The Ultimate Facilitation Training and Courses Guide

You’ve scrolled through countless Instagram posts, attended never-ending webinars, and compared aggressive marketing sites… but which facilitation courses are actually going to help your team?

In this mega-post we’ve rounded up our best facilitation training recommendations depending on your specific needs. Looking for meeting templates? There’s a mini-course for that. About to run your first design sprint? We’ve got a guide so detailed, it’s almost overkill. Whether you’re looking for free training or have a corporate budget to work with, you're not going to leave empty-handed.

Here is a list of what's included:

Full-blown facilitation courses and trainings

Key resources for your first workshop

The Workshopper Playbook - introduction to workshopping

Price: free

It’s for you if: you’re new to workshopping and need a facilitation course; you’d like a workshopping toolkit; you’ve run workshops before and would now like to design your own

How long it will take: 4-5 hours

Training outcome: you’ll understand what workshopping is and what it achieves (mindset and theory). You’ll have the ability to lead a team through a workshop (facilitation). You’ll have a portfolio of full-blown workshops and pick’n’mix exercises to choose from (toolkit). In short: you’ll be a Workshopper.

Facilitation Guidebook

Price: free

It’s for you if: you’re new to workshops and need facilitation training; you’d like to learn how to manage and build your workshop team (group facilitation training)

How long it will take: 50 mins to read; 30 mins to rehearse the exercises

Training outcome: you’ll be able to work with a group and respond to their energy; you’ll be able to set expectations, keep things clear and simple, and manage troublemakers; you’ll be able to apply workshopping best practice tips and tricks

Problem-solving workshop: Lightning decision jam

Lightning Decision Jam Booklet -  a workshop to create solutions to any problem

Price: free

It’s for you if: you need your team to make decisions or solve problems fast; you need group facilitation training

How long it will take: 90 mins read; 30-90 mins to run the workshop. There’s also a 12-min overview, a 40-min YouTube tutorial to guide you through the workshop step by step, and a 20-min virtual facilitation training.  

Training outcome:  you’ll be able to run a Lightning Decision Jam workshop, in person or remotely: you’ll be able to identify and prioritise problems to solve, reframe problems into opportunities, ideate and prioritse solutions, make an informed, democratic decision, and create an actionable solution in 90 minutes or less. You’ll also get slides to show your team what the workshop is about.

How to run a design sprint

Design sprint masterclass intro - free overview training video

Price: free

It’s for you if: you’ve heard about the design sprint and would like to see if it’s worth exploring further; you’re contemplating a career change into facilitation

How long it will take: 50 minutes

Training outcome: you’ll be able to explain what the design sprint achieves and how it works; you’ll understand the career benefits of running design sprints; you’ll understand the main design sprint framework. For more detail, please explore the full Design Sprint Masterclass below ↓


Design sprint masterclass - in-depth, detailed design sprint facilitation training with a certificate and a regular coaching call

Price: 1,997 (1,497 if you watch the free training video above ↑). Roughly equivalent to £1,700/£1,280 or $2,350/$1,770.

It’s for you if: you’d like to solve a complex problem fast; you need to create a working prototype in a few days; you’d like to run your first design sprint; you’d like to up your game and use the latest, advanced design sprint methods; you’d like regular coaching calls with a design sprint expert. In other words, this course is for you if you need in-depth, step by step sprint facilitation training or virtual facilitation training.

How long it will take: 2-3 days

Training outcome: you’ll know how to run a design sprint or a remote design sprint. You’ll be a certified design sprint facilitator. You’ll be able to lead a team to create and test a solution to a complex problem together in a few days. You’ll have a toolkit of advanced facilitation techniques, actual template documents and slide decks. You’ll know how to deal with troublemakers and common workshop pitfalls. The training pack includes: regular coaching calls with a design sprint expert (!!!), design sprint preparation guide, facilitator’s step by step slide deck, facilitator’s daily checklist, delivery template for the client and much, much more.


The remote design sprint guide - virtual facilitation training from the inventors of the Design Sprint

Price: free

It’s for you if: you’d like to run your first remote design sprint; you’ve run in-person sprints before but need virtual facilitation training now

How long it will take: 2-3 hours

Training outcome: you’ll be able to run remote design sprints; you’ll understand the unique challenges of running a multi-day virtual workshop and you’ll know how to address them; you’ll have a toolkit of apps and websites to use for remote design sprints, including a digital whiteboard, virtual prototyping collaboration tools, user testing and user recruitment websites, time zone synching tools and more.


Design sprint video training (54 videos)

Price: free

This is for you if: you’d like to run your first design sprint; you’d like to see (rather than just read about) what a design sprint actually looks like; you’d like to boost and supercharge your existing sprint skills, you need remote or virtual facilitation training

  1. Design sprint FAQ (22 videos) 

How long it will take: about 3 hours

Training outcome: you’ll be able to explain what a design sprint achieves, how it works and what the benefits are; you’ll be able to share design sprint case studies from well-known companies; you’ll be able to convince others to run design sprints

  1. Before you sprint (16 videos) 

How long it will take: about an hour

Training outcome: you’ll know how to prepare for a design sprint: how to prepare your team, how to choose the right challenge, how to set up the space and what supplies to have

  1. Design sprint 2.0 (16 videos) 

How long it will take: about 3 hours

Training outcome: you’ll be able to run the the improved and advanced exercises of the design sprint 2.0

  1. Remote sprint training (8 videos) - virtual facilitation training

How long it will take: about 4.5 hours

Training outcome: you’ll be able to run a remote or virtual design sprint

Free training: The 5 things you can do to become a high-paid facilitator

Free facilitation mini-trainings (that add up to full-blown courses)

You might argue that these free articles and videos are technically not training. However, training and courses equip you with new skills - and that’s precisely what these articles and videos achieve. Each one of them teaches you a multitude of practical skills that you can deploy within the hour, so we feel justified to call them mini-trainings. And yes, together they add up to several days’ worth of facilitation courses.

Before your first workshop

12 tips for running the most effective meetings of your life

Price: free

It’s for you if: you’ve ever been in (or held) a terrible meeting; if you’d like to try workshopping exercises before running a full workshop

How long it will take: 1 hour in-depth article, 13-min video

Training outcome: after this meeting facilitation training you’ll be able to run efficient meetings that end on time, where participants have a useful role, all voices are heard, abstract ideas are made visible, clear democratic decisions are made, and people actually enjoy themselves.

What is a workshop and why do you need one 

Price: free

It’s for you if: you’d like to understand what you gain by workshopping

How long it will take: 15 mins

Training outcome: you’ll understand how workshops make your work more efficient and far more enjoyable. You’ll understand how you can level up in your career by running workshops.

Gateway workshops

Price: free

It’s for you if: you’d like to try out workshopping alone before involving your team; you’re looking for immediately useful workshop exercises

How long it will take: 15 minutes to read; 90 minutes to do the exercises

Training outcome: You’ll be able to run 5 practical workshop activities. With the help of these you’ll be able to reframe problems into opportunities, prioritise better, generate ideas quickly, translate abstract processes into simple graphics and identify inspiring solutions


Workshop Training: How to Run an Effective Workshop

Price: free

It’s for you if: you’d like to find out how a workshop works and what it achieves; you’d like to boost your workshopping skills

How long it will take: 30 mins to read

Training outcome: you’ll understand the principles behind workshopping; you’ll be able to present the compelling benefits of a workshop to stakeholders; you’ll be able to prepare for, set up and run a workshop; you’ll be able to do the follow-up work


8 Essential skills of an effective facilitator

Price: free

It’s for you if: you haven’t held many workshops before or you feel like you’re struggling with facilitation

How long it will take: 20 mins to read

Training outcome: you’ll understand the 8 most important skills of an efficient facilitator, and you’ll know how to develop them further

Short workshops

The ultimate 10-minute brainstorming

Price: free

It's for you if: you need to run a brainstorming session and want to avoid the usual mess

How long it will take: 15 mins to read, 10 mins to do the exercise

Training outcome: you’ll be able to run an efficient, structured brainstorming session with 10 (or fewer) clear, prioritised, fairly chosen ideas as the outcome


Product strategy scoping workshop

Price: free

It's for you if: you need to define the scope and extent of the product you’re building or want to align a team on a big strategic direction

How long it will take: 15 minutes to read, 1 hour to do the workshop

Training outcome: you’ll be able to run a strategy workshop that brings all participants on the same page with a weighted visual map of your values, challenges and their scope


Campaign booster: A quick and effective marketing workshop

Price: free

It's for you if: you’re working on a marketing campaign

How long it will take: 40 mins to read, 3.5-4 hours to do the workshop

Training outcome: you’ll be able to run a marketing workshop that results in a clear, well-defined and prioritized list of campaign activities and actions with clear next steps


Problem-solving workshops

What is problem solving and how to do it right

Price: free

It's for you if: you need to solve problems (...which is all of us, every day, multiple times a day!)

How long it will take: 25 mins to read

Training outcome: you’ll understand the stages of problem-solving and will have a foolproof strategy to come up with, implement and evaluate solutions


Best exercises for problem framing

Price: free

It's for you if: you need to pick the right problem to solve (e.g. identifying a quarterly priority, picking a sprint challenge)

How long it will take: 25 mins to read, about 2.5 hours to do the exercises

Training outcome: you’ll have a toolkit of 5 exercises to frame problems and identify the right one(s) to solve; you’ll understand that users and colleagues all think in different and equally valid ways

Problem framer: the perfect workshop to kick off any project

Price: free

It's for you if: you’re deciding what problem(s) to solve; you’re starting a new project / quarter; you’re setting new priorities; you’re setting a sprint challenge

How long it will take: 12 mins to read, 30 mins to do the workshop

Training outcome: you’ll be able to run a workshop that energises the team by identifying what moves you forward, aligns the team along challenges identified and narrowed down together, and motivates a team by reframing challenges into opportunities

The No.1 decision making framework

Price: free

It's for you if: you need to prioritise and make decisions; you’re overwhelmed by options

How long it will take: 20 mins to read, 25 mins to do the exercise

Training outcome: you’ll be able to take a bunch of abstract ideas and turn them into a set of prioritised actions that can be implemented straight away

Design sprints

What’s a design sprint and why does it matter

Price: free

It’s for you if: you’re feeling stuck and unproductive; you’ve got a pressing problem and not enough time to solve it; you’ve heard about design sprints but would like to understand what they are in depth

How long it will take: around 40 minutes to read

Training outcome: you’ll understand what a design sprint is, what it achieves, and how you might use it. You’ll know what each sprint day looks like and you’ll be able to walk others through the exercises.


5 myths about design sprints

Price: free

It’s for you if: you’re a bit confused about how sprints work and whom they help

How long it will take: 10 mins to read

Training outcome: you’ll be able to refute the most common misconceptions about design sprints; you’ll be able to sell sprints better

10 design sprint hacks

Price: free

It’s for you if: you wonder how to improve your design sprint skills

How long it will take: 10 mins to read

Training outcome: you’ll be able to deliver a design sprint experience that goes the extra mile; you’ll be able to keep the team moving, maximise clarity and stay efficient


Remote sprints - virtual facilitation training

How to communicate effectively with your remote team

Price: free

It's for you if: you’re working from home; you’re working as part of a remote team; you’re running an online workshop

How long it will take: 20 mins to read

Training outcome: you’ll be able to communicate better in an online setting; you’ll understand your own thought process better and will be able to express yourself with clarity; you’ll be able to tailor your delivery to a virtual setting


7 ways to make remote collaboration more effective with an online whiteboard

Price: free

It's for you if: you’re worried about running an online workshop; you need virtual facilitation training; you need to collaborate with a remote team

How long it will take: 15 mins to read, 20-30 mins to try the whiteboard settings

Training outcome: you’ll be able to collaborate online and work in a shared workspace in real time; you’ll be able to find and tailor the right workspace template for your group; you’ll be able to structure your workspace; you’ll be able to use Miro features (such as a digital timer, digital post-its and digital voting) for effective collaboration; in short, you’ll be a pro at using the Miro digital whiteboard.


YouTube: Remote design sprints (8 videos)

Price: free

It's for you if: you’d like to run amazing remote design sprints; if you need step by step virtual facilitation training; if you’d like to boost your remote working and collaboration skills

How long it will take: 4.5 hours to watch

Training outcome: you’ll be able to run (and sell!) remote design sprints and do remote workshop facilitation; you’ll have a toolbox of remote working tips and tricks


Workshop facilitation as a career

How to boost your career with design sprints

Price: free

It's for you if: you’d like to develop a new, in-demand skill; you’d like a promotion or a new role; you’re thinking of a career switch

How long it will take: 15 mins to read

Training outcome: you’ll understand the value you can generate as a workshop facilitator; you’ll understand how the ability to run workshops will supercharge and further your career


The easiest way to future-proof your career right now, for free

Price: free

It's for you if: you’d like to discover a skill that will turn you into a hot commodity for the next decade; you’d like to know what the future of collaboration looks like; you need meeting facilitation training

How long it will take: 15 mins to read

Training outcome: you’ll understand how teams work better together using workshops; you’ll understand why workshopping is far more effective than busywork; you’ll understand why structure is indispensable for success; you’ll know how to build your workshopping skills

How I became a facilitator and how you can, too

Price: free

It's for you if: you’d like to make a career switch to workshop facilitation; you’d like to build your workshopping skills; you need group facilitation training or meeting facilitation training

How long it will take: 20 mins to read

Training outcome: you’ll understand what makes a good facilitator; you’ll understand the structure of a workshop; you’ll understand the 3 pillars of successful workshops; you’ll have a toolkit of tips and tricks to run successful workshops, including adjustments for remote workshops

AJ&Smart Team

A team of pro workshop facilitators with 9+ years of experience.