slack, etc.)
    • How to facilitate a team discussion to align and buy-in to team norms
    • Defining a team communication strategy including a discussion around what is working and not working in your virtual workspace

Facilitating Your Remote Team Through the Storm – Team, Project and Program Leaders will be equipped with tools for managing challenging behaviours, resentments and conflict within teams.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Clarity as to what storming looks like in a virtual environment
  • How to review and redefine your teams operating guidelines
  • Understanding and practice conducting a “needs and offers” exercise to mitigate unproductive team dynamics
  • Review of three communication tools that enhance trust between remote team members

Facilitating Through Challenging Behaviors – Learn when and how to intervene when conflict or challenging participant behaviours risk taking you and the group off track.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Practical ideas for proactively managing conflict
  • A simple reactive technique for reactively managing conflict
  • Some processes for creating buy-in when conflict is anticipated or suddenly occurs

Zoom Meeting Host Training for Facilitators (Basic) – Lead Zoom meetings like a pro.

Learning outcome include:

  • Why and how to use waiting rooms, share screens, manage participants, chat, non-verbal icons and reactions
  • How to ensure your meetings are private and secure.

Zoom Meeting Host Training for Facilitators (Advanced) – For Facilitators or trainers who want to leverage Zoom’s interactive features.

Learning outcomes include:

  • How to create and use breakout rooms, creating meeting templates for repeating sessions
  • When and how to fully leverage screen sharing options and how to create, launch and share a poll
  • How to provide a participant or co-host remote control access of your screen, document or power point
  • How to ensure your meetings are private and secure.

Download Overview PDF

When facilitating virtual meetings or training workshops, session leaders often find their greatest challenges to be in engaging participants and balancing participation so that everyone has an opportunity to be heard.

How do you transform a group of passive virtual session attendees/participants into highly engaged collaborators?

At Facilitation First, our go-to Zoom features are breakouts and polling! Where appropriate, we break
the group up into pairs or smaller groups to increase intimacy, a sense of ‘safety’ and quality of input. We use polling as a way to gauge interest, take a pulse and keep content dynamic.

We have developed this program to build confidence and competence in creating, launching and leveraging Zoom Breakouts and Polling. Delivered by a professional meeting facilitator and trainer, learners will also understand the ‘when and why’ you would use these features, as well as the how!

Workshop Outcomes:

You will leave the session by mastering breakout rooms and polling with a comprehensive understanding of the following …

  • Benefits of using breakout rooms and polling
  • An understanding of how to create and launch a poll, including how to “re-use” polls previously created
  • Options for creating breakout rooms, including the newly launched self-select breakout option
  • Managing breakout rooms in progress
  • How to effectively instruct participants prior to launching break-outs
  • How to quickly address various dilemmas/scenarios that can arise

Workshop Design:

  1. 90 Minute Workshop – the trainer will walk participants through the features and provide a live demo of the feature
  2. 1- 2 Hour Self-Study/Practicum: participants will be given a practicum with a list of breakout room and poll- ing use case scenarios to work through with friends, colleagues, or learning partners from the workshop to gain hands-on experience before the next in-person session. The scenarios in the practicum will be based on real, relevant situations our experienced facilitator and trainer has experienced herself.
  3. 60 Minute Post Practicum Coaching Session – this session is conducted one week after the 1st in-person session. This session will allow participants to share the results of their practicum, practice any of the scenarios they struggled with and the opportunity to observe live simulations of the various dilemmas/sce- narios.

As a facilitator, you own the meeting process design – a set of deliberately sequenced activities intended to lead to achieving an outcome(s). Yet one of the most challenging skills for a developing facilitator is learning which process tools or activities to use for a particular meeting and in what order. How do you create a natural flow to the dialogue, build trust and fully leverage the expertise in the room?

In this two half-day workshop participants will explore the critical elements of great meeting design and expand their “toolkits” by learning and working with highly engaging, proven process tools and techniques. Based on class needs, we will delve into problem solving, consultative feedback, ideation or decision-making processes that can be applied in your very next meeting. This workshop has been designed to utilize a curated collection of some of our favorite techniques!

Please note: Participants must have completed the two-day Facilitating Meetings with Ease (or comparable program) to attend.

The Learning Opportunity:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how to effectively scope out and prepare for highly collaborative group meetings
  • Learn the core elements of great meeting design
  • Expand your personal facilitator’s toolkit with clarity around which tool to use in a variety of different meetings
  • Receive coaching and feedback from Master Facilitator and Meeting Doctor, Michael Goldman, focusing on your real, upcoming meeting designs

Ask meeting facilitators what they fear most when leading discussions and they’ll tell you – conflict. Yet healthy disagreement helps groups see problems from new perspectives, make better decisions, and build trust. So how can we harness the strengths of conflict while limiting damage such as not achieving meeting outcomes, damaging rapport, and shutting down conversations prematurely?

This program directly addresses the sources of conflict – including you – and provides methods to prevent or facilitate through them. Explore your conflict behavioral style, learn how to mitigate client sabotage, and practice using tools and techniques to deploy when conflict erupts amongst group members.

Participants will build on the learning from their foundational facilitation skills course(s) by taking a deeper dive into proactive and reactive techniques for managing specific disruptive behaviors.

Please note: Participants must have completed either the one-day Facilitating Meetings That Work or the two-day Facilitating Meetings with Ease (or comparable) workshop to enroll in this course

The Learning Opportunity:

  • Gain a clear understanding of effective techniques and behaviors to facilitate through conflict
  • Discover your conflict style and how it can either contribute to or help minimize conflict
  • Practice the three-step intervention process for redirecting dysfunctional behaviour
  • Arm yourself with tools for identifying and managing resistance
  • Receive personal feedback and coaching from a ‘Master’ meeting facilitator and learning peers
  • Practice new tools in a safe environment

Our Virtual Strategic Planning Workshop delves into a proven, seven step strategic planning process and hones the facilitation skills required to collaboratively create and successfully implement strategies that will have the power to shape the future of your organization.

The overall focus of this workshop is to learn how to facilitate the development of a strategic plan and a process for operationalizing the plan for implementation.

The Learning Opportunity

The format of this workshop incorporates a highly interactive lecture style and an applied learning environment that includes group work, case studies, as well as using a variety of strategic planning tools and techniques.

At the end of this workshop, participants will learn to:

  • Clarity as to why Strategic Planning is Important
  • How to Show Up: Facilitator Core Practices
  • Critical factors to consider for effectively prepping for Strategic Planning
  • Defining your client’s expectations and responsibilities
  • How to determine the right Strategic Planning Team
  • Step by step process notes for virtual or in-person facilitation of Strategic Planning
  • How to successfully open the event
  • Tools for facilitating an analysis of the current, future states and respective gaps
  • A process for turning gaps into strategic goals, metrics and strategies
  • A method for operationalizing your key strategic goals into ultimately a tangible annual plan
  • Concrete ideas for cascading, monitoring and sustaining the plan going forward

Download Overview PDF

With most Committee meetings taking place virtually, it is even more important for Chairs to understand their role as meeting leader, how to actively engage the members and be more collaborative in their decision- making discussions. There is an art and science to effective meetings and we provide highly practical tips and techniques that can be applied in their very next meeting. Whether you’re new to facilitation or have years of experience, this workshop provides a unique opportunity to align your Chairs and staff on a standard approach to collaborative Committee meetings. Learn essential skills from certified, master facilitators who have taught meeting facilitation skills for years. Experience a dynamic and totally interactive learning environment.

Workshop Purpose

To enhance the Chair’s, Vice-Chair’s and/or Support Staff’s ability to be more facilitative in designing and/or leading their meetings

Workshop Outcomes

Participants will leave with:

  • Multiple tips and techniques on how to more effectively chair virtual meetings utilizing process facilitation
  • Clarity around of the duties of Traditional vs. Facilitative Chairs
  • Why Chairs need to S.L.A.P.S. themselves! (the Five Core Facilitation Best Practices)
  • Why you need to make your meetings POP! (How to structure any outcomes-based meeting)
  • Clarity as to the importance and best practices for engaging people during virtual meetings
  • Critical considerations for designing decision-making processes
  • Methods for managing challenging behaviors during meetings

Download Overview PDF

High Impact presentations combine well selected content, an audience-focused structure, and an engaging delivery that includes the actively involves the audience in your presentation. Make presentations that inform and influence in virtual meetings by learning and practicing key skills, methods and tools.

Participants will engage in two highly interactive half-day sessions with many opportunities to practice new skills and receive coaching and peer feedback in a safe environment. Pre-work and back-at-work assignments support blended learning.

Workshop Outcomes: By the end of this workshop:

Participants will improve their presentation preparation and design by

  • Identifying the top three challenges they will face in a virtual presentation, and how to overcome each
  • Defining their audience’s need and pitching their presentation to that need
  • Selecting key elements from their content that will “play well” in the virtual environment
  • Preparing an engaging opening with a clear “ask” and an attractive payback for the audience
  • Choosing the right structure & sequence to support the purpose and outcome
  • Tuning up visuals (reducing number, focusing, segregating detail into handouts)
  • Planning for interactive elements to engage the audience

Pre-Work and Practicum
Participants will have approximately 60 minutes of pre-work and a 1 – 2 hour practicum between sessions.

We regularly conduct public classes that are open to individuals or groups. Complete this form to register.

Register For Micro-Workshop

Note About Payments

We do not offer the ability to pay online so that we can ensure you are granted any discounts you or your organization may be eligible for. You will have the option to secure your spot in the class by paying with either a credit card or by Interac e-Transfer.

Public Workshop Participant Cancellation Policy (In-person classrooms only)

If you cancel more than 20 business days before the start of a workshop, you will be eligible for a full refund.

If you cancel 15-20 business days before the start of a workshop, Facilitation First will allow one courtesy transfer to be used in a future public workshop of equal or lesser value. This must be used within 12 months. A $150 per participant administration fee will apply for the courtesy transfer and will be charged at the time of the cancellation. For cancellations received less than 15 days before the start of a workshop or if you fail to attend, neither a refund nor a courtesy transfer will be issued.

Public Workshop Participant Cancellation Policy (Virtual classrooms only)

If you cancel more than 5 business days before the start of a workshop, Facilitation First will allow one courtesy transfer to be used in a future virtual public workshop of equal or lesser value. This must be used within 12 months. If you cancel less than 5 business days or fail to attend, neither a transfer nor a refund will be issued.