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Train the Trainer


Hi Guys

Does anyone have any good exercises that they would be willing to share.

I am delivering a train the trainer one day course and am looking for some ideas.

If you can help, please contact me.


Ginny Roberts

10 Responses

  1. Exercises
    The Exercises for Train the Trainer can be broken into 3 areas precisely:
    1. Visual
    2. Vocal
    3. Verbal

    For Visual & Vocal we could have a video shoot of an on the spot 10 minutes session by participants.

    For verbal, we may ask them to prepare a program design for a module in groups or individually.

    Hope this gives some clues.

    If there’s anything that u need to talk to me, pl mail me at [email protected]

  2. Train the Trainer
    I run a 2 day event. At the start I ask each of them to deliver a 2 minute presentation on a subject of their choice. We then have a feed back session. They feed back first then then the rest of the group and lastly me. Later and after we cover a number of techniques I get them to produce an deliver a 10 minute presentation again on a subject of their choice. The improvement is a great confidence builder and usually convinces them thsat they can deliver. I also get them to read an article from a newspaper to the group – with everyone facing away from the speaker. They can learn a lot about the need for non verbsal communication from this. Check the work of Albert Mehrabian on his website as well.

  3. Train The Trainer
    I have delivered many Train The Trainer courses and one exercise that always worked well was as follows:-

    Divide your trainees into teams of 2.
    Give each team a sheet of coloured paper and access to as many other shared resources as you can get your hands on (scissors, pens, paper, flipcharts, rulers, etc).
    Then ask each team to design a 3 minute training course that teaches a trainee how to make a paper aeroplane. Give them half an hour to complete this task, and ensure they come up with Learning Objectives, Lesson Plans, Handouts, etc.
    Depending on what you personally want to acheive from this, you can give more emphasis to certain things. For example I ran this exercise once to highlight the lesson planning aspect of training and at the end everyone said that the planning took so much longer than they thought (I knew that-and they all understood that at the end).

    At the end of the 30 minutes, get each team to nomiate a trainee and a trainer, then pair up a trainnee and a trainer from different groups.

    Each trainer then has to deliver his/her training course (in front of the whole class).

    (If you have time you can swap over so if you were a trainer the first time, you become a trainee the next time. – Only viable if a 2 day course).

    Then ask everyone on the course to list 1 thing they liked about the trainers course and 1 thing they would change if they were running the course themselves.

    This is great fun and you can add/remove bits to suit the time available.

    Hope all goes well.

  4. Learning Styles
    I think a good starting point on train the trainer would be to explore learning styles. You could get the learners to complete a questionnaire & find out their own learning style. You could then go over each style and the differences in how people learn. You could split them into groups of 4 and give each group the same brief, for example they are designing a training session on how to make a cup of tea or something really simple, allocate one learning style per group and get them to think about how a person with that learning style would learn. Each group should end up with a breif outline of how the session would be run based on the one learning style.

    Hope this helps

  5. Play with lego!
    Hi Ginny,

    An exercise that i have used to illustarte the importance of giving instruction with great success is to purchase a number of small lego kits. Split your delegates into small teams and ask them to put the kit together without any instruction. Let them struggle for a few minutes. They generally won’t make any progress so at this point give them the box so they can see what the finished article will look like and leave them for a further 5 mintes. They should make more progress at this point, but still not be able to make the model successfully. Now give them the instructions and watch them fly through the model in double quick time – this can lead to an in depth discussion on the importance of giving thorough instruction to a training group.


  6. Training the trainers
    Hi Ginny. I have written a series of 5 train the trainer courses, covering 1)an introduction to training, 2)presentation skills, 3)writing training courses, 4)evaluation of training and 5) training needs analysis, which my company have been using for the past three years. Without fail every group has fed back that the most valuable part of the courses was watching themselves deliver a presentation on video and giving themselves written feedback. People are a lot more critical of themselves than anyone else could ever resonably be.
    I also like to catch them early and off guard by getting them to do a small exercise right at the start of the first course called INTRO. INTRO, of course, stands for Interest, Need, Timing, Range and Objectives and I deliver an introduction to the whole suite of courses using this mnemonic. I then explain the INTRO mnemonic to the group and get the delegates to write and deliver an introduction to a training course (which does not necessarily exist) using the same format, with 5 minutes to prepare it. Inevitably they are all very nervous, totally unprepared and unpracticed and usually deliver the worst presentation of their life and absolutely hate the experience…which is great! We then start to look at all of the things that would have made the experience more bearable, ie time to prepare & practice, techniques to overcome nerves, alternatives to relying on notes etc etc. I normally apologise for the hell I have put them through but explain that I would rather they had the experience today, with me, in a safe environment and learn from it, rather than learn the lesson the hard way in front of clients or an unforgiving training group. The learning is experiential and the feelings generated unforgettable. It certainly has a bigger impact than writing ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ on a P/P slide! Hope this helps Ginny. Feel free to contact me if you would like any more detail. Cheers, Nick

  7. Training needs to suit the level of the trainee
    Ginny, you don’t say whether you are delivering training to those with no experience whatsoever, to those with some (possibly self-taught) experience in training or to experienced trainers. Doing a training needs analysis (as you would for any other training) is probably a good place to start.

    If you are delivering this to trainers who will be working within a particular organisational format, that, too, will need to be taken into to account, and the training tailored to the eventual aims of the programme.

    In our organisation, we regularly deliver a 3-day (including 2 evenings)intensive tutor training for completely new trainers. We cover basic theory in the first day (including setting objectives, learning cycle and styles, planning a session, delivery methods), and then get the trainees to prepare a 10 minute session (in the evening) to be delivered on the second morning. They get group and trainer feedback on this. More theory is covered on the second afternoon (to include a review of what they learned the previous day and an element of assessment & evaluation), and then they prepare another 10 minute session to be delivered on the third morning. Their learning is reviewed and summed up with a couple of exercises, and further support available to them post-training is discussed. This format works very well, and we have used it for some years. Surprisingly, perhaps, one of the most difficult concepts to get across to new trainers is objective-setting.

    We have also delivered some training (one-day) for trainers with some experience. This consists of a more in-depth look at learning styles, consideration of accelerated learning techniques, and an exploration of a variety of AL-based methods. The trainees are given the opportunity to explore some new ideas for delivering an aspect of their training,in small groups. This has generated a lot of creativity and enthusiasm

  8. A longer course
    Train the Trainer seems to be much compressed today. When I did City and Guilds 7331 it took 2 weeks! Assessment was based on a 30 minute presentation. Learners delivered 4 presentations during the course in increasing length as the course continued. All sessions were recorded and reviewed with positive feedback from all course members. There was also a module on coaching. We looked at what needed to be learned and what perforance criteria were needed of learners on completion. It was long but I recall one member who was unable to speak due embarrassment at the beginning, delivering an interesting and informative 30 minute session as the end.

  9. Good Intro to Train the Trainer
    Hi Ginny,

    My exercise is very similar to Nick’s. But I use Origami. I show the participants an origami creature and tell them briefly (with no demonstrations) how to make the creature, then have them spend about 2-3 minutes to accomplish it. When I start to see people get frustrated or confused, I stop and debrief. I ask them how they felt about the exercise, etc. Then I have them do the exercise again but this time I create the creature with them step by step with visuals. Then we compare creatures and then debrief again. So far, the two origami creatures that I’ve done were the cicada (which only takes about 5-6 steps) and the jack o’llantern (which takes about 10 steps).

    Then throughout the rest of the training session when I talk about the concepts of adult learning, or presentation skills, or whatever — I refer back to the exercise and how they felt with the first example. This is also a very useful exercise if the trainer is an “expert” at their training material since it can help you gently convey to them that they run the risk of assuming that their students understand the subject without realizing that they might be taking shortcuts (such as skipping an “obvious step” or using jargon)

    Hope the info helps. The other ideas were all great too — I’m going to have to see how I can use them.

  10. Train the Trainer
    If you haven’t sorted this do please feel free to give me a call on 07702 433284 and I can give you an idea.


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