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Communities Talk In-Person or Virtual Activity Facilitator Responsibilities and Tips

The role of the facilitator is to guide and manage the flow of an activity in a way that will achieve its goals or objectives. Goals for your Communities Talk activity may be to:

  • Educate your community about the prevalence and consequences of underage drinking;
  • Empower your community to use evidence-based approaches to reduce underage drinking; and/or
  • Mobilize your community around underage drinking prevention initiatives at the local, state, and national levels.

Facilitator Responsibilities

In carrying out this role, the facilitator will:

  • Follow the proposed agenda and keep the activity moving;
  • Keep speakers and agenda items on schedule;
  • Allow time for participant discussion, questions, and answers;
  • Guide the discussion according to the topic, while remaining neutral;
  • Maintain an accurate account of important findings, items tabled for later discussions, and action items; and
  • Close the meeting with an indication of next steps.

Facilitation Tips

  • Be prepared. Understand the goals and objectives of the activity and think ahead about possible directions in which the discussion might go.
  • Consider the audience: What is being asked of them?
  • Encourage attendees to participate in the discussions at their own comfort level.
  • Direct the overall conversation, ensuring that differing opinions are considered.
  • Have a way to keep track of time and keep the activity moving.
  • Have materials handy for recording key points and action items for later.
  • Distribute materials and resources provided by your presenters, or from SAMHSA and community stakeholders.