Friday, August 14, 2009

How much of ‘entertaining‘ is advisable in Training?

How much of ‘entertaining’ is advisable in Training? What is the role of humor and fun in a learning environment? The question also how and how much?

(The above were questions asked in linkedin)

My thoughts:

Games, Activities, Humor etc. surely make learning "Fun". I'm unsure whether we can call this 'entertainment' because this can take the Trainer away from the objectives of the learning session.

I use instant humour more in the post-lunch space or if I feel that the energy levels of the participants has dipped.

I would also decide the "how much" part of it, by mapping my audience well. For e.g. if it's a young crowd (college-going) then the session would be laced with humour and fun, but if it's a senior profile that I am handling, then I would 'tone-down' the humour and fun bit.

In certain training programs such as Communication Skills, Presentation Skills, Negotiation Skills etc. the 'fun' element can be integrated as part of the module and thus flows seamlessly. Here the audience could belong to any age group or any levels and it would still do well. For e.g. running a quick round of on-the-spot speaking (the topic list could have some funny topics).

Another methodology to engage the audience is to use "story-telling". Funny anecdotes, incidents and even jokes can be customized to a story-form and narrated to the audience.

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