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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

How to Manage & Support Presenters, Trainers, Facilitators or Speakers

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Do you have guest trainers, facilitators or speakers that you host or bring into your organization? Do you have a process to manage these speakers to ensure that they provide the best educational experience and impact for your organization? A process for managing speakers and facilitators can help ensure that organizations meet their educational and impact goals.

Plan in advance: If you are asking someone to speak, present or facilitate for your organization make sure to plan in advance as it takes a significant amount of time to plan a presentation, workshop or training. Not only do you need to make sure that the trainer or facilitator aligns with your audience you also want to make sure that the trainer develops content that connects with your end goals. A good lead time is anywhere from four to six months in advance for in-person training and at least two to four months in advance for virtual. Always have a back up plan for an in-person trainer especially if they are coming from out of state or it requires international travel.

Review Training Slides & Content: If you ask a trainer, presenter or facilitator to educate or inform your audience, it is important to review the content that is being presented in advance, especially if they are developing training materials. Did you recruit a trainer to educate your staff or volunteers on marketing, volunteer management, organizational management or leadership development? It is always essential to make sure that the presenter materials have been discussed in advance to make sure that what is presented aligns with your staff and volunteers.

Provide an Honorarium: Make sure to pay trainers for their time and be up front regarding the compensation or honorarium that you are providing. If you are asking a presenter to travel for a speaking engagement, cover the costs of their travel and hotel. Make it easy for a presenter to commit to saying yes to a speaking engagement.

Observe trainers or speakers in advance: Observation is important to make sure that you select a trainer or presenter that aligns with your community. Have you seen the trainer give a speech or presentation? Do you know the speaker's tone, activities, presentation style, capacity to engage an audience, ability to keep the energy level high whether virtual or in-person? It is important to observe a trainer or presenter so they meet your expectations.

Align with your community: Will the guest trainer or presenter connect with your community? Is the trainer willing to customize the content to meet your educational goals and align with your audience? It is important to choose a trainer or presenter that will connect with your community so that participants are willing to learn from the trainer and engage in the material presented.

Need more guidance on presentations, engaging an audience, training, facilitation, train the trainer, curriculum and instructional design? Do you want more information on how to develop skills as a trainer and how to design inclusive curriculum? Check out our train the trainer workshop. How more questions? Reach out to us at

Additional Nonprofit Resources:

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Do your organization want to explore more diversity, equity and inclusion approaches? Browse our DEI resources at

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Interested in train the trainer resources? Lead trainings? Supervise facilitators? Design curriculum? Facilitate meetings? Check out our Train the Trainers workshop: Engage, Design and Inclusion at



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