The Effective Art of Facilitating: Lesson #1-No Fudging!

This past week, I had the privilege of presenting my workshop “Moving Many More: How to Facilitate” to staff members at the nonprofit Byte Back located in Washington DC. Byte Back does amazing work with older adults– teaching necessary computer skills in course and workshop format– and has won numerous awards and recognition for preparing unemployed and underemployed adults for their re-entry into the job force. I was training the staff members on how to facilitate and work with their new students.

What is Facilitation?

What gets lost in translation is what the word facilitation means and what that means for those of us who facilitate. It means “to make one understand” or “to move towards ease”. With that in mind, we should always find ways to make the information that we are imparting easy for the learner to take in. One of the ways that we can do that is to ensure that we are not FUDGE-ing!

FUDGE stands for:

F– Faking it.

U– Underestimating your audience.

D– Deflecting attention from the areas you are clueless on.

G– Grossly Exaggerating.

E– Entertainment in lieu of Education.

People who FUDGE as the norm never really develop their facilitation skills if they never address the truth about their preparation habits, or lack thereof. Though FUDGErs typically have an ease in speaking in front of people and/or utilizing creative methods in facilitating (incorporating music, arts, movement, etc.), they must learn that this is no substitute for knowledge of your subject matter. Though no facilitator will know everything or expected to know everything, it is paramount that a facilitator at least take the time to learn the basics of their subject matter.

Creating outcomes and objectives, creating supplemental information to use as a structure of your presentation and having reminder cards are helpful ways to ensure preparation and give structure to your presentation. FUDGE-ing is not the answer!!!

Read more about this concept I developed on the blog So Our Youth Aspire.

Take this quick quiz to see what type of facilitator you are!

Learn more about my listing of workshops and services on my website and feel free to contact me at for a free consultation.


Providing writing and consultant services, training workshops and curriculum resources, Khadijah Ali-Coleman provides creatives, nonprofit agencies and businesses with a wide-range of resources and support.

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