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Presenting – Training – Facilitating

For a long time, I’ve been aware that Trainers don’t consider themselves Presenters. Whenever Trainers Warehouse tried to sell “presentation” products, our customers were clearly not into them.  These days, as I’ve been attending a handful of conferences, I recognize that the corollary is also true — Presenters do not consider themselves Trainers.

While both are trying to impart information, the goals and processes of training and presenting are quite different.  I began digging a little deeper into the differences and found this concise article by Dr. Denise Meyerson, which explains the differences. Following is an excerpt:

The Key Differences Between Presenting, Training and Facilitating

“How do I know what skills sets I need to present, train or facilitate?  What are the key differences between these methods?”

This is a question that we are frequently asked by trainers, project managers and other senior team members.  In an organisational context, these three areas do cross over fairly frequently and there are also some differences in terms of definition and application.


  • Presenters have information and expertise
  • They deliver in generally a one-way stream to an audience
  • The skills sets they need revolve around use of voice, design of powerpoint sessions and body language
  • Use of Powerpoint slides for greater effectiveness


  • Facilitators are not attached to an outcome
  • They need to be able to use a series of different processes to address the content
  • Their key area of expertise is using and applying the right processes with the group to achieve the agreed end result


  • Trainers have a key role in enabling participants to come to their own conclusions about content
  • Trainers need skills in a range of creative training techniques to ensure that change takes place in learners
  • Trainers need skills in imparting knowledge that sticks with their participants and embeds into long terms memory

In order to understand which skill set is required, you need to look at the ultimate outcome of what you want to achieve with your group.”

by Dr Denise Meyerson

The thing that’s most interesting to me is that so many presenters are satisfied with the one-way stream of communication. I wonder if it’s because of expectations, expertise, or available time. All of the brain research I’ve read suggests that people absorb information best if they participate and move around physically.  So here we all are, subjecting ourselves and each other to presentation after presentation, when most of what we deliver or hear will be forgotten within a few weeks time.

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