Training Sessions That Entertain and Educate!
By Donna Cutting UP!
Oct 6, 2003 - 12:06:00 PM

Have you ever had to sit through a boring lecture? Do you or your employees glance at their watches every 5 minutes during staff meetings? Have you ever tried to stay awake during dull and poorly produced training videos? I know I have! My guess is that you have too! When that happens, I rarely I remember what was discussed.

So, how can you spice up your training so it tickles, and make your meetings and presentations memorable? Here are some ideas:

Cindy Weaver, a resident services director in a Texas assisted living center, found an innovative way to remind her staff to help keep residents' clothes clean. She called them in for a training session, during which she provided pizza and pop. When Cindy arrived, she had stains on her shirt, labels sticking out of her pants, clothes on inside out, and looked otherwise disheveled. Her staff immediately pointed out the faux pas and Cindy took that opportunity to remind them that their residents want to look nice too. Rather than telling them what she wanted, she demonstrated it. Do you think they remembered? More than likely, yes!

One marketing manager brought McDonald's Happy Meals (tm)with toys to her creative brainstorming meetings. Playing with the toys sparked imaginative, new marketing ideas.

Neighborly Senior Services staff in Pinellas County, Florida, presented a skit at their annual in-service meeting to demonstrate desired values expected from their staff.

Some companies hire a humor consultant to punchup presentations. A fun-tastic person for this is Corporate Comedian David Glickman. Glickman can help you add laughs to your training presentations, newsletters, and more! Check out his Web Site at

When the new president of the National Speakers Association of Central Florida was planning a one-day retreat for the new board members, he wanted a location that would speak to his theme. The theme: THINK BIG! The location: Tropicana Field, home to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the local professional baseball team.

Here are some other ways that you can add life and laughter to staff education.

Decorate your meeting room and/or use toys and props to get your point across. Learn a few magic tricks and use them during your presentation.

Involve your audience by facilitating some training games that get your point across. One great resource is "The Big Book of Team Building Games" by Newstrom & Scannell.

Occasionally hire a professional motivational speaker to give your staff the boost they need.

Use personal stories when making your points.

Prepare a crossword puzzle with key ideas/values for your staff to fill in. Have a competition to see who completes it first.

Remember the "Hoopla factor." Surprise your trainees by treating your meeting like a special event. Decorate the room. Bring treats to give away. Use music to set the tone. Have the managers give the front-liners a standing ovation as they walk into the room.

If you absolutely must use those training videos, at least serve buttered popcorn and a Coke.

Entertaining while you educate ensures that your audience will not only pay attention, but they will remember what they learned. Just say no to boring meetings! Put some pizzazz into your program today!

Donna Cutting works with companies who want to create places where employees love to work and customers love to do business. You may reach her via her web site at

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