CONCLUSION

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When I was in human resource management and learning the skills of stand-up

training and public speaking, one resource that I turned to was the Creative Training

Techniques Handbook (1989) by Robert Pike. In his chapter on presentation preparation,

Pike offered “six P’s of an effective presentation”: “Proper Preparation and

Practice Prevent Poor Performance” (p. 7). I have found that the fundamental truth

in his memorable slogan is as applicable to facilitation as it is to training. Just as

Pike’s work helped me learn how to train and do public speaking many years ago,

it also stimulated the idea for developing my Eight Ps model for effective facilitation

planning and preparation.

We face an increasingly competitive world. Our time, energy, and discretionary

effort are becoming even more precious commodities. In many organizations, there

appears to be a growing cynicism about the very idea of attending meetings, conferences,

and events. In the push for efficiency and economy, we hear the continuing

drumbeat to meet less and use more technology to minimize the need for

people to meet face-to-face. High-tech communications and meeting tools have

their place, but there are practical limits to their applications and what can be effectively

accomplished with them.

Situations and issues related to organizational, leadership, and team effectiveness

are complex. Because personal relationships and organizational performance

are involved, the stakes are high. In these complex, high-stakes arenas, there is a

clear need for people to meet face-to-face, fully engage in an effective process, and

Eight Ps of Effective Facilitation Planning and Preparation 71

do the hard work required to achieve meaningful results.We need to fully use our

marvelous human capabilities of rational thinking, logical analysis, expression of

authentic feelings, and intuitive creativity. This is high-touch work that high tech

cannot replace.

As professionals committed to this challenging work, we encounter emergencies,

last-minute changes, unpredictable shifts in group dynamics, and other surprises.

We are expected to respond to these situations in a fluid, flexible way. A systematic

approach to facilitation planning and preparation can help us deal with these realities,

continuously improve our performance, and increase the value we provide

clients.