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Facilitation vs. Presentation
After reading this Information Sheet, you should be able to describe
the difference between facilitation and presentation.
Presentation and facilitation are skill sets that effective trainers
possess. As a presenter, you should be able to impart knowledge in an
engaging, relevant, and thorough manner. As a facilitator, you should be
able to guide the learners towards the learning destination by facilitating
application and practice of knowledge and skills learned.
This module further illustrates the differences between presentation
Differences Between Presentation and Facilitation
There are three primary characteristics that differentiate presentation
Presentation is trainer/teacher-centered. The focus of the learning
materials, and the presenter’s demeanor and manner is the presenter. The
presentation of the material aims to cover the training content and to exhibit
the presenter’s knowledge and expertise.
A facilitated learning event is learner-centered. The focus of the
learning materials, the activities, and the facilitator’s demeanor is assisting
the learners acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes and apply them through
practice. Facilitation is executed with the learner at the forefront. It is
experiential, engaging, and hones the skill sets that the facilitator wishes to
In a presentation, the goal is for the participants to be given
information about a subject hoping that they might find something useful
from it. It is essential that the presenter demonstrates impeccable
communication skills and extensive knowledge of the subject matter.
Moreover, the presenter largely controls learning by imparting knowledge
using an engaging speaking style. He controls which questions are allowed
and when questions may be asked. There is very little or no opportunity for
the audience to interact with the subject matter through practice and
Subject matter expertise and presentation skills are requisite
competencies of a facilitator. However, effective facilitation requires much
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more. The facilitator acts as the guide to the learning outcome. As the guide,
he creates the learning atmosphere and provides the process that steers the
learners to their destination. In addition, the facilitator shares control and
responsibility for the learning with the participants. This is in support of the
principle that the more engaged and in control the participants are, the
more meaningful learning becomes. The learners are allowed considerable
latitude in raising questions, entering into a discussion with the facilitator,
and applying the subject matter to their work. The facilitator, on the other
hand, should be able to demonstrate excellent listening, questioning, and
coaching skills to enrich learning.
In a presentation, the audience perceives the presenter’s credibility
through the content presented, examples given, experiences shared, and
questions answered. A presenter gains or loses credibility with the way he
relates the content to the participants’ experiences. Credibility is
compromised if the presenter doesn’t know the answer to questions or if the
participants do not accept the answer.
On the other hand, the facilitator’s credibility comes from many
factors aside from content expertise. The facilitator is perceived as credible
by the learners through the way he relates to the participants and keeps the
focus on them. Credibility comes from recognizing and meeting the learners’
individual needs. It also comes from effectively facilitating learning
experiences and keeping the atmosphere positive and non-threatening
(McCain & Tobey, 2004).
Focus Trainer-centered Learner-centered
Control Trainer controls learning Shared control
Credibility The presenter’s credibility
comes from subject matter
expertise and presentation
The facilitator’s credibility
comes from subject matter
skills, and facilitation
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True or False:
Identify if the statement is True or False. Write your answer on the
1. Presentation and facilitation are both learner-focused. Learning
happens through self-discovery and application.
2. Subject matter expertise is not required from a facilitator.
3. The credibility of a presenter comes from subject matter expertise
and speaking style.
4. A facilitator keeps the control of the learning experience.
5. The credibility of a facilitator is derived from his interpersonal
relationship with the learners.
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