SoMe for Trainers – Practical Example no.2

Nothing annoys me more as a trainee than sitting in training listening to everyone say what THEY think of something before the trainer gives the “right answer” or whatever answer will be used as a common framework for the next 2 hours…

Why do trainers do that? If there ISN’T a right answer, then I can agree its worth sharing people’s attitudes. But if there IS, please just get to the point!


If you are interested in the Authentic Learning principle that we shouldn’t get things in the classroom that can be found OUT of the classroom, then this simple SoMe proposal might interest you:

  • Prior to training, make a survey using a tool like *
  • Ask future participants to share in advance their ideas on a given topic. For example: What do you understand by the word “motivation”? or “What are the key elements of effective teamwork?”
  • Prior to training, merge these answers into your training materials (PPT, workbook, whatever you have…)
  • In training, show (quickly) the answers you already got and move onto what will be used as your framework in training


* As advice, I would note that if you are doing this a lot, upgrading your surveymonkey account is well worth the investment in saved admin time…


Another better more social option

  • Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Yammer or some other platform to ask the same questions.
  • Invite future participants to join a group and discuss a point in advance
  • That way people will already see the answers from other trainees before getting to the room…


This SoMe solution is good for time-saving in training and to allow you to focus on more ROI-yeilding activities. I don’t say discussion is bad, but sitting listening to others for NO reason IS bad.


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Published by Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

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