Workshops are powerful training tools when a group gets together in a quiet location to share experiences, to plan, to study, to solve problems and to extend their knowledge.
Five of the best tips when running a workshop
* Select a suitable site
Locate a suitable area well away from family, work and friends – somewhere free from distractions where people can concentrate on the exercises on hand.
* Make the workshop area look interesting
First impressions are important so set up the environment to look ‘busy’ where exciting things are about to happen.
* Involve participants right from the start
Get participants to meet and greet each other and then set up work stations.
Confirming the objectives. They must be very clear. Set out and get agreement on the workshop rules at the start.
* Workshops should be fun and fruitful
They can be a great way to build up work teams.
Use a variety of training techniques and aim to keep interest levels high. Give out spot prizes.
Run workshops like a vaudeville show – non-stop with plenty of different training methods.
Set up competitive problem-solving teams to get everyone involved. Encourage initiative and allow time for games and social events.
Constantly review and evaluate the techniques used.
* Findings and recommendations should be recorded
Reinforce training with printed recommendations and the findings from the workshop.
Be generous with handouts and resource materials.
Make training interesting, entertaining, challenging and enjoyable.
“Competition between teams can be a powerful stimulus for learning, but it should be fun and never antagonistic.”
Source: “Training Secrets. Helping adults learn”, published by Moss Associates Ltd & Cengage Learning Asia. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com.
“Training Ways , Helping Adults Learn”, MAF Information, N.Z. ; “The Corporate Trainer’s Quick Reference”, BUSINESS ONE IRWIN,USA; “The Trainer’s DESK Reference”, Kogan Page, U.K.