Over the past couple of weeks we have been looking at Trainer’s Toolkits and what’s in them – and I asked some of my Toastmasters colleagues what tools they consider essential.
Here’s a suggestion from one member, based in Mexico.
For ice-breaker exercises, divide participants up into three or four groups, using something like “preferred music styles”.
Then get them to interview each other with simple and basic questions (name, where are they from, etc)
Of course, in many cases, the participants will be from the same company, and perhaps even the same location – so ask them instead to find out something that others in the room are unlikely to know (Hobbies, favourite travel destinations, or something like that)
The idea is to help participants bond, by pointing out things that we share (love of music) and the things that make us unique.
On the subject of icebreakers and bonding, a trainer I know in England suggested an exercise I have yet to try – giving each participant a cheap laser pointer and getting them to draw the company’s name or logo on a wall as a group.
This shows them that a single person MAY be able to do it – but a group will be able to do it much more effectively. However, they have to work together, or it will be a disaster.
Another suggestion from my colleague in Mexico deals with ensuring that participants have actually absorbed the training you have delivered – by dividing them into groups of 3 or 4 people, and having them discuss the flipcharts notes that have been pinned to the walls during earlier sessions.
I would go a step further, and perhaps ask them to report back to the room on the ongoing ramifications of those flipcharts.
Another colleague in Germany says she likes to offer her trainees a short Q&A test immediately after the training session – but then presents those trainees with certificates and the applause of their peers, for immediate gratification.
I have to say, the Trainers Toolkit can contain a myriad of tools – and if you see a tool being used by another trainer, feel free to copy and modify it for your sessions (unless, of course, it is copyrighted.)
Because if the aim of a trainer is to get ideas from your head into the heads of your trainees, then any tool that works is a good one!