The 14 Skills That Every New Business Skills Trainer Needs

The Need For Great Trainers Has Exploded

That’s good because you’ve finally got a way around those annoying barriers that customers put in the way to stop their staff from getting trained.

But it’s not such great news because it means you’re competing against a wide array of shiny new business trainers all trying to cash in on the demand for training staff.

Bottom line: good training course materials aren’t enough any more. You need to be an insanely great trainer whose skills and abilities outshine all your. And you need to deliver it in a consistent,
ongoing program.

To do that, you need to step back a little and think about what you’re trying to accomplish with your courses and who you’re trying to influence.

Why Are A Business Trainers Skills So Critical?

TRAINER SKILLS ARE SO CRITICAL because people can care more about their own needs much more than they care about your courses.

When you capture your training expertise and package it up to help your trainees do their jobs more effectively, you earn people’s respect instead of just simply assuming you’ll get their respect.

Your skills as a business trainer will help you deliver effective training courses every time.

HERE’S A JAM-PACKED RESOURCE TO HELP YOU DEVELOP THESE 14 CRITICAL SKILLS.
Unlock your potential as a professional business trainer. Learn how to develop your skills, conquer any confidence issues you may have and expand your ability to create and deliver effective courses.

We’ve divided this ebook into 14 standalone sections that will help you develop your business training skills strategy and build the foundations of an ongoing professional development as a trainer.

We hope you won’t just read these ebooks. We hope you’ll print them out and start working away at the content that we have assembled for you. Refer to these ebooks whenever you’re developing training courses – or whenever you hit an impasse in your development.

Skill Number 1
How To Create Effective Presentations

Skill Number 2
How To Create Memorable Presentations

Skill Number 3
Listening Skills

Skill Number 4
Questioning Skills

Skill Number 5
How To Use Icebreakers

Skill Number 6
How To Use Training Games

Skill Number 7
How To Deal With Difficult People

Skill Number 8
How To Increase Participation Levels

Skill Number 9
How To Select Materials

Skill Number 10
How To Set Goals

Skill Number 11
How To Create Strong Trust Scores

Skill Number 12
Understanding Emotional Reactions

Skill Number 13
How To Evaluate Training

Skill Number 14
A Year Of Quality

>> Download Our Ebook To Develop These 14 Skills For Only US$29.95

The Beginners Guide To Icebreakers

Experienced professionals all know the need for icebreakers.

The only challenge is … not knowing what icebreaker to use and when to use it.

If you can master icebreakers, all that other delivery stuff is really easy.

Understanding why we use icebreakers

Icebreakers are extremely important in sessions to:

  • Facilitate Introductions
  • Assist Group Formation
  • Introduce Topics, Concepts Or Themes
  • Prepare Participants For Learning
  • Energize The Group

Icebreakers are usually employed at the start of a session or at stages where new material or sessions are beginning (e.g., after a break or to energize a group before a new topic is covered).

Most opening activity icebreakers should last around ten to fifteen minutes – although there are a range of issues that may influence what icebreaker that you will employ.

It is important to make sure that all participants are comfortable with the icebreaker – even though sometimes the exercise may challenge them.

Choosing Ice-Breakers For Your Events

There are many issues that need to be considered when choosing an icebreaker for your event. These include:

Rationale/Goals: It is always essential that the icebreaker chosen reflects the rationale and goals of the training event.

Experience: It is also crucial that it has been tried and tested on others. And, that you are familiar with all aspects of the activity.

Audience:

  • Consider who the audience is?
  • Are they there as a group or as individuals?
  • What are the participants ability levels?
  • Have they completed the icebreaker before?

Remember individuals also like to be challenged.

Connection To The Event:  You must also ensure that the icebreaker ‘connects’ to a point in the event. To illustrate, an energizer activity is best used after a break period than before the break!

Structure of the Activity

When considering the structure of activity to be used you will need to be aware of:

  • The number of participants involved.
  • Time required – do you have enough time to complete the task?
  • Place – where the activity will take place?
  • Permission – participants should be allowed to choose not to participate
  • Tone – What tone does the activity set with the group.
  • Opportunity to include learning points for the training event.
  • Opportunity to ask questions.

Icebreaker Games
What I Expect?

Objectives
To ensure that all expectations are set at the start of the training event.

Method
Draw a simple matrix on a flip-chart. Some sample answers are provided as examples – these will help you get participants started.

From The Course

Knowledge
New Skills

From The Trainer

Expertise
Experience
Direction

From Others

Confidentiality
Honesty

From Me

Participation
Support

Ask participants to complete their expectations of the course, of the trainer, from others and from themselves.

Discussion Questions
1. Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
2. Can anyone explain why it is good for us to set expectations?
3. How can we use these expectations for the rest of the training event?

Appropriate Time Required

Flexible, dependent on group size. Max 15 minutes.
Getting To Know People

Something For The Weekend

Objectives
To allow people to get to know each others names and share some basic information about each other.

Method
Ask each person to state their name and to share what they are doing for the weekend. If they are not planning anything for the weekend then ask them to talk about the last weekend they did something? And so on …

Appropriate Time Required
Flexible, dependent on group size. Maximum time 10 minutes.

What Does It Mean To Me?

Objectives
To get participants to offer their opinions on the meaning of words and to promote greater discussion in the group.

Method

Place the following list of words a flip-chart and ask each participant to chose one word. And, to then discuss what it means to them.

Note: You can substitute other words to suit the purpose of your training event.

Teams Success Work-Life Balance
Change Happiness Vision
Leadership Friendship Freedom
Trust Faith Hope

Encourage participants to discuss the meanings of the words. And, explore how we all can hold different meanings for the same word.

Appropriate Time Required

Flexible, dependent on group size.

Telling Me – Telling You

Objectives

To encourage participants to share their opinions, encourage listening and to promote greater discussion in the group.

Method

Divide the training group into pairs.

Ask the pairs to describe to each other their favorite things.

Once they have completed this task, bring the group back together. Then ask each member to describe in detail their exercise’s partner favorite things.

This exercise also encourages questioning and listening skills within the group.

Discussion Questions

Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
How can this exercise help us during today’s training event?

Appropriate Time Required

Flexible, dependent on group size. Maximum time 15 minutes.

Icebreaker Games
‘Me – A Name I Call Myself’

Objectives

To allow people to get know each others names and to share some basic information about each other.

Method

There are many variations to this icebreaker.

A few will be outlined here to indicate how they work.

The Animal
Each person picks the name of an animal that starts with the first letter of their own name. To illustrate, ‘I am Aardvark Alan’.

Then the next person continues by stating ‘that was Aardvark Alan and I am Bettle Bob’. And so on …

The Name
Ask each person to state their name and to give a little more information about their name. Why are they called that name? Is there any history associated with the name? Do they have a nickname? What other name do they like? And so on …

Appropriate Time Required

Flexible, dependent on group size.

Maximum time 10 minutes.

Three Is A Lucky Number!

Objectives
To encourage participants to offer their opinions, encourage listening and to promote greater discussion in the group.

Method
Divide the group into pairs.

Ask the pairs to debate (1 for and 1 against) the proposition that ‘3 is a lucky number’.

Ask the group to role play this situation for 10 minutes.

Once they have completed this bring the group back to together. Then ask a few groups to role play this debate with the larger group. Use these simulations to guide your discussions.

This exercise also encourages questioning and listening skills within the group.

Discussion Questions
Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
How can we use this exercise for the rest of the training event?

Appropriate Time Required
Flexible, dependent on group size. Maximum time 15 minutes.

Circle Of Friends
Objectives
To get participants to offer their opinions, encourage listening and to promote better discussion in the group.

Method
Divide the group into fours.
Ask one member of the group to be the main character and that the others are their friends.

The friends have to tell the main character about themselves and the main character will later have to introduce their friends to the larger group.

You can rotate the main character a few times to give everyone experience of this position.

This exercise also encourages questioning and listening skills within the group.

Discussion Questions
Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
How can we use this exercise for the rest of the training event?

Appropriate Time Required
Flexible, dependent on group size.

Maximum time 15 minutes.

Paris, Rome or New York

Objectives
To get participants to share their opinions, encourage listening and to promote better discussion in the group.

Method
This is a very simple exercise that participants can also have some fun with.

Ask participants of the training event to imagine themselves in each of the cities above. And, what they would like to do there? What would they work at? Would their life be different? If so, in what ways?

Once each person has described who they would like to be get the group in a circle to discuss the exercise.

This exercise also encourages questioning and listening skills within the group and individuals perceptions of different things.

Discussion Questions
Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
How can this exercise help us during today’s training event?
Of all the places presented does anyone want to change? If so why or why not?

Appropriate Time Required
Flexible, dependent on group size. Maximum time 15 minutes

Opposites – Reverse
Objectives
To get participants to share their opinions, encourage listening and to promote greater discussion in the group.

Method
This is a very simple exercise that participants can have some fun with also.

Ask participants of the training event to describe a character that would be the exact opposite to themselves.

Once each person has described their exact opposite get the group in a circle to discuss the exercise. Then ask the group to reverse the descriptions and describe each other.

This exercise also encourages listening skills within the group and individuals perceptions of themselves and each other.

Discussion Questions
1. Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
2. How can this exercise help us during today’s training event?
3. Has anyone changed their perception of their opposite or themselves? If so, how or why?

Appropriate Time Required
Flexible, dependent on group size.

Maximum time 15 minutes.

“I Like Toys”
Objectives

To get participants to share their opinions, encourage listening and to promote discussion in the group.

Method

Divide the group into pairs.

Ask the pairs to describe to each other their favorite toy when they were young.

Once they have completed this bring the group back to together. Then each member must describe in detail their exercise partner’s favorite toy and be able to answer questions on the group on this toy.

This exercise also encourages questioning and listening skills within the group.

Discussion Questions

Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
How can this exercise help us during today’s training event?
How did the toy represent you?
What toy would represent you now?

Appropriate Time Required

Flexible, dependent on group size. Maximum time 15 minutes.

Desert Island Choices

Objectives
To get participants to share their opinions, encourage listening and to promote greater discussion in the group.

Method

This is a variation of the desert island discs program where participants choose what records they would bring with them onto a desert island.

Ask participants of the training event to pick three things that they would bring with them if they were going to be marooned on a desert island.

You can give examples or specify areas if you like. To illustrate:

Books (great escapes may help)
Tools (Boat building!)
CD’s (don’t forget CD player)
People

Discussion Questions
How can this exercise help us during today’s training event?
What do your choices tell you about yourself? Please explain your answer.
What do others choices tell you about them? Please explain your answer.
Having heard what others would bring, is there anything else that you would no bring with you

Appropriate Time Required
Flexible, dependent on group size.

Getting To Know People

Just For You

Objectives
To get participants to share their opinions, encourage listening and to promote better discussion in the group.

Method
Divide the group into pairs.

Ask the pairs to describe what gift they would give each other.

Once they have completed this bring the group back together. Then each member must describe in detail their exercise partner’s gift from you, why they chose it? And, what it says about their partner?

This exercise also encourages questioning and listening skills within the group.

Discussion Questions
Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
How can we use this exercise for the rest of the training event?

Appropriate Time Required

Flexible, dependent on group size. Maximum time 15 minutes.

The Interview Game – Odd or Even

Objectives
To get participants to share their opinions, encourage listening and to promote discussion in the group.

Method
Divide the group into threes and assign numbers 1, 2, and 3 to each member.

Ask the odd members to be interviewers for a job as a bank manager (or a job title of your choice). And, the even number to be the candidate at the interview.

Ask the group to role play this situation for 10 minutes.

Once they have completed this bring the group back to together. Then ask a few groups to role play this interview situation for the larger group. Use these simulations to guide your discussions.

This exercise also encourages questioning and listening skills within the group.

Discussion Questions
Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
How can we use this exercise for the rest of the training event?

Appropriate Time Required
Flexible, dependent on group size. Maximum time 15 minutes.

My Favorite Place

Objectives
To get participants to share their opinions, encourage listening and to promote better discussion in the group.

Method
Divide the group into pairs. Ask the pairs to describe to each other their favorite place.

Once they have completed this bring the group back to together. Then each member must describe in detail their partner’s favorite place and be able to answer questions on the group on these places.

This exercise also encourages questioning and listening skills within the group.

Discussion Questions
Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
How can this exercise help us during today’s training event?

Appropriate Time Required

Flexible, dependent on group size. Maximum time 15 minutes

Icebreaker Games
If I Wasn’t Me

Objectives
To get participants to share their opinions, encourage listening and to promote discussion in the group.

Method
This is a very simple exercise that participants can have some fun with also.

Ask participants of the training event to think about who they would like to be if they weren’t themselves. Each person will need to describe this person to the group.

Once each person has described who they would like to be get the group in a circle to discuss the exercise.

This exercise also encourages questioning and listening skills within the group.

Discussion Questions

Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
How can this exercise help us during today’s training event?
What does the person you chose to be tell you about yourself? Please explain your answer.

Of all the characters presented does anyone want to change? If so why or why not?

Appropriate Time Required
Flexible, dependent on group size.

Training Games That Every Business Needs

Learn how to create and use training games while making a stronger impact on your participants.

If you’re involved in delivering courses there is always pressure to find innovative great training games.

But, it can be often difficult for time starved business skills professionals to continually come up with new options.

Often, familiar games can be seen as always better in terms of accuracy and efficiency.

Of course, there’s plenty of room for new examples, but don’t be tempted by just rehashing what might have worked in the past.

Good old fashioned creative ideas, armed with some solid examples, are still the best solution.

As for the benefits of creating new options they are large. But, don’t get worried by the time that you may need to apply.

So, today I want to talk about training games. In particular, how and when you should use them.

Understanding why we use games

Some new business trainers and managers can be unfamiliar at the thought of using icebreakers. But the simplest way to implement them is to think about why you are using them.

Icebreakers:

• Facilitate Introductions.
• Assist Group Formation.
• Facilitate Introductions.
• Introduce Topics, Concepts Or Themes.
• Prepare Participants For Learning.
• Energize The Group Games and are generally used at any stage in the training event.

Opening activity games should last around ten to fifteen minutes.

It is important that all participants are comfortable with the game – even though the exercise may challenge them.

Choosing games

There are many issues that need to be considered when choosing an icebreaker for your event. These include:

• Rationale/Goals: It is always essential that the game chosen reflects the rationale and goals of the event.
• Experience: It is also crucial that it has been tried and tested on others and you are familiar with all aspects of the activity.
• Audience: Consider who the audience is? Are they there as a group or as individuals? What are the participants ability levels? 
• Challenge:
 Have they completed the game before?
• Connection To The Event: As the trainer, you must also ensure that the game ‘connects’ to a point in the course. To illustrate, an energizer activity is best used after a break period than before the break!

Structure of the activity

Experienced professionals will tell you that they need a quick and simple ways to get the session moving.

The way to do this is to consider how you will the structure of activity. This will depend on:

• The number of participants involved.
• Time required – do you have enough time to complete the task?
• Place – where the activity will take place?
• Permission – participants should be allowed to choose not to participate.
• Tone – What tone does the activity set with the group.
• Opportunity to include learning points for the event.
• Opportunity to ask questions.

We are please to let you use our complete training games guide that can be used in all your training sessions.

Icebreaker Games

What I Expect? 

Objectives

To ensure that all expectations are set at the start of the training event.

Method

Draw a simple matrix on a flip-chart as below. Some sample answers are provided – they will help you get participants started though you may wish not to fill them on the matrix at the beginning.

From The Course 

Knowledge

New Skills

 

 

From The Trainer 

Expertise

Experience

Direction

 

From Others 

Confidentiality

Honesty

From Me 

Participation

Support

 

 

 

Ask participants to complete their expectations of the course, of the trainer, from others and from themselves.

Discussion Questions

  1. Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
  2. Can anyone explain why it is good for us to set expectations?
  3. How can we use these expectations for the rest of the training event?

Appropriate Time Required

Flexible, dependent on group size. Max 15 minutes.

Getting To Know People 

These are best used at the start of the session and should take no more than 5 – 10 minutes depending on the size of the group.

Objectives

To allow people to get to know each others names and some basic information about each other.

Method

There are many variations to this game but with some thought and imagination you will be able to build your own variations to meet the requirements of your training session.

A few will be outlined here to indicate how they work.

The Animal

Each person picks the name of an animal name that starts with the first letter of their own name. To illustrate, ‘I am Aardvark Alan’.

Then the next person continues by stating ‘that was Aardvark Alan and I am Bettle Bob’. And so on …

The Name

Ask each person to state their name and to give a little more information about their name. Why are they called that name? Is there any history associated with the name? Do they have a nickname? What other name do they like? And so on …

The Magical Ball

Every stands in a circle and the trainer introduces a magical ball (imaginary if none is available). When you receive the ball, you state your name and who you received the ball from. To illustrate, ‘I am Alan and I received the ball from Bob’. And so on …

When members receive the ball for a second time they have to also state where they are from – ‘I am Alan from Las Vegas and I received the ball from Bob’. And so on …

You can continue this game with many variations.

The Hobby

Ask participants to write their name on a blank name card and to draw something to do with their favorite hobby or past-time. Each person then has to state their name and describe the image that they have drawn detailing

  1. What they like about what their hobby?
  2. How long they have doing this?

Participant then use their name card for the rest of the session.

The Color

Ask participants to write their name on a blank name card using their favorite color. Each person then has to state their name and describe

  • What they chose the color?
  • How the color relates to them?

Participant then use their name card for the rest of the session.

Discussion Questions

  1. Did anyone feel uncomfortable doing this exercise? Is so, why?
  2. Can anyone explain why it is good for us to know each others names?

Awareness Games

These are best used at the start of the session and should take no more than 5 – 10 minutes depending on the size of the group.

Mystery Figure – Three Questions

Objectives

To increase awareness levels within the group.

Method

Participants are asked to guess the name of a mystery figure that the trainer has chosen.

During the exercise participants are allowed to ask only three questions in total which the trainer will respond with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.

Once a participant completes their three questions they are not allowed to ask any more questions and have to remain silent.

This game will encourage participants to be aware and take responsibility for their questioning and demonstrate the need for all the group to be working together.

Energizer Games

These are best used at the start of the session and should take no more than 5 – 10 minutes depending on the size of the group.

Musical Chairs

Objectives

To increase energy levels within the group.

Method

Place all the participant chairs in a line in the middle of the room and ask the group to sit on the chairs.

Use a radio or create a beat using hand claps. Ask the group to stand and when the music is played to walk around the chairs. When the music stops they have to sit on a chair nearest to them.

Gradually remove the chairs one at a time until all group members have to somehow sit on the same chair!

Chain Message

Objectives

To increase energy levels within the group.

Method

Ask the group to stand in a line.

The person at the back of the line is given the first line of a story (e.g., Seven tall men walked into a bar …) and asked to whisper the line to the person in front of them. The next person has to add a second line and whisper both lines to the person in front of them. This sequence continues with each additional participant adding another line until each reaches the front of the line where this person is asked to tell the story.

You can add a variation to this story where the group also has to tell the story backwards by going back down the line again.

Ice-Cream Islands

Objectives

To increase energy levels within the group.

Method

Place four large cushions in the centre of the room with a small gap between each pillow (You can use other items to represent the four places if you don’t have pillows).

Tell the participants that these are Islands called – Spring, Summer, Fall, & Winter. Indicate which island is which. Also let participants know that these islands are safe but that the water around them are shark infested and that they once they are on the island they cannot place any part of their body in the water for fear of their life!

Now in quick succession tell the participants:

  1. ‘All those who like ice-cream go to Spring Island’
  2. ‘All those who like vanilla ice-cream go to Fall Island’
  3. ‘All those who prefer chocolate ice-cream go to Summer Island’
  4. ‘All those who don’t like ice-cream go to Winter Island’

Stand back and watch the scramble.

Verbal Games

These are best used when you feel that the group will need to share more in the session and should take no more than 10 – 15 minutes depending on the size of the group.

Life Stories

Objectives

To increase sharing skills within the group.

Method

Participants each draw and complete a ‘tree of life’ on a sheet of paper.

The roots are used to represent their family, the trunk their supports, the leaves their success and the top their future aspirations.

The trees are then discussed with the group.

From Me – From You

Objectives

To increase sharing skills within the group.

Method

Participants are asked what they expect from members of the group (e.g., participation) and what they will share with the group (e.g., honesty).

All answers are placed on a flip-chart and it can be used as a contract between participants.

That’s Really Me

Objectives

To increase sharing skills within the group.

Method

Participants are asked to write down on a piece of paper one thing that no-one else in the group knows about them.

All answers are placed together and are picked out by participants one at a time. They are read aloud and participants have to guess who they refer to.

Closing Games

These are used when at the end of the session and should take no more than 10 – 15 minutes depending on the size of the group.

Wishes

Objectives

To recognize the end of the training session and the learning achieved.

Method

Everyone stands in a circle and makes a wish for themselves and for the whole group.

Reflections

Objectives

To recognize the end of the training session and the learning achieved.

Method

Everyone stands in a circle and states individually what the training session has meant for them.

Appreciations

Objectives

To recognize the end of the training session and the learning achieved.

Method

Everyone stands in a circle and offers positive appreciations to each other for their contribution to the training event.

Coming With Me

Objectives

To recognize the end of the training session and the learning achieved.

Method

Everyone stands in a circle and states what is coming with me from the group. This could include new skills, understandings or friendships.

Create Your Own Games

Objectives

 

 

 

 

 

Method