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.
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.
- 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.