PUTTING PIZZAZ IN TRAINING
The following is from a posting to Scouts-L by Judy Yeager.
Thanks to all who responded to my query for ideas of how to put pizzaz
into training. Following are some of the ideas received:
The biggest complaint I hear from BSWB and SMF participants is
the boring dedication to the use of flip charts as the only means of
training in that phase of the program. Challenge trainers to use their
imaginations and spend enough time on their technique to make it
memorable for the observers. Think of what GRABS folks' attention and
gives memorable experiences. Make it BIG, REAL BIG!
We must not be afraid to use a wall as a backdrop for a
presentation if it is available and appropriate, use a ladder or stand
on a piece of furniture to make a point, pop a few balloons to reveal
key words and phrases, throw candy to the audience when they
participate, turn the entire training piece into a question and answer
game, have a backup crew remove a door from its hinges (noise and all)
while you are talking so you can creatively use it in your presentation.
Use your resources, the room, your imagination, and your staff! Look
for and develop some key point in the session to use as a hook in
building a bigger-than-life presentation!
Have a lot of displays, ideas especially for new leaders. Use crafts,
resource materials. Pow Wow books, any or all books you can find,
magazines with craft ideas, literature from nature centers, stuff you
pick up at any National Park is good. Use songs, skits, and run ons, a
new game, etc. Most of all, keep it fun, and if you start off with a
bang, you will keep your group wondering what is coming at them next.
Use a theme for your training. Write a skit that follows the
syllabus. Wear costumes to fit the theme. Change segment names to fit
the theme. It is fun for the trainers as well as participants and
numbers have grown using this concept.
Our District and Council have both agreed to put the "Pack
Meeting" back into the CLBT. This lets Trainers and new Leaders have a
great time playing games and doing skits and songs. Done at the very
end of the session it ties everything together and closes on a good,
fun, energetic note.
Show up wearing a tall chef hat, Italy's national colors in your
clothes, tossing a pizza crust in the air, singing "when the moon's in
the sky, like a huge pizza pie, that's amore". Another trainer
interrupts that you are supposed to be doing a section on "Putting
Pizzaz in Training", not "Pizza in Training". Act sheepish, then
suddenly flash on the fact that Scouting is supposed to be FUN and go
back to singing Amore.
Use props (a Pepperoni stick to remind them the presentation needs to
be peppy?), puns, run-ons, etc to keep it lively. Do a presentation
in character a road worker in hard hat work shirt for Cubstruction
Use participant involvement, hands-on learning, and don t forget there
is a great difference between "training" and "learning".
We can always do great things with an overhead projector,
especially now that we have computers to generate the graphics.
EVERYTHING is part of the training and every detail must a little
- make sure every other instructor is adding pizzaz.
- treat the attendees as customer, stockholder, the most important
- put pizzaz in your promo - make your flyers really unique.
announcements at RT's must be unique.
- Promote in the community by working with the local fast food
franchises for discount coupons
- Get the announcement placed on local cable TV.
- Find out if any area schools provide for continuing education credits
- have unique direction signs made up
- get a group of volunteers to valet park all cars
- BEFORE they register, ask if they would like a cup of coffee
- Get a local fast food franchise to provide a buy one get one free
coupon for attendees.
- provide pen/pencil and paper for all attendees (local business
- Make lunch a little different. Get local food franchises to set up a
booth during lunch.
- Have people there whose sole responsibility is to make sure the place
- Thank people for coming, thank people for coming, thank people for
- send a follow up letter thanking them for attending and ask if they
have any suggestions for improvement.
- Send letters of thanks to all instructors two weeks AFTER the session
- If you have a number of unique items at the session, they will be
talked about for a long time. You will have people wanting to come next
year just to see what you have done different. Adding pizzaz is an
Keep a stash of 1" pom poms on hand and toss to trainees who
seem to need a "warm Fuzzy" and then tell every one that sometimes that
works in your Pack at home, brings a smile.
Put on costumes...the funnier the better...play music.. have lots of
handouts, give aways, and MAKE IT FUN. You can cover the material
without being boring... You just have to get inventive..
Use a theme or costume or both. Some of the training
presentations that stick in my mind were the ones I identify by a
theme, i.e. "the Cub kitchen one" or the "one where Linda made chili".
Use a hat as part of the opening remarks. A little bit of a theme can
help you turn an ordinary presentation into something a bit hokey or
more fun or just more memorable. Have a trademark that you use, like a
beaver holding something or sitting by a flannel board or somehow
involving him in what you re doing. Use another trainer or do tandem
presentations walk-ons or characters such as "Al" in a "Tool Time"
.....and a good ole' Bobwhite, too NC-CS-10