Facilitator's checklist

First meeting as a facilitator

  • Explain your role, let participants know you may interrupt for a time check
  • Let participants know when you would like agenda topics (one or two days before the meeting)

Before the meeting

  • Ensure planned time is adequate for content, adjust agenda as necessary
  • Be familiar with the meeting participants
  • Understand the desired outcomes of the meeting
  • Allow some time in the agenda for additional items or more time for certain time-consuming items (remember: ending a meeting early is okay!)
  • Verify with participants if handouts will be used or if they need a projector and laptop (if handouts are used and the meeting will involve a call, remember to send these materials in advance)
  • If the meeting attendees use a call in number, ask participants to let you know in advance if they will be calling in
  • If possible, send out agenda in advance; on the agenda, always show the next meeting date, time and location

At the meeting

  • Start and end on time (unless you get done early!)
  • Clearly define desired outcomes from the meeting (good to write on the board)
  • Listen to discussion and reflect areas of agreement that you hear (verbally and in writing)
  • Provide a parking lot list and add hard-to-resolve or out-of-scope items to this list to help move the discussion along
  • Keep discussion on track and balanced among participants by monitoring speakers and time spent by each
    • Respectfully return discussion to the topic at hand, when necessary
    • Engage participants who have spoken up less
    • Summarize what you've heard and keep conversation moving
  • Manage the time to ensure planned content is covered
  • Review action items and ownership prior to adjourning meeting

After the meeting

  • Summarize action items within 48 hours and follow up with those to which they are assigned, including:
    • Clear, concise description of the action
    • Deadline for completion
    • Request for agreement
  • Check in with assignees until tasks have been completed