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group energy flagging in the mid-afternoon


What are some very effective strategies for either preventing energy from fading in the mid-afternoon of a day-long group session, or for picking it up again if it does?
Stacey Barr

6 Responses

  1. Get the blood moving again!
    I have always found that getting the group moving, with short “energisers” after every break is vital. This wakes up their body, and gets the blood circulating – good for their minds too. They are more awake and alert and have more attention to put onto the information being given.

    Personally I avoid lectures/ videos and any inactivity after a large lunch – preferring to get teams working together at a high energy level. This helps stop the ‘siesta style stagnation’ !!

    If you want one to use, then see the answer to “energisers for IT sessions from 5th July” or email me at [email protected]

  2. Diet!!!

    Totally support Emma’s comments, a couple of other things to cover too.

    I’ve seen lots written in the past and some of it on this site about what people eat for lunch. Coupled with a whole bilogical description as to what’s going on inside us. I just look at a lion. After having eaten an antelope he/she curls up under a tree and sleeps for a couple of days.
    All the advice I’ve read talks about encouraging people to steer clear of stoggy, heavy foods at lunch time and going more for light salad type approach. I would suggest talking to your caterers about this and seeing if you can’t influence the menu.

    The other thing I do at break times is either to lower the air conditioning temperature and/or open the windows. In essence get fresh air in.


    Phil Vale.

  3. Aromatherapy

    Have you thought of smelly stuff. sells aromatherapy products orientated towards learning.

    Some companies understand what you comment on and put a lemon aroma in the air conditioning.

    Hope this helps.


  4. move them round
    delegates get used to sitting in the same seat and therefore having the same view of the room and the same people adjacent to them. Swap them round after lunch, it may generate some stage whispered grumbles but they are unlikely to doze off!

  5. thanks for all your ideas
    Just wanted to say a sincere thankyou to those of you who responded to my problem with such creative and diverse strategies to reduce energy flagging! Thankyou, and I want you to know I will be trying them ALL out in a workshop next week. Smiles!

  6. You can use reviews as energisers
    I’ve used energisers as review exercisers in low energy slots (eg., after lunch, or after a presentation). This eliminates the problem of participants thinking that having “fun” is a waste of time. One type is to use a ball (I use a koosh ball, purchased from the Training Shop (, but you can use any soft ball) to review lists of items that are being learnt. Get people standing in a circle (you could do it sitting if standing disadvantages any participants), and get each person to throw a ball and shout out one of the items learnt. The person who catches the ball then throws it to another participant, while shouting out another item. Continue until you feel that most people are remembering the items (or you think they are getting bored). I have used it for learning names of different types of evidence for S/NVQs; and for learning the names of different benefits (for benefits advice training). It could also be used to review the names of the participants themselves. In that case, each person shouts out the name of the person they are throwing the ball to (this can be used as an ice breaker, as well).

    Another review energiser is to do a 10- or 12-question short quiz. Instead of getting people to answer individually, break them into teams, as for a pub quiz. I even get them to name their teams. Typically, people get very competitive, and really want to get the answers right, so it generates discussion, too, as well as some laughs. It’s also a good way of finding out what hasn’t been fully assimilated and needs to be gone over again. I do this after I’ve introduced the basic key concepts of S/NVQs, so that I can clear up any misconceptions and reinforce key points before proceding with the rest of the training. I also give a prize to the winning team! This is usually a box of chocolates (with enough for them to share with the other teams).


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