Facilitation Skills for Public Participation

The Participation Company


Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 8 a.m.
Thursday, November 14, 2019, 5 p.m. MST

Denver, CO, United States

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Facilitators support groups of people, helping to ensure they can accomplish their work together. Facilitating public processes is not the same as facilitating internal meetings. Everyone under the sun is invited, they come from tremendously diverse backgrounds, and they may not even support the organizations’ mission. In a democracy, they have the right to their opinions. Understanding their perspectives is essential to developing sound public policy and sustainable public decisions. But facilitating their engagement in a public meeting is not easy!

Public participation practitioners are often expected to facilitate public events, but many have not been provided and adequate opportunity to learn how to facilitate. We don’t want to practice with real participants, after all!

Building on best practices from both the International Association of Facilitators and the International Association of Facilitators, this three day course introduces the essentials of facilitation in the public arena. Participants learn how to design and conduct successful facilitated public involvement events. It covers essential facilitation skills and basic methods for generating, organizing, and ranking ideas as well as for helping people to think together. Most importantly, it provides a safe environment to PRACTICE those facilitation skills. This three-day course is designed for small groups of participants, no more than a dozen, to consider information presented and practice essential facilitation skills in a safe learning environment with the opportunity for lots of feedback.  Three practice sessions are recorded and participants go home with access to video files of their practice sessions to assist them in their ongoing journey to become effective at the art of facilitating. 

The course was designed to assist participants seeking to learn how to:

•          List the basic parts of a facilitated public event

•          Use verbal and non-verbal skills to facilitate a meeting

•          Demonstrate basic facilitation skills

•          Plan group processes, select methods, and develop a session agenda

•          Respond to challenging situations that arise at typical facilitated public events.

Resource URL



Wendy Lowe

Ms. Lowe is a Certified Professional Facilitator and a Certified Public Participation Professional. She served as a course developer for both the original IAP2 Certificate program and newly revamped IAP2 Foundations program. She served as an original Master Trainer for IAP2 and recently completed her second term on the IAP2 ... Read More

Contact Info

Wendy Lowe, lowe@theparticipationcompany.com