My friends,

last year we have had a complete series of articles dealing with the successful design of a business moderation and as such with the tasks of the moderator. You might remember – here you can read and review it all again.

As you now all know, I do not just offer moderation of workshops, but I also have various trainings in my portfolio. Many of you have hold trainings courses from time to time.

I would therefore like to explain to you at this point in more detail, the main differences between trainings and workshops, and thus the role differences, so that you are aware of your specific role in any situation and you do not risk behaving contrary to your role.

Rollenunterschied zwischen ModeratorIn und TrainerIn

Role difference between moderator and trainer

A workshop moderator supports the group in a particular subject, with a clear objective to develop results. This is usually done outside of the routine work (if you are not a professional freelance moderator or trainer).

Rolle ModeratorIn

Role Moderator

Role of the trainer

The trainer is responsible for ensuring that participants achieve their learning goals during a training and makes sure that the content gaps are being filled. This should on one the hand be done by the trainers input from his / her rich experience and knowledge, on the other hand through self-reflection and exchanging the participants’ knowledge and experience.


Role of the moderator

As the moderator of a business moderation you sometimes have relatively little knowledge on the subject of the workshop, you are moderating. I highly recommend to always bring some basic knowledge and to not moderate the workshop completely blank (we already heard that one), but you should avoid acting as if you are an expert on the subject. That way you automatically lose your neutrality, which is essential for your role as a moderator.


However, I imagine that you may sometimes find yourself in a situation where you are wearing “2 hats“, a neutral “Moderation hat” and an “Experts hat” where you maybe have to take a stand and introduce opinions. This often results in “role blurring”.


"Two Hats"

“Two Hats”

To cope with this I recommend to address it at the beginning of the workshop, ie to make it explicitly clear to the participants what you plan on doing in which role and how you will handle it. If you then, during the workshop, change from a neutral moderating role to the experts’ role, you should announce this too. This brings clarity for all participants and you cannot be accused trying to push content wearing the neutral moderation hat.

As a trainer things are a little different when it comes to substantive knowledge. The participants, after all, are here to learn from you (not only). Your knowledge and your experience on the subject must therefore be high, both in terms of the subject of the training, and with the applied methodology.

The knowledge of the methods and the process flow, however, must not only be high as a trainer, but also as the moderator of a business moderation. After all, it is your job as a moderator/trainer to guide your participants through the workshop/training, to ask the right questions at the right time, to avoid unproductive conflicts or possibly work through them, to ask about expectations, fears and feedback – meaning roughly speaking, keeping the hand at the wheel and not letting it go.

Als ModeratorIn bzw. TrainerIn das Steuer in der Hand behalten! Aber Achtung: mit Steuern meine ich Lenken und nicht Kontrolle!

Keep the hand at the wheel as a moderator and as a trainer! But be ware: with keeping the hand at the wheel I mean steering and not controlling!

You hereby take on a leadership role which must be maintained throughout the entire event.

Otherwise, there are, in my opinion, many similarities between a workshop and a training, especially if the latter is constructed highly interactively (which from a scientific point of view – is recommended and I generally always practice it like that – keyword neuro-didactics).

So, for your you better understanding Nicole has crafted a short video for you, I’m curious how you like it! -> difference_moderator_trainer (just in case this file doesn’t start as a video automatically (could happen if you use Internet Explorer), just press the button to start the powerpoint presentation and then do not click any further!)

Next time we will have another method for which you can use both, for workshops and for trainings! So stay tuned, I am looking forward to seeing you!!

Kind regards