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

Goals for your Communities Talk activity may be to:

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

Facilitator Responsibilities

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. 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