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5 tips for a successful onsite training

Workshops should be fun

I just had a great 2-days-training onsite with a group of 12 motivated people. It was so much fun to prepare the material, create a welcoming atmosphere in the room and above all:

Watching the participants to have engaging conversations during and between the sessions. Although I think online trainings offer a lot of opportunities, I truly enjoy the moment of unplanned chatting and sharing ideas when people meet in person.

I gathered some central mantras I always stick to and want to share them with you.

1. Foster interaction

For a successful onsite training or workshop I really recommend to include as many activities as possible where the participants can interact with each other. That could be methods like:

Walk and Talk

Participants create pairs. They get a question or topic from you and are then invited to go outside of the room, even better: leave the building, and discuss about this topic. This can either follow a certain structure (first only one person talks and the other one listens, then switching. After that finishing with discussing synergies) or be open and not formalized.

Create a poster

Divide people in small groups (2-4) and present a question, hypothesis, give them an article or an inspiring quote and ask them to create a poster. This creative exercise helps people to engage, to build bonds and to share a quite personal activity.

Sharing is caring

Let people sit together in small groups of 3 and invite them to share their experiences about a certain topic. Find similarities and differences. Where can they help each other? what can they learn from each other?

Coaching each other

In a structured way participants can coach each other on specific topics, questions, fields. This should be formalized quite strictly in order to make sure even unexperienced people can contribute to that coaching session. Possible ways to do so: Troika Consulting, Scaling questions, Peer Consulting

2. Increase your radius

Use the space you have to increase your and your participants' radius. The participants don't have to sit all the team. Actually they shouldn't! People may walk within the room or leave the room for group / pair work. They might even leave the building for a walk and talk session or to find inspiration outside. Nothing improves creativity, learning and engagement more than switching your perspective.

3. Be open for change

People might not react to your methods as expected, they might give other answers than you hoped or they might have needs different needs than planned by you beforehand. That ruins your plan? Yes, it does. And it's ok! You do a training with human beings and you want them to benefit. So be open for what they require in that moment, be creative, be flexible and welcome change. Nevertheless don't forget that you are the expert concerning trainings. So don't be insecure or shy, when it comes to requests you certainly do not want during your training. Just don't be fussy when it comes to sticking to your original agenda.

4. Use different tools

The attention span of an average person is not very long. Actually it's really short! If you want to have your participants being active and present, you need to change tools, methods and media in order to keep the attention high. What does that mean?

Different Media

Make use of different type of media. You have such a range of options, when you give an onsite training. Use that! You may show something with the beamer, participants may work with pen and paper, you have moderation cards and so much more. Powerpoint, flipcharts, video clips, association cards, pictures, articles etc. -> create an interesting variety of media. You don't have to go crazy here. Just keep in mind that there is much more than Powerpoint.

Different Methods

Let people work together in groups, let them explore individually on topics, give context yourself by explaining with words and pictures, play games, make people work together in tandems to foster intimacy....There are so many different methods to keep the interest high and to allow the participants to learn and to develop.

5. Be thankful

The participants sacrifice a lot of their precious time to attend your session. Be grateful for this present you receive. Keep in mind that those people, who are present now, are the right people and it's the perfect group for your training.

There are many more factors that influence your workshop or training, of course. These are only my top 5 I always keep in mind when I do a training, especially if it is an onsite training. If you are interested to learn more about trainings and workshops, please tell me and I am happy to share more of my experiences with you.

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1 Comment

Sep 27, 2022

Thank you for sharing you experience and your tips. I very much appreciate the tip "Be thankful"

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