training exercise

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training exercise

training exercise

I am currently updating an existing course run on Presentation skills for managers in financial services. Can anyone help me with a practical exercise to help participants put the mornings learning into practice on “how to structure a presentation”..

Any ideas welcome


I have a couple of suggestions:

Firstly, a great exercise for this type of training is by you doing the following:
Its the shaky start technique and it does require good faking it skills!!
The idea is to show people how NOT to give presentations. Its a fun way to demonstrate and shows you don’t mind making a fool of yourself!
You must prepare in advance and it helps if you have another trainer with you…
Preferably perform this after a break …make sure you prepare ahead.

 When trainees go for a break – make sure they leave the training room and you can move a flipchart or lectern into a position where you could bump into it.

 Prepare or copy a script that is close to the topic but not too close. The more boring the ‘better’! Place the script on top of a handful of untidy papers.

 As you rush back into the room late making harassed apologies – bump into the lectern/flipchart and drop your papers everywhere shout at a colleague for moving it into a stupid place saying something along the lines of ‘Are you stupid I nearly broke my neck! What a crazy place to leave that!’ (of course you can only shout at someone if you have another trainer with you who may have moved things without you knowing) another way you could enter if this set up won’t work is rush in whilst talking a about a private matter on your mobile for example – trip over your feet…etc
pick up your pages and look as if you are sorting them in order but keep your dummy script at the top.

 Avoid eye contact with the group. Turn on the OHP (which has nothing on it) or projector (making sure its out of focus before you start)

 Put your papers down in harassed way and shuffle through them. Again avoid eye contact at all costs.

 As you fumble with your pens/Keys/Glasses etc (whichever is to hand!) drop them and grumble, pick them up and grab hold of the desk/lectern tightly. Start to read from your script in a low monotonous voice – avoid any enthusiasm for the subject. Keep fiddling with something.

 At this point try to put something on the ohp – do this so its crooked

 After about 10 secs look at the screen and see its out of focus so you need to try to adjust this (badly!!) but end up leaving out of focus.

 At this point the group will be fidgeting, getting ready to walk out or even laughing and nodding if they have twigged! You should at this point stop and ‘get serious’ let them know it’s all been an act.
This is good to lead them into a discussion about presentation bloopers and you could ask them to list 10 things that they would recommend should change about that your presentation style!

For consolidation of learning you could probably break them into groups of 3-4 people and ask them to pitch a presentation for example where they have to sell something.
You could ask them to present the benefits of certain fruit to children maybe?
or pitch a colour (ie. sell the colour red, or blue etc)
or even pitch a waste paper bin to a group of tropical island natives and use as much artistic license as they can! This one is great if you give them a bin and tell them it can be any number of items they choose – Eg, “Mr native you could put holes in the bottom and fill it with water – hey presto a portable shower!”

give them maybe 10 mins to prepare and 3-5 mins to pitch – then someone decides who did the best! It could help if you can organise an audience for this of maybe staff who work under the managers!

Hope this helps! If you need anymore suggestions let me know.



Published On: 24th Oct 2015

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