An Emergency Facilitator Kit Can Be A Presentation-saver

I had a co-worker who never went anywhere without her “emergency facilitator kit”.  I thought it was a little crazy.  Until I was leading a training and my hosts didn’t have tape.  Or markers.  I could hear my co-worker’s voice (and laughter… actually more of a cackle) in my head: who’s crazy now, buddy?

Over the years, I’ve grown to love my emergency facilitator toolkit.  It’s saved me on many occasions.  And in having this kit with me, I was able to continue to focus on providing a good learning experience to my audience (instead of running around at the last minute, trying to find tape or scissors or markers).

Here are the must-have items that I generally travel with to be sure I’m ready for any training emergency:

  • Mr. Sketch markers
  • Tape (generally blue painter’s tape – it doesn’t tear the paint off of walls)
  • Blue Stick adhesive putty (in case the venue doesn’t allow tape on the walls)
  • Scissors (be sure not to put this kit into your carry-on bag if you have scissors!)
  • Post-it notes
  • Pens
  • Name tags
  • Card stock (for name tents)
  • Blank paper (for note taking, for scratch paper, for small group work)
  • Thumb drive (just in case I need to transfer files from one computer to another and don’t have Internet access)
  • 3×5 note cards
  • AA and AAA batteries

A couple other things I like to bring along if I have room (though these can be a little bulky for an “emergency kit”) include portable speakers and a small remote to advance slides.

Am I missing anything? What would you put in your kit?

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4 thoughts on “An Emergency Facilitator Kit Can Be A Presentation-saver

  1. Don’t forget the Tide stick. I learned that lesson after spilling hibiscus tea (red) on a white blazer at a break during a training! Thankfully a colleague had a Tide stick and fixed me right up. You couldn’t tell! Now, my Tide stick lives in my training kit and I never leave home without it!

    • You’re absolutely right – not only *can* accidents happen from time to time… accidents *will* happen right before you get in front of a large group. I used to just shrug off the spills and stains and just get up in front of the group. Then a colleague of mine commented: “You’re such a boy!” one time and pulled out a packet of wipes she happened to carry with her and wiped the spill off. Carrying a Tide stick (or at least a packet of wipes) is definitely a more professional step than just shrugging it off!

  2. Must haves for me: aspirin or ibuprofen, Gas-x- (don’t laugh! avoid those embarrasing moments if you eat unfamiliar foods) small portable speaker, remote mouse, protein bars, water (room temperature as ice water can cause voal chords to freeze) and last but not least some deep breaths and a sense of humor!

    • Ah, I forgot all about medicine! Good call, Priscilla! As is your suggestion of a wireless mouse. And the protein bar (that’s often my substitute for breakfast). Sometimes I wish I had remembered to pack a little extra sense of humor in my kit, too…

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