Giving Participants Their ‘Just Desserts’ by Closing with Impact!

Giving participant’s their ‘just desserts’ by closing with impact! | HRDQ-U Blog
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In reality, a great dessert can help to complete a successful meal. A bad dessert leaves a sour taste in your mouth that can ruin the whole dining experience. In the context of training, the dessert relates to how we close. We want them to have something to savor from the experience that, like a multi-course meal, brings everything together. For many years, I have preached about the virtues of a powerful close through my trainer training programs. Good training closes, bad training ends. You owe it to your participants to finish the session with impact. And like a great dessert, you want to give them something that has them yearning for more.

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C – Celebrate: Participants have invested time, money, and energy in attending an engaging training. As such, it is important to honor and recognize their contribution and investment in the learning. Celebration can take many forms. It could involve formal recognition through the presentation of certificates and other learning awards at the conclusion of training or the broadcasting of student success via newsletters and other communication formats. It could also be conducted in a less formal way through a round of applause, high-five, or the use of a team chant.

R – Revisit: It is important for the participants to go over the content in an interesting way one last time prior to the conclusion of the engaging training. This will help them to promote reinforcement.

E – Elicit Responses:  The trainer needs to create moments to check for understanding and have participants involved with their own learning. Common concluding activities that elicit responses include quizzes, game show-style questioning, and final presentations made by individuals or groups.

A – Action Plan: Give the participants some time to reflect upon the important concepts or ideas learned in the session. Essentially, you are giving them the opportunity to provide advice to themselves for future implementation. Therefore, action planning helps the participants transfer what they have learned in the training room to their own situations. By spending some time reflecting and writing, there is a much greater chance that they will both retain and apply the content.

M – Movement: This may be the simple movement out of a classroom or it could be movement to a collage of ideas or a transition to a different space for new learning. Having bodies in motion will help the participants to stay focused and engaged. However, it is a good idea to consider what you want them to do when they are moving. Do you want them to write a response on a post-it note and add it to a poster? Do you want them to do a physical exercise? Do you want them to review a series of posters and summarize the content? Do you want them to connect with other learners as they move around? The key is to have them move with purpose, rather than move for the sake of moving. Be sure to provide clear instructions of what you need them to do.

The closing of an engaging training session is just as important as the opening, as it helps to tie things together. A session shouldn’t end simply because the time is up. Moreover, it should be a considered and controlled process that maximizes the impact from all the learning. It is the trainer’s final opportunity to remind the participants of the key messages of the training event and should provide time for both reflection and forward thinking.

Headshot of Marc Ratcliffe
Marc Ratcliffe

Marc Ratcliffe is the CEO and founder of MRWED Training and Assessment, Australia’s largest provider of Trainer Training and five time-listed Australian great place to work.

He is a multi-award-winning trainer, author and education entrepreneur. He has been involved in Workplace and Vocational Education for 25 years and has conducted more than 300 Training and Assessment courses since 2000.  He is a strong advocate for “edu-tainment” and believes that learner involvement and fun are integral to student success. He continues to be an in-demand conference speaker and workshop facilitator, having presented at more than 75 conferences in a dozen countries in the past decade and was recently named as the winner of the “Best Training and Development Leadership” Award at the World Training and Development Congress.

Marc is the author of the The Trainer’s Toolkit and The Trainer’s Cook Book, and is a co-author of three of the S.C.O.R.E. for Trainers publications. He is also certified to deliver Bob Pike’s Train-the-Trainer Boot Camp, the world’s most respected train-the-trainer program.

Connect with Marc on LinkedIn.

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