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....and many other thoughts about facilitation, coaching ( teams & individuals) and learning


  • David

Presenter vs Trainer vs Facilitator

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

What is the difference among a Presenter, a Trainer and a Facilitator? Here is my thought:

A Presenter is simply the one who is getting some messages across to the ‘other side’. In most of the case, the ‘other side’ consists of more than 1 person. For example, a sales head in a kick-off meeting to the sales is a presenter;

A Trainer is one form of a presenter. The key feature is that the ‘other side’ comes to the occasion with preparation to learn. (Well, there are some presentations which the ‘other side’ is not prepared to learn – sales presentation is an example.) In addition, a trainer is normally more knowledgeable than the ‘other side’ re that topic of the occasion. For example, those who (especially basic) teach accounting skills are trainers

A Facilitator is not the same as presenter or trainer. Unlike a presenter, he / she does not necessarily have any pre-arranged message to get across. Unlike a trainer, he / she does not necessarily know more than the 'other side' (you cannot call them audience cos there could be nothing to hear from the facilitator). Still, most trainers have to do some facilitation in their training. A pure facilitator is more there to induce discussion among the 'other side', ask a lot of questions to make people think and help to adhere some ground rules (preferably set by the floor). For example, if you are conducting a team effectiveness workshop, you are facilitator. They knows more than you about themselves, and you are there most to make them to think and glue relationship. There is an interesting saying:

'A trainer brings the participants from unknown to known. A facilitator brings the participants from known to unknown.'

Among all the skills / learnings I have been discussing in this blog, some are only applicable to being a presenter, some for trainer and some for facilitation. For example, a facilitator should ask a lot of questions and use music to control the energy. You cannot readily do so in a sales presentation. I hope the above difference will help you understand the learnings I discuss better.

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