This article draws on the experience of two series of courses in negotiation and chairing, fifty in all, conducted in preparation for the UK and Finnish Presidencies of the European Union, 2005 and 2006. It outlines the concept and design of the programme, and introduces a four-part analysis of the chair's role which provided the intellectual framework for the series. It examines in detail the structure of the courses and the practical exercises which formed the core of the training. A concluding section draws together the lessons learned. The article would be helpful specifically to those preparing officials for the Presidency of the EU, but also for multilateral negotiations more generally, as well as to those interested in the theory and practice of chairing.