training course activities

3 tips for running an activity in a training course

When we are facilitating groups or training people in a training course at work it’s common to put people in activities so they can chat, experience, practice and learn. We know that it’s a good idea to facilitate as much hands-on activity as possible because the most effective workplace training uses all the senses to ensure our delegates learn. It’s how they develop a greater understanding of the theory and a powerful sense they can do it.


If you’re going to get people to do an activity in a meeting or training, please be sure to do the following:

1. Be clear yourself why you are really doing it and what tangible difference it will make to them. If you can’t come up with a really good answer, then leave it out. Activity for activity sake is annoying to adults.

2. Tell the audience exactly why they are doing the activity, motivate them to want to participate. Ideally create some suspense about what they’ll find when they participate. Don’t leave it for them to work it out, or simply tell them that’s what you always do.

3. Explain what you want them to do in three different ways. The first time you say it they don’t hear you. The second time you say it they hear but don’t understand. The third time they hear and understand.

4. Always debrief activities. If our audience respect us enough to do the activity, we owe them some respect in return. Give them a wrap-up of the outcomes of the activity, the learning that was achieved, next steps to think about.


Adults generally hate role plays for the sake of interaction, but they will participate in activities that have an obvious purpose and outcome.


An activity framed up well, delivered properly and then debriefed thoroughly is an essential part of any trainer’s tool kit. Enjoy practicing and finessing the way you run activities.


Need help? If you’d like me to come and run my Facilitating Groups workshop please let me know. This 1/2 day interactive, energising workshop will show your people how to encourage adults to participate in presentations and trainings in a way that embeds the learning, so they remember the point, and use what they’ve learnt. Contact me here:


Happy Presenting!


© Michelle Bowden 2020.  Michelle Bowden is an authority on presentation & persuasion in business. Michelle is a CSP (the highest designation for speakers in the world), co-creator of the PRSI (a world-first psychometric indicator that tests your persuasiveness at work), best-selling internationally published author (Wiley), and a regular commentator in print, radio and online media.

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