Published: September 18, 2017   Updated: September 18, 2017

A live interview (recorded on May 15, 2017) with Mark Collard, experiential facilitator, author, and founder of www.playmeo.com. Mark is an expert at helping facilitators learn the skills and strategies they need to deliver remarkably fun programs that engage people and strengthen relationships.Hosted by Meg Bolger and Sam Killermann of FacilitatingXYZ.

Show Index

Who is Mark Collard? 
How did Mark first come to facilitation? 
How have the populations Mark works with changed over the years? 
What has Mark’s transition been like from doing “direct service” to doing more “training the trainer”? 
How does Mark explain what he does to his friends and family? 
What led to Mark facilitating in China and what was that experience like? 
What are some things Mark learned from facilitating with a translator and working in a different culture? 
How simply asking for a volunteer can tell you A LOT about a group.
When Mark is working internationally, how does he adjust how he reads and approaches a group? 
What are the ways that Mark starts a program that positions a group to have fun and play? 
What are some of the games or activities Mark offers during his “unofficial start”?
How does Mark connect these warm up activities during the “unofficial start” to the learning objectives? 
What characteristics help an experience effectively break the ice? 
How does Mark transition the group from having fun into a serious topics? 
How does Mark introduce himself at the beginning of a workshop? 
Is there such a thing as too much fun?
What makes an activity non-threatening?
What makes something an ineffective ice-breaker?
If you’re doing a presentation that isn’t interactive, should you still do an ice-breaker?
How does Mark approach training-of-trainers differently?
What resistance does Mark experience with clients?
How do you navigate power dynamics in groups and having to address social justice topics in the moment?
How would you help someone who feels like power dynamics aren’t their job to know it is part of their job?
Why would you encourage social justice educators (or any facilitator) who doesn’t use experiential education, to consider it?
What has Mark learned about facilitation through playmeo?
Mark shares a powerful story about playing and fun and Playmeo’s ripple effect.

Rapid Fire Questions

Three words for facilitation
One ground rule for the entire world that everyone would have to follow, what would it be?
What do you still need to be reminded of as a facilitator?
What do you do right before a facilitation and right after?
What is a piece of facilitation advice for your 5-years-ago-self?
What stresses you out as a facilitator and how do you handle that stress?
What’s a unique place that you’ve facilitated?
What’s a non-facilitation related experience every facilitator should have?
What books do you recommend most to others?
Online resource recommendations. 
Piece of advice for everyone listening.

Resources from this Interview

playmeo 
playmeo Shop
Silver Bullets – A Guide To Initiative Problems, Adventure Games & Trust Activities by Karl Rohnke
The Hundredth Monkey – Activities that Inspire Playful Learning by Nate Folan
Gold Nuggets: Readings for Experimental Education edited by Jim Schoel and Mike Stratton
Serious Fun by Mark Collard (Audiobook) 

Written by FacilitatingXYZ Team

This is the account that the FacilitatingXYZ team uses. FacXYZ is co-facilitated by Meg and Sam, and brings in expertise, knowledge, and lived experience from facilitators far and wide. Read more about us here.

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