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James Quinn

GRASP. Learning & Development

Learning & OD Consultant

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Train the Trainer Exercises


Hello again

I'm currently putting together a Train the Trainer course for my firm and wondered if anyone had used any exercises in the past that had worked particularly well for them?

I'd be interested to hear what you've found.



17 Responses

  1. Wow

    Wow that’s a big ask.

    Can you be more specific on the particular subject areas you are interested in? Who are the delegates? How many? What industry are they from?

    As a starter…applicable to all courses for all industry sectors I would suggest using introduction cards.

    I can send examples if you contact me off line if you are not sure what I mean?

    Good luck


  2. TTT

    Hi James

    These both work well – I’ve tried it and tested them before!

    To start with, get them to think of a time when they were learning (as an adult).  Then ask them to reflect on the best training they’ve received and the worst and why.  Ask them to flip the worst learning experience into something good – this encourages them to think as a trainer.

    Also, at the end of the TTT course, ask them to deliver a 15 minute training course – they choose the topic.  They have to start with an introduction (housekeeping and H&S is a given), aims and learning objectives.  They also need to provide learning materials like handouts and activities, etc.  At the end of the "course", they recap and provide ways of evaluating the learning.

    If you need anymore info, feel free to contact me



  3. TTT

    Thanks Guys

    It’s for use across the repairs/maintenance industry but will eventually be delivered to managers, supervisors and team leaders.

    I’ve PM’d you Steve. That would be really helpfull.

    And thanks Tina, Im going to give both of those ideas a crack!


  4. Starting from scratch

    Hi again

    I am guessing you are starting this from scratch and have never attended a TTT yourself? You are also using the same course for "classroom based" trainers and "on the job / workshop trainers"? If so you would need 2 seperate courses as it isn’t a 1 size fits all although there are some crossovers.

    If so I would suggest looking at a variety of providers and see what they offer as a starting point and base your agenda around the topics that would be most useful to your colleagues. If budget allows I would also suggest attending a TTT yourself so at least you have experienced what a course feels like.

    There is some really bad practice and ill informed advice surrounding TTT courses so getting it right first time will have a huge influence on how your staff percieve training and deliver their own courses in the future.

    If you see the word "fun" in a TTT course profile it will be anything but. Beware!

    Intro cards on their way.


    Here is a typical agenda taken from a reputable provider.

    The training world

    • What is training? What are the core competencies of training?

    • Training as part of the wider development process

    • The group and the individuals

    • Learning motivations and how it may affect the learning environment

    • Managing team dynamics

    • Managing difficult delegates


    • Ice breaking

    • Creating a good beginning, middle and end to the session

    • Effective signposting to ensure that learning is linked


    • Presentation techniques to develop the 3 Vs of personal communication

    • Using visual aids effectively


    During the course there will be the opportunity for two 15-minute video recorded practice sessions on subjects of your choice.

    You may wish to bring some materials that will assist in these practical sessions, however, you will have time on the course and some homework time to prepare.


  5. So Many Options

    Within the context of either work based training or class room based training there are a different collection of skills and processes in play. And each approach requires some different systems and methods.

    For work based 1 to 1 training, where ever the facilities allow I want the people to actually work and train in the workplace, in other words practise what they are going to be required to do. People develop their know how and awareness of how to identify, structure and then deliver the 1 to 1 training in the early stages and then prepare for and the move out into the workplace and then do it, being observed, making mistakes, having successes and being given feedback. In my experience people are very responsive to this, find it extremely practical, and dare I say, enjoyable and constructive experience.

    For class room based training the issue is what they are training. In a class room training people to use software is different to training management skills. I would be strongly influenced by what the group is going to be involved in delivering and take it from there.

    There are so many areas which you might focus on and there are exercises and activities which can help introduce, refine and develop skills in all these areas. I would suggest that once you have a clearer idea of the approach and broad content come back and ask more specific questions.

  6. I will have a bit of a grumpy rant on this…

    Okay, I know train the trainer stuff has been around a long time and I am well aware of the need to provide basic instructional techniques to many folk out there.

    Something inside me has a problem with this in that it demeans our ‘profession’…there was a time when to be a fully fledged professional took rather longer, and involved a lot harder work than it does now, and the become a trainer in a day – or as many as three niggles a little.

    We won’t for instance see ‘train the doctor’ or ‘train the lawyer’ one two or three day events, nor ‘train the train driver’, and this just erodes further the long term status of a once professionally underpinned activity that is dominated by the not at all or peripherally ‘qualified’ people.

    Just a rant, and I am not called Canute, so the tide will continue as it is, I quite enjoy being older and grumpier.

  7. Learning / Thinking Style

    An interesting video here on the concept of thinking styles.

    And this summary of the concept is worth reading.

    Learning Styles
    Concepts and Evidence
    Harold Pashler,
    Mark McDaniel,
    Doug Rohrer and
    Robert Bjork
    + Author Affiliations
    University of California, San Diego
    2Washington University in St. Louis
    University of South Florida
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Department of Psychology 0109, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093

  8. Great Stuff!

    Thanks everybody, there’s some good info here.

    By the way Andrew, I feel exactly the same way. That’s partially why Im struggling with this at the moment.

    I find it hard to get across anything more than a brief outline of what a trainer does in just a short course.

  9. Push or Pull?

    One of the problems may be you are trying to decide what they need based on what you believe training is…

    Why not start from the end and work backwards.

    What exactly are these people doing now that you want them to do differently after the course.

    Focus on the specifics at first, monitor the results, forget about what everyone else puts into a TTT programme and only include what your people need to know.

    Think of it as a long term intervention rather than a few days of "bish bash bosh off you go you are a trainer now".

  10. Your helpers seem poised to respond to every new post

    I hope the help keeps coming…I am amazed some in ‘real’ jobs have the time to monitor and respond so often and thoroughly…it’s understandable for we self employed, so I guess such continual contributors must have nailed time management way ahead of my meagre abilities!


  11. Work

    "I am amazed some in ‘real’ jobs have the time to monitor and respond so often and thoroughly"

    But hanging around Trainers message boards "is" work…CPD without leaving the office.

  12. Train the Trainer exercises

    In the 3 months before you run your class, get the attendees to:

    • Signup and follow L&D people on Twitter
    • Review training Slidedecks on Slideshare
    • Watch education and learning videos on YouTube and TED
    • Create Pinterest training boards
    • Create RSS lists of training and learning materials
    • Enrol into training groups on LInkedin
    • Subscribe to free training webinars
    • Collaborate their online discoveries via a sharing space (Google+, LinoIt, etc)
    • Create reflective blog posts on training

    Then, when they come to your classroom have a discussion about what they think need to know.


  13. Steve I open the door for you and you walk right through

    I wondered how long it would take…

  14. Use resources produced by Alan Matthews

    Hi James

    Take a look at Alan Matthews’ website Alan is an inspirational trainer trainer with loads of ideas for making training effective, engaging and fun. You can get a free ebook from his website and there are lots of tips on his blog. He’s just written a book for people who are new to the role – but I don’t think it’s been published yet.

    Trainer training is one of the most interesting and fulfilling topics that I have ever delivered. You will do a good job if you prepare carefully.

    Good luck

    Jane Smith

    Helping people to learn and communicate with confidence

  15. Exercise around thinking styles

    Hi James

    I have often used a short exercise to help participants understand the way people learn. It involves them imagining they are on a hot tropical beach and writing down exactly what they are imagining. Then we discuss the V.A.K. model (visual; auditory; kinesthetic), asking participants to classify the things they were imagining against the 3 styles. They then look for preferences in their own styles. The point of the exercise is to get across the variety of ways people acquire learning and how it will influence the training design. In other words in on-job or training room based training it’s best to involve all 3. (e.g. give instructions; use visual charts and slides; design practical exercises; questioning; guided discovery etc).

    Copy of the exercise can be found at our website (near the bottom of the page). Feel free to use/ adapt.

    Hope that helps.


Author Profile Picture
James Quinn

Learning & OD Consultant

Read more from James Quinn

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