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Garry Platt


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Favorite ways to close a training course


I’m attending a development day sometime shortly and the afternoon session is concentrating on 'favourite ways to close a training course'. We each have to bring along a particularly good of effective approach.

Does anybody have any particularly good or effective methods they would like to share?

8 Responses

  1. Closing and opening

    Hi Garry, I ask people to imagine how they will use the skills they have acquired or started to acquire and to share one of these thoughtss with the group. I have been told afterwards that this has been significant in encouaring people to act on thier experience and that sometimes they have received good ideas of how to implement their learning from their fellow learners.

    Cheers, Nick.

  2. Close that training session

     I start any training asking the delegates to tell me what they want to get out of the course and flipchart thier aspirations. then at the end of the training, we revisit the flipchart and go through each point to see if we have addressed them – I ask the group to decide not me.

    If there are any we have not covered we work out a strategy together so we can achieve it post training!


    Everyone leaves on an uptick!


    Hope it helps and enjoy the course – Hilary

  3. Reviewing learning messages

    Hi Garry

    I sometimes get people to review the learning messages by giving groups a piece of flipchart and some coloured pens and asking them to put down what learning they will take away with them but they have to draw it. No words allowed. I allow them to use their notes.

    Another method I have used is to get them to complete action plans throughout the course and at the end review them, put them in order of prioritisation and put some timescales on them. I then ask each delegate to share one of their action points with the rest of the group.

    Hope these help


  4. Favourite ways to close a course

    Hi Garry,

    A couple of ideas for you to mull over:

    •  As well as thinking about how they are going to use their learning, you could encourage them to think of ways in which they can continue to develop their skills themselves after the session has finished. Starters for ten: finding a mentor or respected colleague who can give them further targeted help and advice; recommended reading lists or useful websites;  how to access further sessions; self-assessments etc.
    • When delivering sessions on call handling, as well as wrapping up with the serious stuff such as action plans and how to apply the learning, I have a real-life phonecall made to a customer service department that is very funny due to the nature of the complaint. I play it as they are packing away. OK, it might not contribute to their learning but it sends them off with a smile on their face. You could try something similar in your field of work; maybe a video or letter or anecdote.

    Good luck!


  5. Endings

    I attended a course yesterday and the last hour was spent putting together all elements of the previous 7hrs and presenting a small project…perfect!


    One of the courses I run, at the start I ask for attendees to write on a post it (divided in to 2) on a scale of 1 to 10 how expert they are in thie subject.

    At the end of the course I ask again and they write on the other side of the post a new number…on every ocassion so far it usually starts with a 3 or 4 and at the end is a 9 or 10…satisfaction on a post it…

  6. The common ones I use

    Start/Stop/Continue – what will you SSC as a result of the event, 1 example of each.

    Headlines – What would a newspaper headline say about your experience today? Design it to facilitate the post course brief with your line manager.

    One big thing – of all the areas covered, which was the one big thing that resonatated with you that you will take back to the workplace?

    Tiebreaker – Complete the competition tiebreaker in 15 words or less, ‘I will apply this training in my workplace by…’

  7. Closing a Session

    Hello Garry,

    I use something similar to Andrews post above with the newspaper, but actually have them to design the front page of the newspaper and date is say 6 months into the future.

    They should think about what they would like to see change in six months time and the success they would like to see.  The article should describe the journey of how they got there, what they done, the challenges that they faced and how they overcame them and the difference it made.

    They should write it in past tense as if they are in the future.  This then almost becomes their journey or action plan of how they get to the end result.  The challenges that they faced may be actual challenges they will come across and they have laready started to think about how they will over come them.

    They should keep the article on their desk as a constant reminder of what they are aiming for, and should check it on the post date they set to see if they have made it.

    Another idea I’ve seen before and used a few times is to provide each delegate with a piece of fruit, one that smells quite strongly such as an orange.  They should give it a good sniff before they leave and you explain that they should sniff the piece of fruit every so often.  When it loses it’s smell, they should get their course materials out and review what they learnt, re-visit their action plan and begin to think what’s next.  

    Sounds a bit bizarre, but we did get delegates contacting us after the fruit had lost it’s smell and asking us for further help and support.



    Revolution Learning and Development

  8. Two thoughts


    My favourite intros activity is who are you, and what do you do, which is more useful for me than typically the group, when working in house, then…something about yourself that NOBODY in the room knows about you.

    This can be very revealing and insightful – and generates an energy lift.

    I sometimes get themes…tatoos; ‘I have shared a lift with…’; past sporting or musical prowess….never fails!


    My preferred ending is to get them to write a postcard or letter to themselves with the three things they will do in a month to start applying their learning. Then gather them in and…in a month’s time a bridge of learning transfer to follow up.

    I hope it helps – do share the best of the contributions offered at the forthcoming event.

    [email protected]

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Garry Platt

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