What’s the Difference Between Presenting, Training and Facilitating?

There are three primary forms of being in front of a group: presenting, training and facilitating. There is certainly an overlap in skill sets – such as dynamic delivery skills, a good stage presence, a high likeability level, the ability to “read” the audience. But while they are similar skills, they’re not interchangeable. It’s valuable to explore the differences among the three processes, so the trainer or presenter or facilitator knows how to accommodate the different situations.

Presenting: The objective is to present information in a dynamic, interesting way

Training: The objective is, using engaging delivery, to increase participants’ level of knowledge or skill

Facilitating: The objective is to manage the structure and focus of a team’s decision-making process


Presenting: Audience can be any size

Training: Number of participants varies, but it’s usually an average of 10 to 30

Facilitating: Team size is typically smaller, usually under ten


Presenting: Audience is there to receive information

Training: Participants are there to learn

Facilitating: Participants are team members who have a common goal


Presenting: Speech outline creates logical flow of presentation

Training: Course outline creates the learning structure

Facilitating: Agenda structures the flow of the meeting


Presenting: Presenter is a provider of information

Training: Trainer is a catalyst for learning

Facilitating: Facilitator manages dynamics of group-generated information


Presenting: Presenter primarily answers rather than asks questions

Training: Trainer asks questions to stimulate and evaluate learning

Facilitating: Facilitator uses questions to encourage individual involvement


Presenting: Visuals are used to present or clarify information

Training: Visual aids are used to illustrate learning points

Facilitating: Flip chart is used to record group’s ideas and input.


Presenting: Presenter communicates largely one way from presenter to audience

Training: Trainer uses involvement so participants can learn from others and retain interest

Facilitating: Facilitator manages the process of communication that takes place among team members

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