Why Asking for a Volunteer is a Good Idea
Facilitator Tips Episode 16

Always Ask For A Volunteer


This week’s Facilitator Tips episode explores the power and value of asking a volunteer to help you demonstrate or assist parts of your program.


<< Go to Episode 15   Go to Episode 17 >>


It’s more than just about sharing the load or empowering your group.

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Useful Links & Resources


  • Activity Database – in dozens of playmeo’s activity video tutorials, you will see that I frequently invite a volunteer from the group to help me demonstrate what’s about to happen. There are too many to list, but take a look at Knee Tag, Pairs Compass Walk, Zip Zap and Build A Story for starters.
  • Hidden Benefits of Volunteering – enter the term ‘benefits of volunteering’ into your favourite search engine to explore many of the more ‘hidden’ advantages of volunteering, eg social, personal, mental, etc.

Video Transcript


Hello and welcome to Episode 16 of the Facilitator Tips video series.

My name is Mark Collard, I’m an experiential trainer and author, and today I want to share with you one of those things I’d learned very quickly, and that was to always ask for a volunteer.

Now in my experience no matter how long you wait, you always always always always get a volunteer even if it takes a little while before someone steps forward or maybe the rest of the group steps back and leaves that poor soul still sitting in the middle. That will often happen and I might even provide a few moments of mirth which of course is always really useful for any program in terms of its outcomes.

But the secret of always asking for a volunteer because you could go why bother when you could either do it yourself to demonstrate it or ask for a colleague to be able to do it, it’s in the invitation, because in your invitation when you ask for a volunteer and I frequently don’t even say what they’re going to be doing, is that it says are you willing to take a risk.

And when you do that often enough with success, that is you’re not asking someone to take a risk and then make them look like a fool because you could be very sure the next time you ask it’s not going to work… It’s important that there’s always success built in, that it actually builds and transforms your group, is that it invites them to actually stretch outside their comfort zone into their stretch zone where all learning, growth, and development occurs. So that’s where the secret is in always asking for a volunteer.

And here’s my last-minute tip. It also builds suspense. If you are truly involved with experiential learning or adventure-based learning, remembering adventure is unanticipated outcomes, when you ask for a volunteer and you haven’t said what they’re going to do, everyone’s going to be… their interest is going to be piqued, they’re going to go “what’s going to happen next?” Do that often enough, it’s going to build success around the suspense that you’re building. And of course, it engages people and off you go.

And that’s it. That’s another one of the things that I’ve learned over the years.

If you’d like to learn more information, go to our show notes at www.playmeo.com Episode 16. Leave a comment or indeed share this video with others if you found value in this, and otherwise I look forward to seeing you at the next video at episode #17.

Bye for now.


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