Creative Training Ideas - Breaking it up

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Published: 13th December 2010
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When it comes to professional development and business training, it's serious business - but that doesn't mean the sessions themselves have to be all serious. Keeping your audience actively engaged with the workshop and mentally switched on to take in the valuable information being presented is a critical part of the training process.

So how can you keep things interesting?

Ice Breakers and Activities

Ice breakers and warm ups are an essential part of any training session as they help to foster a sense of team and community - and they don't just have to happen at the beginning of the session. Ensure you've factored in plenty of time for breaks and include some random activities and energisers to break up your session and keep attendees engaged. Here are some ideas:

*Random facts: have attendees reveal something unusual about themselves - an interesting hobby or hidden talent. This gets people thinking outside of work and gives teams that are already familiar with one another the opportunity to learn something new. You can dress it up a little with some creative ideas, such as "2 truths, 1 lie" or other variations.

*Active activities - it's challenging for most individuals to sit and listen attentively for an extended period of time. Vary it up with some physical activities that require participants to stand up. Try this: have the group stand with a thumb up on the left hand and the index finger pointing forward on the right. Now tell them to switch (thumb up on the right and index finger forward on the left). And switch again. Many will find this simple task much more challenging than it sounds - but emphasise as in many situations, practice makes perfect.

*The Pig Test: an interesting little personality test from Archer Training in the UK. Have participants draw a pig on a blank sheet of paper. Then reveal what their pig means. Remember to check the length of their tails!

Many training leaders will reinforce the need that ice breakers and energisers reinforce the purpose of the training session, be it sales training or negotiation training. Be creative with your sessions and adapt them to the group's personality. Meanwhile, it's also important to keep instructions and set up minimal in the interest of time and comprehension.

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