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56. Public Speaking Intermediate: 4. Module 3: Facilitating Discussions

Today we look at the instances when you are to lead in group discussions.

This is different from leading team meetings.

In these cases, there may not be a standard agenda, the group you are heading may not all be from your own team or department.

There is a definite objective and there may be a need to brainstorm. So what should you do?

Here are some ideas:

1. Know the purpose of the discussion: brainstorm? Evaluate pros and cons? Problem solving? Decision making?

2. Take control of the discussion by being open to ideas and being fair to everyone, giving fair chance to everyone to chip in, regardless of how quiet some might be.

3. Do your homework beforehand. Know some background about the topic you are about to lead in discussion. The internet can give you enough background information for you to have some ideas of the pros and cons, plus points or pitfalls of the subject to be discussed. While you have all these information, the meeting is not the place for you to show off your knowledge. Instead, use your knowledge to keep the discussion on track, to ensure it doesn't run off tangent.

4. While there is no standard agenda, that should not stop you from having your own standard template in order to keep yourself in control of the discussion.

Here is a standard template:

  • Problem Statement

  • Objective

  • How a result looks like

  • What are the options

  • Pros and Cons for each option

  • Choose a decision + benefits and risks

  • Justification

  • Recommendation

Hope this helps…

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