I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside many talented trainers whilst volunteering with VSO Nigeria and from what I’ve seen there’s more to imparting knowledge than simply standing at the front of a room and reading out PowerPoint slides. In this post I share what I’ve learnt and from whom.
Training, facilitating or presenting?
Before venturing into how to make training more fun let’s look at the difference between training, facilitating and presenting:
“The purpose of a training session is for learners to acquire knowledge and skill for use in their current job. In a facilitated session, the participants are guided through a process which might include generating ideas, analyzing the ideas, solving a problem, or making a decision. A presentation is a session where information is delivered to the audience to inform, persuade, inspire or even entertain.” – Steve, Langevin Learning Services
How to make training more fun
The main message is – you’ve got to be creative. Trainees will not acquire knowledge or skills if you deliver training in a monotonous manner. Below I list 9 ways to make training more fun.
1. Quotes (from Alice B. and Gabby)
Quotes can nicely summaries the main points you’re trying to make in your training. They can be easily digested by trainees and are more memorable. Quotes can be read out to trainees or used as part of an activity, for example, giving quotes to trainees to discuss in groups.
2. Stories (from Kingsley)
Real life stories are a good way of diversifying training and bring authenticity to it. Stories can be shared by guest speakers, the audience, or the trainer, in a variety of methods including speech, video, or written story.
3. Images (from Maryam)
Images are another way to jazz up training by being used as a visual resources in activities. Images can be used to illustrate points or as discussion material. Images can be hand drawn or photographs. Above is an image I used in training on risk assessments.
3. Debates (from Kingsley)
Nothing is more fun than a spontaneous debate. If an issue comes up during training you can ask trainees to form two teams and debate over it. For example, during training on child rights I witnessed a debate on “should children be involved in community development?” It livened up the training and got the audience to consider important issues.
4. Say “____________” (from Kingsley)
To check your audience is still alive and to drive home your main points get them to repeat an important phrase or word after you. For example, during training on community development you may ask the trainees to say “sustainable development” several times.
5. Charades (from Kingsley)
If your audience is getting drowsy liven it up with a game of Charades. All you need is a list of words and two teams. One representative from each team acts out the words and the rest of their team has to guess the word they are acting out.
6. Songs (from Alice H.)
Spice up training by creating a song on the training topic. As well as performing the song to the trainees you can teach them it so they can join in. Performing the song will be fun and will help trainees remember the training.
7. Beautiful Powerpoint slides (from Deinma)
When you deliver a PowerPoint slideshow make it fresh. No old school templates. Make sure to include fresh images, cartoons, jokes, quotes or infographics on each slide. The trainees will show their appreciation by not falling asleep.
8. Posters (from Barnabas)
9. Role plays (from Kingsley)
What do you think?
What other methods can make training more fun? What training have you attended that was particularly good/bad? What are you favourite methods to spice up training? Share in the comments below.