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Communities Talk: Town Hall Meeting to Prevent Underage Drinking event Facilitator Responsibilities and Tips

The role of the facilitator is to plan, guide, and manage the flow of the event in a way that will achieve its goals or objectives. Goals for a Town Hall Meeting may be to:

  • Educate the community about underage drinking consequences;
  • Empower the community to use evidence-based approaches, including environmental prevention, to reduce underage drinking; and
  • Mobilize the 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 event outline/agenda;
  • Keep speakers and events on schedule;
  • Allow time for valuable 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 event, and think ahead about the directions in which the discussion might go.
  • Consider the audience: What is being asked of them in meeting the event goals and objectives?
  • Encourage attendees to participate in the discussions, but at their own comfort level.
  • Direct conversations, but ensure that differing opinions are considered.
  • Have a way to keep track of time.
  • Have materials handy for recording key points to use in concluding the meeting.
  • Distribute community-based organization materials.