>Make training fun?

>Last week’s Q&A post on the use of role plays in training was a nice experiment and turned out just as I wanted. My thanks to all who took part in it. For me, the important thing to bear in mind for future Q&A’s is to not bother with a summary post at the end of the week because:
1) I’m not that important
2) My readers can wean their own conclusions from people’s comments
3) I didn’t actually say anything different

So, on to this week’s Q&A.

If you are promoting training, should one of your key selling points, be “it’s fun!”. I read far too many training types who think that this is a valid selling point. As you may gather, I’m not convinced. I’m not concerned about the structure of the training, or its content, or the style of delivery, my questions this week is restricted to:

When promoting training, internal or external, how does the word “fun” help or hinder this promotion?


Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

5 thoughts on “>Make training fun?”

  1. >Great question. We all know that learning is accelerated when we ae enjoying ourselves – we remember happy events and we try to erase sad events. Its a simple fact of life.But for me their has to be a balance. If we are told "have fun" or "this is going to be really funny" it usually isn't. We don't like being told to be any kind of emotion, it has to be allowed to develop natuarally.When Promoting training I will resit from any kind of conditioning, as it would surely come back and bite me on the bum. People find it easy to build up some resistance "right then, make me laugh" will not help the comedian.The trick is to promote the training for its content, a general feeling for the style and personality of the facilitator and also for the general atmosphere that is likely to occur.I will introduce fun, jokes and stories gradually through the course as I begin to understand my audience. This will tell me whether certain words or phrases could be used also."A Fun Time with Jackie from HR" will not get people racing to the booking form."Jackie from HR presents a light hearted look at Interview Techniques" is a far better approach.Bring fun in definately. Try to condition the audience, with absolute caution.

  2. >Like humour, ‘fun’ is very subjective, loaded with many different connotations. Personally, when I think of people making training ‘fun’, I envisage a room of grown adults playing children’s games etc. – fun for an enthusiastic trainer who’s had too much caffeine; but not for the staff who have been pulled out of their day-to-day work and forced to play with plasticine.The most ‘fun’ I have ever had with work training came at an away day in pool. Being outside doing various team-building activities in the rain taught me so much about myself as well as the way I work with others. However, clambering up telegraph poles and leaping off onto a trapeze was not everyone’s cup of tea! I believe that training can be made APPLICABLE, ENGAGING and ENJOYABLE. For me, ‘fun’ is a too loaded with childish connotations in the workplace training setting. But that’s just my opinion.

  3. >We moved away from the word 'fun' ages ago because we knew it was causing negative reactions for some people.And even if they wanted to have fun they perceived their bosses didn't want them to have fun because 'training isn't a jolly!'So we talk about 'enjoying' it instead and that seems to be more acceptable to people in business. There's more info and a podcast if you want more. http://www.brainfriendlytrainer.com/reflect/podcast-interview-with-stella-collins-part-1/comment-page-1#comment-834

  4. >I love to have fun – and forced fun is pants! Enjoyable seems to be an easier word for the world of work to stomach. When I worked at BT lots of folk would stop me and say – how do you manage to have so much fun at work. I think the two go together – make your own fun, don't try and train it into folk 🙂

  5. >I agree, 'fun' is subjective so wouldn't use it to describe training. I also think the same about 'enjoyable' – how do you know all your participants will enjoy the training? I think that you should only promise what you know you can deliver during the training. What my last company have done in the past is to include past participants feedback in promotional material – this is the time to include any comments describing the training as 'fun' or 'enjoyable', in my opinion. Like Doug, I love to have fun, especially at work. However, I never expect fun from training and the word 'fun' in promotional material would not attract me to a particular course. What might attract me is an exercise that I consider to be fun, or a facilitator that I know introduces jokes, stories etc.

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