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When teaching a course or training “turn on the brain” by using quizzes.

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How to Get People Involved in Training?

by Guila Muir
info@guilamuir.com

What’s the best way to assure your train­ing par­tic­i­pants groan inwardly and “turn off” the first sec­ond you open your mouth? Sim­ply by fol­low­ing con­ven­tional wis­dom about how to open a train­ing ses­sion: intro­duce your­self and pro­vide your credentials.

Instead, gen­er­ate curios­ity, inter­est and moti­va­tion from the out­set. Use a “Hook” before intro­duc­ing your­self. (Par­tic­i­pants will hear your cre­den­tials bet­ter after you hook them, anyway!)

Three Ideas for Pow­er­ful Hooks

Quickie Quiz: Cre­ate a 3–5-question quiz and ask par­tic­i­pants to take it the minute they sit down. It’s best if the ques­tions are slightly provoca­tive or con­tro­ver­sial. Through­out the class, answer and clar­ify the issues.

Here’s a “real-life” exam­ple cur­rently being used in a Risk Man­age­ment class for supervisors:

1. What per­cent­age of claims and inci­dents filed against this com­pany were closed last year with­out pay­ment?
30%
50%
80%

2. If an employee is sued because of an act s/he com­mit­ted within the scope of their duties, the employee must pro­vide his/her own legal defense. (T/F)

3. If you have an auto­mo­bile acci­dent while dri­ving on com­pany time, you are cov­ered. (T/F)

Ques­tions: Care­fully con­structed ques­tions are often the eas­i­est and most pow­er­ful “Hooks.” Ques­tions can begin with the words “How many here have…?” or “Did you know that…?” Your ques­tion should demand a phys­i­cal response from the par­tic­i­pants, such as nod­ding, rais­ing hands, even stand­ing up.

Visu­al­iza­tion: This tech­nique gives even “dry” sub­jects the emo­tional con­tent you need to hook the learn­ers’ interest.

Here’s a real-life exam­ple of a visu­al­iza­tion “Hook” from a super­vi­sory class on wage and hour laws: “Close your eyes and imag­ine that you are a 10 year old child in the 1930’s work­ing in a fac­tory 12 hours a day, 60 hours a week for 10 cents an hour. You’ve never seen the inside of a school…your feet are cold and you get just one meal break a day. How do you feel?”Ask the par­tic­i­pants to open their eyes. Debrief thoughts and feel­ings; con­nect to the course topic and state the learn­ing outcomes.

Remem­ber: To increase inter­est and moti­va­tion from the get-go, hook your par­tic­i­pants immediately!

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