Planning a retreat can be a daunting task! There is a myriad of details to map out, including the theme for the retreat, the venue, the schedule, and marketing. Whew!

Once these particulars of your retreat are taken care of, it’s time to select a facilitator-the person who will represent your company’s values and make certain that the attendees get the most out of their experience.

Facilitators become “the face” of a single session or group of sessions, and have a major impact on the success of your retreat. So, how do you find the best candidates for such a big role?


In selecting a facilitator there are some key factors to consider:


Have they done this type of work previously? Facilitating is a unique skill that involves leading a group of people around a specific topic. The person in this role should feel comfortable in front of the number of people attending. The larger the group, the more experience may be warranted in making your selection.

Subject matter

Does the potential candidate have any experience leading discussions about the content of the session? Choosing someone who understands your topic or theme may need less training than other potential facilitators.

Your audience

Can the facilitator create a rapport with your attendees? Selecting someone who can easily establish trust and relate with the participants will be a key factor in making sure the retreat is a success!

Skill Level

The person in this role should have some key proficiencies in facilitation:

Time Management

Making sure your group is working through the agenda in a timely fashion.


An experienced facilitator will understand the importance of remaining impartial while leading a session or group. This allows the participants to be more open to sharing.


There are several key skills that should be considered:

  1. Can they express the key talking points eloquently?
      • Do they have Active Listening Skills? These include the ability to paraphrase and ask relevant questions to the audience.
      • Can they read the body language of the audience?
        • Can they recognize when there may be a need for an unscheduled break?
        • Is there a need to include someone who appears to be feeling left out? Or is there someone who is dominating a conversation?
        • How would they handle conflict within a discussion?

There is certainly a lot to consider when selecting the facilitator for your upcoming retreat. Their role is significant and can elevate your retreat to creating an uplifting experience for your attendees. By doing your research, vetting the right candidate you can rest assured that your event will be a success.

Today’s Author: Jane Helm is the Principal of Money Mentor Group. As a wealth coach, Jane combines decades of financial services experience with a degree in social work and psychology to bring positive financial change to her client’s lives. She is a Partner Coach with the Wholistic Coaching Coalition and co-founded the Build Your Own Business networking group. Jane can be reached via email at [email protected]