Facilitation Training: Learn techniques and tools to design and lead a better workshop, presentation, or group session

The ability to lead effective meetings and workshops is a crucial skill for any leader or manager. These settings are opportunities to foster innovation, drive consensus, and improve workplace culture. However, facilitating productive and engaging sessions can be quite challenging! It requires a unique blend of strategic thinking and a deep understanding of group dynamics and how to bring the best out of everyone involved. A facilitator certification program from Innovation Training can equip leaders with the knowledge, skills, and techniques to transform their facilitation skills. In this guide, we will showcase an example facilitation course and explore the benefits it offers to leaders and managers seeking to enhance their ability to lead impactful workshops, meetings, or presentations.

Most people pick the individual workshops they’d like to do but if you’d like them sequenced, you can follow along with this “syllabus.” Below we show a sequence for facilitation training workshops you might go through.

This facilitation train-the-trainer program is self-directed where you choose what online workshops are of interest to you (like you would at a conference) and we help you in the two coaching sessions to apply what you are learning. We also create and add new online workshops to the program each year. With this program, to earn the certificate the requirement is 20 hours of learning & development experience time in online workshops, coaching with me, designing and ultimately delivering your own workshops, programs, etc. If the program is a fit, we can get the whiteboard out for your first coaching session by Zoom or Teams.

We also custom design innovative facilitation training programs or lead groups through our program. Here is a video that shows more about the program and also what the experience could look like when done with a small group.

Example Online Facilitator Training Program

Our innovative facilitator “Train-the-Trainer” online program covers the tools and techniques you need to design and lead better workshops, presentations, or group sessions. The course is composed of a number of modules or online workshops, including:

1. Facilitation Tools & Techniques

This overview program will introduce tools and techniques for facilitating group discussion and activities. Participants will engage in different types of facilitation, discussion, and identify the challenges that they expect to face and develop solutions using the tools presented.

  • Module 1: Theories of Learning and Engagement for Group Facilitation
  • Module 2: The Group Facilitation Experience
  • Module 3: Group Facilitation Tools and Activities
  • Module 4: Facilitation Design

2. The Innovative Facilitator

Create your own toolkit of strategies, techniques, and activities by diving deeper into facilitation and designing for your users.

  • Module 1: Innovative Facilitator Stories
  • Module 2: Innovate as a Facilitator
  • Module 3: Creating Your Innovative Facilitator Toolkits
  • Bonus Module 1: Innovative Facilitation in Practice (Overview and Outline)
  • Bonus Module 2: “On the Spot” Session #1: Diverging, Challenge Sharing, Question & Idea Gathering & Synthesizing
  • Bonus Module 3: “On the Spot” Session #2: Converging, Selecting, & Prototyping

3. Training and Facilitating Design Thinking for Beginners

This section is specific to those looking to lead design thinking workshops or sessions with teams.

  • Module 1: Small Group “on the spot” Design Thinking Process, Video Overview & Session Outline
  • Module 2: Part One: Diverging, Challenge Sharing, Question & Idea Gathering & Synthesizing
  • Module 3: Part Two: Converging, Selecting & Prototyping
  • Module 4: Get them in the Right Mindset: Setting the Stage with the Mindsets for Design Thinking
  • Module 5: Design Thinking Training Workshop Session You Can Lead for the First Time
  • Module 6: Virtual Design Thinking Session Online
  • Module 7: Virtual / Remote Concept Validation & Selection Session

4. Remote Workshop Facilitation Training: Apply Design Thinking Online with Groups

Go more in depth with design thinking with these virtual and blended approach resources.

  • Module 1: Introduction Video with 10 Tips for Facilitating Blended Online Workshops
  • Module 2: Recording of a Live Activity Prototyping Design Workshop
  • Module 3: Introduction to brainstorming session prototyping and testing
  • Module 4: Ideation expedition & whiteboard training video for participants
  • Module 5: 5-hour remote online brainstorming session recording
  • Module 6: Virtual Design Thinking Session Online
  • Module 7: Virtual / Remote Concept Validation & Selection Session

5. Create & Prototype your Own Unique Activities to Facilitate

Prototyping is a large part of the design thinking process. Get inspired with activities and resources related to objects and prototyping in this section.

  • Module 1: Recording of a Live Activity Prototyping Design Workshop
  • Module 2: Creating Activity Ideas that use Physical Objects
  • Module 3: Using Simple Objects to Facilitate More Creative Workshops

6. Storytelling Training for Leaders, Innovators, Facilitators, & Trainers

Apply design thinking to create story ideas that you can communicate to inspire.

  • Module 1: Introduction: Why storytelling – and naturally finding your stories
  • Module 2: Structuring your story with story elements
  • Module 3: Build a storybase of story ideas & prototype
  • Module 4: Iterating and creating as a story teller and maker
  • Module 5: Storytelling Tools for Facilitators & Leaders
  • Module 6: What is your origin story?
  • Module 7: Origin story demo – Using your roots
  • Module 8: The design thinking approach
  • Module 9: The 3 Stages of the innovation process
  • Module 10: Tips for generating ideas – Brainrain exercise
  • Module 11: Connecting with others – Burst through the paper
  • Module 12: What’s stopping you from action – Don’t believe everything you think
  • Module 13: The 80/20 rule
  • Module 14: The Redwood Story – Big results start with small ideas
  • Module 15: Virtual Storytelling as a Leader, Facilitator, or Trainer Video

7. Venture Storytelling for Entrepreneurs and Innovators

This practical workshop section will help you find, develop, and share stories for a more engaging pitch of your venture and you as an entrepreneur or innovator.

  • Module 1: Why storytelling for entrepreneurship and how we might do it
  • Module 2: Your journey story to share who you are
  • Module 3: Darin’s story demo – storytelling with frameworks
  • Module 4: Storyboarding your journey story
  • Module 5: Storyboarding and telling your venture story
  • Module 6: Story ideas to prototype and test
  • Module 7: Reflecting on what you learned and your storytelling
  • Bonus Module: Video Recording of our new Storytelling Expedition Live Workshop

8. Innovative Virtual Facilitation and Leadership

This is a recording of a live virtual session for facilitators, focused on empathy and activities to “storyboard” your own session.

  • Module 1: Developing the group
  • Module 2: Designing your session to facilitate: Ideate, prototype, and test your storyboard

Learn About Our Online Facilitator Training Program

Our self-paced, online course is perfect for those looking for a training program that will guide them through facilitation and provide resources, toolkits, advice and more to succeed. Through videos and activities, you can learn how to better guide and lead your team or participants, whether that’s for design thinking, a strategy session, weekly meeting, or something else! Combine the online modules with our live coaching sessions and you can get help with designing and facilitating that big event you’ve got to lead. Learn more about our innovative facilitator “Train-the-Trainer” program.
Have questions about facilitator training, design thinking, or anything else? Contact us today for customized training workshops and courses.

Facilitation Training Program Testimonials

Read on to learn more about some of the participants in the program and what they had to say.

My professional experience includes 14 years with the Walt Disney Company which had a dedicated Corporate team of Creative/Innovation Facilitators who traveled the world leading teams toward higher thinking and innovative outcomes. I envied those brainstorm facilitators who know just how to pull out the best-of-the-best ideas from groups in a safe and comfortable environment.

So I started an MS in Creativity Degree but quickly realized that that book learning and theoretical analysis wasn’t what I was really wanting. (Plus, I’d recovered from getting a graduate degree.) I WANTED to learn how to facilitate quality brainstorming activities to engage and help elevate group thinking toward progressive and innovative processes and programs. I also didn’t want to accumulate $100k in debt getting a degree that I really didn’t need.

A Google search revealed Darin’s program. His program delivered ABOVE AND BEYOND my expectations with the specific ideation session facilitation details, instruction, tools and tips to lead group creativity/design thinking workshops in multiple phases of their creativity journey and for multiple industries.

I can’t speak highly enough of Darin’s insight and construction on this facilitation certification. It provides a solid background for group C&I training as well as nuances that I continue to reference regularly. I can’t recommend this program enough.

– Shelby, Innovation & Design Thinking Trainer Certification Client in California

I discovered Innovation Learning’s Innovation Certification through an online search. In fact, their website surfaced as the number one organic search result on Google! After reviewing numerous options, I decided on their program.

If you are looking to experience a learn-by-doing Innovation Course, look no further. You will learn necessary innovation theories and concepts, but more importantly, you will undertake a real-time Innovation Challenge under Darin’s guidance. I found the Facilitation Tools & Techniques, Systematic Innovation and Brainstorming Training modules particularly useful and insightful. Plus, you also get Darin’s Innovation Step-By-Step EBook!

I found the breadth of the program comprehensive and more importantly, compatible with my learning and facilitation style. The Innovation methodologies taught in the Certification course are packaged in current day market verbiage, yet have firm time-tested academic roots.

The learn-at-your-own-pace format suited my busyness, but more importantly, Darin took my online enrollment personally. We had a chat at the start of the program and conclusion of the program, but I have always found Darin to be just an email away whenever I had questions both big and small.

– Delwin, Principal Consultant, Ideas x Action Australia

“Our organization signed up for the Online Innovation Certification course developed by Darin for the innovation project team members. As the online course comes with meeting time with Darin, the project team invited Darin to join the team meetings to provide insights and professional expertise on how we should structure our innovation workshops to make them interactive and engaging and develop a culture of innovation that is sustainable in the department.

The project team and Darin had several meetings to discuss ideas and approach which we find it extremely useful. We also engaged Darin to conduct a 4-hour Innovation Workshop in Chicago based on the project team’s requirements and Darin’s innovative approach. Key members from Germany and Singapore also attended the workshop in person to learn how to conduct a workshop from Darin. The workshop is a huge success!

With the experience from Chicago, the project team made some changes to the workshop outline for the Singapore and Germany workshops through close collaboration with Darin. Both workshops very well received by the team and for someone who is facilitating a workshop for the first time, it is immensely satisfying and the guidance from Darin is superb.

I will not hesitate to engage Darin again for future innovation projects. His response to our questions is timely and always professional.”

– GP, Innovation Facilitator Certification Client in Singapore

“I was in a jam and was facing a 2-day virtual training in health care which was normally done live and in person. I was scrambling to figure out how this could be done. Sure enough, an online meeting and coaching session with Darin helped me plan it out and get very comfortable with using the interactive tools like online platform Mural, and then executing it during the training. To be honest, I was shocked at how well the training went and how engaging it was. My reviews were great and the company I work for has asked me to train others on Mural.


I believe Darin’s nurturing personality and innovative and creative mindset has also helped me become one of the most innovative teachers at my university and trainers across the country. His encouragement and acceptance of who I am has helped me have more confidence in venturing out and really trusting myself and my abilities to teach and train online as well as live.

Darin has been an amazing coach and mentor! He has helped me shift my mindset from doubting if I could even have a business to a mindset of not only having a business, but that business being successful. It is this mindset that has helped me stay the course and reap the benefits of my hard work. I think doubt creeps in to all people starting a business. It could be doubt with yourself, the business and the market around you. Darin was instrumental in providing me with the guidance and reassurance that this could be done. He helped me believe in myself and what I was trying to accomplish and I could tell he lives what he teaches.”

-Ted, Train-the-Trainer coaching client in Wisconsin, USA

“As part of a global stretch assignment we have been working closely with Darin Eich to develop a Finance Innovation Framework and conduct global innovation workshops. We had several meetings to align on the workshop outlines and discuss how we can drive innovation in our company. Darin is a great innovation mentor and guided the entire process very closely. The material and content he provided was extensive. We were working with his E-Book, presentations and a large online library of podcasts. It helped me understand the very basis of being systematically innovative and creating an innovative mindset. After we agreed on a common outline of the three workshops, each zone representative prepared the details for their local workshops taking place in Chicago, Singapore and Germany. Just by working through Darin’s concepts, recordings as well as discussing the agenda in detail, I was able to lead a 4-hour workshop for around 15 people in Europe. The whole workshop has been a great experience for me and it was an innovation itself. By stepping out of the usually day to day business, preparing content and doing exercises with the whole team, I learned the very essence of what it means to be innovative. From now on, whenever I see opportunities or problems causing inefficiencies, I know how to systematically work on creative, innovative solutions and concepts thanks to the innovation step-by-step program and Darin’s support.”

– Alex, Innovation Facilitator Certification Client in Germany


Facilitation Program Contact

Have questions about our innovative facilitation training program? Visit the link to learn more about our facilitator certification program and then contact us with your question. Whether you want to lead a better virtual meeting, become a scrum master, or design and facilitate your own special workshops, this leadership training program can help. Get practical tools, facilitation resources, and coaching from an experienced facilitator. Apply the facilitation techniques for productive meetings and organizational development.