Engaging Participants Through Interactive Activities

In my previous post, I mentioned I was at the 2012 ASTD conference in Denver attending a pre-conference workshop called Interactive Techniques for Instructor-led Training. This workshop was led by Sivasailim Thaigarajan, Ph.D. and Tracy Tagliati. The entire session was great, and I picked up a number of ideas. In this post, I am going to share with you some of the interactive activities and games presented in the workshop. All of these can be found on The Thiagi Group Web site. If you are looking for ideas for your instruction, I suggest exploring their site and subscribing to their newsletter.

Here are the interactive activities demonstrated and modeled in today’s class:

Hello Game – A great game to obtain information from your participants either to start a program, to do a midday review, or to summarize at the end of a day.

Missing Sentence Game – This is an interactive lecture activity which is very useful to summarize a conversation or lecture.

The Thiagi Group has 36 free activities for interactive lectures.

Pages Game – A useful game for reviewing terms or concepts such as those found in a glossary.

$10 Auction – This was a fascinating game that illustrated the importance of debriefing an exercise. In our case, it was played with a $10 bill and a $5 minimum bid. This is a great exercise for facilitators.

Menu of 20 Reasons Game – This game was a quick way to learn new concepts. I enjoyed participating in this exercise.

Audio Tic Tac Toe – This exercise demonstrated how you could overload participants, and observe the results. This a cognitive simulation.

Envelopes Game – I see this very similar to the World Cafe. It is a great tool for learning about participants attitudes and opinions about a subject.

Thirty-Five Game – This is a quick Delphi exercise to rate ideas that are generated from a group of participants.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of games and activities that can be used and according to Thiagi should be used to replace content presentations. These activities are to pass on principles, concepts, and content through engagement. See what you can replace in your lectures by incorporating interactive activities. If you are at the University of Wyoming and are curious, please come see me.

Let’s do a better job of engaging!