Course Description

Skilled facilitators know how to bring out the best in people. They can design gatherings that get results, while their presence, confidence, and innate understanding of participants sets the tone and energy in the room. By drawing out and building upon their team members’ intellectual and social capital, skilled facilitators can help nurture creativity and innovation, transforming overall performance. Effective facilitation is a learned skill that can be taught and improved upon for leaders and coaches from a variety of backgrounds. Anyone who is in the business of gathering people will benefit from this course.

The underlying principle of this curriculum is that facilitation – the art of crafting gatherings and convenings – can transform the ways that people communicate with one another and work together. Great facilitators push people to think, act, and speak in new ways; they can nurture transformation in an organizational and leadership context. Skilled facilitators serve as catalysts for change – they “awaken, engage, and support” participants in the room.

Designed For

  • Managers and leadership coaches interested in developing and expanding their facilitation toolbox to enhance their work in group settings.
  • Professionals working in settings where the ability to create meaningful and innovative convenings, trainings, and meetings will advance the mission and work of the organization or professional setting.   

Course Outline

This course will be largely experiential. The technical approach of the course will provide new skills and knowledge to participants, and the transformational approach will connect the person and their identity as a facilitator. Participants will have several practicum experiences throughout the three-day seminar. These include, but are not limited to, developing and presenting a design of a potential facilitation, delivering a facilitated experience and receiving feedback from both faculty and fellow students on all practical aspects. The course will also allow students to learn and practice the most current facilitation exercises and modalities that enhance group learning.

Day 1

Day one will focus building presence and presentation skills through facilitation. Enhancing these skills will empower participants to project confidence and conviction for your curriculum while motivating and engaging adult learners. The key to successful facilitation is making an authentic connection with your audience. We will focus on how to use your natural personality to engage with your audience and get your point across confidently, effectively and with impact.

Day 2

Day Two will focus on the design aspect of facilitation. We will use an adapted form of the Design Thinking process, popularized by Stanford’s Design School and the consulting firm IDEO, to create a concrete, iterative structure for the design of relevant, creative, and impactful facilitated experiences. We will tackle questions such as: How do you design to best meet the needs of your participants? How can you frame the facilitation experience to be purposeful and relevant? How can you come up with creative, inspiring modalities that advance the group’s work? And, how might you experiment to ensure that you are on the right track before the actual facilitation? We practice the 4 aspects of design thinking: immersing, framing, imagining, and prototyping, as they relate to facilitation design. We will also have the opportunity to learn additional facilitation modalities that you can use in your programs.

Day 3

Day Three will focus on an important module called “The Joy of Working with People.” All facilitators have to manage difficult participants at one time or another. Leading a successful meeting often comes down to managing different types of people—and the more difficult the personalities in the room, the harder it is. Successful facilitators adapt their style to meet the needs of the group, and by doing so, draw the best ideas out of their team. In this session we will identify some challenging personas you might encounter in meetings and how to adapt your responses (and often your plan) to better manage them.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, a successful student will be able to:

  • Facilitate modalities to advance the work of groups, build meaningful relationships, and spark courageous conversations
  • Utilize design principles to craft savvy facilitation sessions
  • Anticipate and prepare for meetings that may have challenging dynamics
  • Apply insights about group process that increase your objectivity and ability to address a wide range of meeting behaviors
  • Practice proven facilitation strategies and interventions to keep meetings on track and build buy-in and engagement from participants
  • Leverage a community of thought partners for generating ideas about future facilitation opportunities


Graduates from the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University are eligible for a 10% alumni discount on select ITL courses, workshops, and seminars (certificate programs excluded). Send an email to itlprograms@georgetown.edu to learn about your eligibility.

Early Registration
Participants who register at least 21 days prior to the course start date will receive a 10% tuition discount. Please note that only one tuition discount can be applied at time of registration.

Course Registration
This course is an open enrollment course. No application is required and registration is available by clicking "Add to Cart." Current students must register with their Georgetown NetID and password. New students will be prompted to create an account prior to registration.

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