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Sheridan Webb

The Training Designer's Club

Training Design Consultant and Community Manager

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10 ways to liven up your training


A trainer is not an entertainer, so entertaining your audience should never be your primary focus. However training should never be dull either. Dull training is instantly forgotten so if you can keep your delegates interested and engaged, they are far more likely to learn than if you bore them to death with hours of talking and PowerPoint slides. Even bite-size training can be made interactive without loss of content. Here are 10 things you can do to liven up your training sessions.

  1. Make it competitive. Split delegates into groups and issue a simple challenge such as "The first group who can identify 10 benefits of…”
  2. Use a reverse brainstorm. Instead of asking for ideas about how to do something, ask for the opposite. So instead of asking “how can we improve customer satisfaction?”, ask “how can we drive customers away?” Then simply reverse the ideas that come from the group.
  3. Introduce a discussion. It doesn't have to be a long full group exercise. Simply giving people three or 4 minutes to discuss something in pairs can break up a session.
  4. Use post-it notes. Ask people to write down their thoughts, ideas, or questions on post-it notes. You can then group and regroup them as many times as you like, and you have the option of getting the delegates out of their seats to do this themselves.
  5. Use picture cards. Sometimes a topic or question is just too broad and people don't know where to begin. Use picture cards to help stimulate thinking and discussion.
  6. Tell stories. If you have an engaging personal experience to share, it is likely to be far more memorable than a lot of facts and figures. Even better, ask one of the delegates to share their experience. Not only can this feel more real to the rest of the group, but it also provides a different voice for them to listen to for a short while.
  7. Use puzzles and quizzes. Rather than just telling people key information, let them discover it for themselves by way of a quiz, or a crossword or wordsearch.
  8. Create card sort activities. If you have steps in a process, or things that can be categorised, put them onto postcards and allow delegates to put them in the right order or sort them into categories.
  9. ‘Rotate’ flipcharts. Place flipcharts around the room, and asked delegates to move around and populate each one in turn.
  10. Have a debate. Set up two clear but opposing points of view and let the delegates debate the issue.

One Response

  1. Hi Sheridan
    Hi Sheridan
    I like your no 9 in particular. It gets people on their feet and blood circulating.

    I get delegates working on a number of different aspects of a situation (e.g. in disciplinary interview training, have a flip for Preparing the employee; one for preparing the environment; a third for self preparation). Once each of 3 syndicate groups have contributed, they visit the other two group’s flips to critique (‘tick’ if you like the point; ‘x’ if you disagree; ‘?’ if you don’t understand; add anything else the original authors have missed.

    When reviewing each chart, we discuss the critiquing.
    Bryan – training delivery and off shelf course materials

Author Profile Picture
Sheridan Webb

Training Design Consultant and Community Manager

Read more from Sheridan Webb

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