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Three Key Elements of Virtual Facilitation and Beyond

By Grace Chang, Ph.D., John Thomas, and Shannon Fitzgerald - September 24, 2020

Over the last few weeks, we've been exploring how to create effective leadership development programs, especially as more learning becomes virtualized. In our last blog, we discussed how good design is good design, regardless of whether the program is virtual or not. As we turn our focus to facilitation, we find that this is also true. 

For this week's blog, we are focusing on three key elements of effective facilitation: clarity, engagement, and accountability. Grounded in the neuroscience of learning, we will be discussing why these three areas are critical and highlighting best practices for both in-person and virtual program facilitation. To help demonstrate, we decided to embrace the moment and go virtual—explore the videos below to learn more about how we at The Regis Company facilitate programs.


In this video, we discuss techniques that facilitators can use to create clarity for the participants and answer the following questions:

  • What best practices help provide clarity in a leadership development program? (01:13)
  • How can we use tools and technologies in a clear and effective manner? (04:34)


For this video, we focus on tips and techniques that facilitators can use to engage learners. The questions we answer here are:

  • What can facilitators do to capture and keep learners' attention? (01:23)
  • What can be done to minimize distractions that impede learning? (05:49)
  • What are some best practices when using videos within a virtual learning experience? (10:50)


Creating an experience in which learners feel accountable to their learning is another critical component to effective facilitation. In this video we focus on these questions:

  • How does virtual learning differ from in-person learning in terms of accountability? (01:27)
  • How can we help learners feel accountable to actively participate and remain involved throughout? (06:44)

Dr. Grace Chang is a cognitive neuroscientist focused on applying research knowledge to the business world. As Chief Scientific Officer for The Regis Company, she is driving initiatives in learning and assessment to enhance their neuroscience-based business solutions.

John Thomas, MBA is a highly regarded facilitator and designer focused on work with prominent corporations worldwide as well as with leading business schools. As VP at The Regis Company, he brings his wide-ranging knowledge in areas spanning leadership, strategy, engagement, collaboration and financial acumen to facilitate programs with an energy that engages learners at all levels.

Shannon Fitzgerald is an experienced facilitator and learning designer focused on immersive, experiential learning both virtual and in-person. As a Senior Consultant for The Regis Company, she implements evidence-based methodologies to design and develop learning solutions for clients across industries.

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