I was recently asked by a junior colleague about how to make some required (read: “sleep-inducing”) training “more fun.” As someone who facilitates leadership development, I get this sort of thing frequently.
Unfortunately, the answer is NOT clown noses, gag gifts, and kooshie balls (is that how you spell that??).
Fun CAN be part of training, but it takes a highly skilled trainer to have both sufficient subject knowledge and adequate facilitation skills to pull it off effectively. “Being funny” in front of a room doesn’t equate to making a training event meaningful.
”Funny” or “entertaining” is never a goal, merely a method of reaching a learning objective — which should always be priority one.
Interactive exercises – in small groups – are a valuable method for learning, as long as the exercise is truly relevant and the debrief brings it together well. Don’t know about “fun,” per se, but these can be lively, interactive, and engaging.
The better your personal knowledge and facilitation skills (including awareness of why/how we learn), the easier it becomes to add, modify, and create on your own.
Might not be a laugh-a-minute, but you’ll leave them learning, and hopefully reasonably awake…