Workshop Design Consultancy and Facilitation Skills Coaching

Alastair Somerville
3 min readNov 11, 2022


Alastair standing in room where people are building Jenga models of mixed realities

Designing and facilitating workshops can seem overwhelming (especially now workshops can be stretched from a physical room to a virtual space).

There are many issues. For example:

  • How to think about fitting all the content for a workshop in the time available?
  • How to invite and welcome people to a workshop and enable a shared sense of safety?
  • How to design activities that involve and inform people but do not overrun or overwhelm?

I am glad to offer both consultancy and coaching services for workshop design.

I have designed and facilitated workshops for all size of company and conference across the world on many topics (from mundane to bizarre) and am happy to offer structures, tools and methods that can help you.

Workshop design advice

Over 100 people in workshop on sensory and emotional design in London

Structuring and facilitating a workshop is complex. I offer a structured way of breaking down the main elements of a workshop into usable pieces.

Using podcasts, worksheets and Zoom calls, I guide you thru the key parts of workshop design and offer tools for building your own workshops now and in the future.

Example Tool

Grid tool for planning timing in a workshop

Here is one example of a tool I use in workshop design. Time planning is an essential skill. Using a time planner like this is one way of clarifying what can be done in the time available and what pattern of activities is being created.

You can download this worksheet for free — Workshop Time Planner Pdf.

Facilitation coaching

Close up with group of people during a workshop activity

Finding your own workshop style matters. You need to find clarity in what you want to do (and what you cannot do) so you can be confident.

This type of coaching is offering a space to listen to what you currently do and then sharing ideas for additional or alternative practices.

Coaching is spread over several Zoom sessions so there is time to think about what is discussed and also to try practicing new methods.

Example coaching practice

Self assessment form for roles undertaken as a facilitator

Facilitators play many roles in workshops and knowing what roles you feel comfortable playing is important.

This self-assessment tool is to understand the gap between what you think both the content and the participants need and what you feel your own capactities are. The gap is where coaching and training can help.

You can download this sheet for free — Facilitator Role Self Assessment Pdf.

Free first chat on Zoom

To understand if these services are of use to you, I offer a 15–30 minute free first chat on Zoom.

We can just talk about general ideas and specific issues to explore how I can help you.

Please send me an email to or use the Contact page on the Acuity Design website.

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Alastair Somerville

Sensory Design Consultant, usability researcher and workshop facilitator. Twitter @acuity_design & @visceralUX