How you close a training session is the next most important activity to opening a session .You need to ensure people are energized and motivated to apply what they have learnt.
A training workshop in my view is very similar to an aircraft on a flight. You expend a lot of energy during take-off (opening a session), then you reach cruising altitude, post which you expend a lot of energy during touch down (closing of a workshop).
This is my checklist of touchdown…
- Check the energy in the training room – 1 hour before close.
- Plan for an energizer if needed.
- Recap and commitment to action
- Tell the participants that you had a great time. Share the insights you gained from them.
- Inform them how they can get in touch with you. Encourage connection. LinkedIn is appropriate.
- The “Photograph” – build some buzz around it
- Get them to fill the participant feedback forms on the training program.
- Shake hands and say goodbye.
Some of my favorite ways to end a training session (recap & commitment to action) are:
- Key insights & Start, Stop, Continue, Change : I hand them a 1 pager at the beginning of the workshop. I tell them that during the course of the workshop they will have many A-Ha moments, they should jot them down in Key insights. The goal is that they walk away from this workshop and only need to refer to this one page. At the end of the workshop, I explain start, stop, continue, change i.e. what are they going to start doing? stop doing? continue doing? change what they’re doing? And a timeline of by when. This helps them focus on what they’ve learnt and what they’re actually going to do when they get back to work or home. It is a simple plan of action. I then ask each of them to share 1 action that they will start, stop, continue or change doing with the larger group. Some of my colleagues add- do more of , do less of and share with.
- What? So What? Now What? : This helps you recap the workshop; understand what they learnt, why is that #learning important to them and what will they do now. Again I make a 1 pager and ask them to fill in the 3 columns at the end of the workshop.
- Mind Map: Great way to recap a session especially one in which you have shared mind mapping e.g. presentation skills workshop, increasing productivity workshop etc. Works very well for visual learners and kinesthetic learners. I ask them to come and add to the mind map on the white board. I would avoid it if they are unfamiliar with mind maps and use a learning tree instead. I take a picture from my mobile and many of them follow suit.
- Learning Tree: On the whiteboard I draw a trunk of a tree and ask them to add what they learnt as branches. Again very visual, works well for the kinesthetic learner too and since each of them verbalize what they learnt for the auditory learner as well.
- Make a poster to sell the benefits of the workshop: This has a creative twist to it. I divide them into groups (Max 4 in a room) and tell them that they are the L&D team and need to create a poster to sell the benefits of attending this workshop….brings out what they learnt in a fun manner. Then we tape the posters to the wall and all teams can view what the others have written.
While these are my top 5 favorite ones but we have a host of others to inject creativity and variety.
Contributed by Lovely Kumar, Chief Projects – Larks Learning
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org