The keys to great facilitation: clowning for presence and connection

“You’ll practice letting go and rediscover spontaneity.”

Clowning for Facilitators is a unique opportunity for facilitators, trainers and educators to differentiate a good facilitator from a great one: someone who is comfortable with themselves, connected to the group, and tuned in to where the discussion needs to go.

Through movement, play and the art of clown we explore how you can use being present in your body to better connect with the people you are working with, and how an understanding of theatrical devices like timing and rhythm help you better manage the energy in the room and the flow of the day.

The art of clown holds surprising learnings for the facilitator. Clown – as presented in this format – lets us develop the intangible but critical aspects to facilitation that are often developed on the job.

Many of us think of clown as silliness and slapstick (which it can be) but there is a much deeper learning enabled by this type of play. We learn to be more comfortable in ourselves (or notice when we are not comfortable), to explore the tensions between doing and being still, and to understand more about how we are with others. We also cover practical performance skills that help with running engaging training sessions, such as timing, using tension in a health way, playing with rhythm and lifting the energy in a room.


For facilitators, teachers and people who lead groups. Places limited to ten.

Who is this workshop for?  Facilitators, trainers, educators and people who work with people – from freelancers to organisations like Department of Water, Challenger TAFE, Powerhouse Museum and Department of Agriculture – have all come along to this workshop and expressed enjoyable, practical, professional learning.

“It was valuable to take myself out of traditional facilitator type training and try something new.”

“A great and valuable experience – you learn so much about yourself through small games and activities with other people.” (Janni, Meld Studios, Sydney)

“Most valuable for my professional life was widening the possibilities for leading facilitation, and finding links between theatre and work.” (Andrew Botros, Expressive Engineering, NSW)

“I will remember to say committed to my audience/client needs, listening deeply and engaging to find creative solutions.” (Kate, performer, NSW)

“Tell future participants they’ll find room to play and discover themselves in a supportive, open environment.” (Dominique, Meld Studios, Sydney) 

“I’ll be making room for stillness and allowing people to come to conclusions without telling them how to get there.” (Gemma, Facilitator at Scitech, WA)

“The most valuable thing for my professional life was watching the group form and doing things easily, not the hard way”.
(Beth, Disabilities Services Commission)

“A highlight was thinking more consciously about how it feels to be an audience member and how I can reflect on this experience as a facilitator.” (Jacqui, Challenger TAFE)

“In the future I’ll be more relaxed and self-aware…” (Diana, Life without Borders)

“I loved it.”
(Kate Raynes-Goldie, lecturer at Curtin University)


Through the eyes of a clown: the art of facilitation

A Perth version of Clowning for Facilitators will be running on January 12.  For a word that wasn’t in use not so many years ago, facilitator gets bandied around a bit.  In this workshop we use the art of Clown to get you, the facilitator or communicator, connected with the intangible part of your work.  How do you develop your ability to read the energy in the room and convince a bunch of engineers or bankers that drawing a picture of a tree on yet another post-it note really is worth their while?  How do you develop the confidence that you will get your group wherever they need to be – even when things seem to be going completely wrong? Continue reading “Through the eyes of a clown: the art of facilitation”

Clowning for Facilitators: new workshop and a new thought

Clowning for Facilitators is a workshop I’ve had in mind for a long time. Even before I started to study Clown, I was fascinated by the similarities with facilitation:  a clown is continuously reading her audience, finding the path to an outcome that works for both performer and watcher.  She blurs the line between actor, satirist, improviser, comedian and teacher. There is a magical ability to work the energy in a room and show it something anew. Continue reading “Clowning for Facilitators: new workshop and a new thought”