Training? Seven Ways to Keep it Fresh

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    freshTired of the same old-same old training session or presentation? If you are, you can bet your audience will be too. So start thinking creatively about ways to change it up, break it up and shake it up…for your benefit and that of your audience. Here are a few ideas just to get you started.
    1. Change your visuals. If you have boring, detailed slides, get rid of some of the text and add appealing photos, especially if you can take pictures of your team, your product or your facility and use them.
    2. Ditch your slides. Try presenting with no slides at all, or just a title slide and maybe one other. Use a flip chart, use handouts, or just have a discussion with your audience.
    3. Turn the lecture into a discussion. Ask them real questions. What do they think? How would they react if….? Have them solve a problem or do a case study. Have them create a plan.
    4. Get them on their feet. Have them come up to the front of the room for an impromptu skit relating to the material. Ask them to cover part of the meeting or the training. Have them take turns writing on the flip chart so you can keep your focus on the group.
    5. Start with sharing. As soon as you begin, ask them to write down, speak up, or record the questions they have about the topic. Often by the time you have answered all their questions you have covered the material you had planned.
    6. Don’t give handouts. Keep the focus on the discussion, not notetaking. If they ask for them, you can always send them by email and save a tree while you are at it. Or have them available at the end of your session.
    7. Take a field trip. Don’t just sit there: get out of the meeting room and take a tour of the plant, have a field trip or a scavenger hunt. Take a nature hike, or go check out the competition. The change in scenery can be far more stimulating than looking at four walls.

    What else can you do to keep it fresh? The sky is the limit, if you make smart choices, do it with confidence, and use your creative thinking to shake up your next training session or presentation.


    Author Gail Zack Anderson, founder of Applause, Inc. is a Twin Cities-based consultant who provides coaching and workshops for effective presentations, facilitation skills for trainers and subject matter experts, and positive communication skills for everyone. She can be reached at

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    twitter: @ApplauseInc