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The specific duties of a workshop facilitator can vary somewhat, though in general he or she is responsible for creating the lessons and materials for a workshop. Some individuals may be given guidance regarding their work by an organization running a workshop, though other facilitators can have much more control. With or without guidance, a facilitator usually creates the specific materials and handouts that are used during a workshop. The workshop facilitator then presents lessons to attendees of a workshop and provides additional support and information to them.
Much of the work done by a workshop facilitator depends a great deal upon the type of workshop being run and how he or she has been contracted to handle it. Famous or influential public speakers may have total control over what they do, while others can be hired by a company to provide specific details and work within an established context. Regardless of how much guidance may be provided by an organizer, a workshop facilitator often determines the specific message and content for a workshop. An organizer, for example, might want a workshop to be about writing, and the facilitator can then decide that it should focus specifically on writing non-fiction narratives.
Once the subject matter is determined, then a workshop facilitator creates the actual content for the workshop. This often begins with the creation of lessons to be presented, each with a particular subject and a focus on a certain concept. A workshop on non-fiction narrative writing, for example, could include specific lessons on brainstorming, finding voice within the work, and editing writing to find pertinent details and eliminate unnecessary information. The number of lessons a workshop facilitator creates often depends on the length of the workshop and the requirements of its organizers.
After this preliminary work is done, then the workshop facilitator has to actually present the material covered in his or her lessons at the workshop. This can be approached in a number of different ways, but often combines lecturing with group activities and interactive dialogues between the facilitator and attendees. Lessons are presented in ways according to the preferences and style of the workshop facilitator, and handouts and other materials are often given to the attendees with additional information. After the presentation, the facilitator might take additional questions from those in attendance and give them an opportunity to provide him or her with feedback to strengthen future workshops that he or she runs.
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