At the completion of a presentation, the conventional behavior is to wrap it up with a recap of the major points and a question-and-answer period. Although these conventions have merit and should not be over- looked in your planning, there are some more exciting and active ways to debrief and reinforce what has been presented. Consider these five methods.

Press Conference

Invite participants to prepare questions to submit for the trainer's response. Or provide a list of questions from which participants select.

1. During a seminar on a new statistical software package, the trainer periodically gave participants three questions that had emerged from the material he had just covered. Participants were asked to vote for one question to be reviewed before the trainer continued with the seminar. By doing this, the trainer helped the participants to review what they were learning throughout the day.

2. At the conclusion of a lecture on reserving factors in an accident claim, participants were formed into quartets. Each quartet was asked to pose a question to the trainer that would help to clarify the lecture presentation. Participants were urged to incorporate hypothetical cases into their questions.

Group Processing

Ask participants to reflect on the lecture's implications for them. Utilize any group format that you feel will maximize the quality of the processing.

1. A training group had just heard a lecture on five steps to effective meeting management. The participants were asked to break into small groups to discuss the following two questions: (1) "Which ideas were new for you and which were not?" and (2) "Which ideas do you think apply to your situation back home?"

2. A trainer completed a lecture on ten key points to remember when conducting a hiring interview:

a. Build rapport.

b. Describe the job and the organization

to the candidate.

c. Be aware of your body language.

d. Review the candidate's resume.

e. Ask as much as possible about the

candidate's past behavior.

f. Allow for silence.

g. Maintain control.

h. Seek contrary evidence.

i. Answer the candidate's questions.

j. Make important notes during the


The trainer then asked participants to discuss the following questions with a seat partner:

- Which of these behaviors comes easily to you? Which are difficult?

- Which do you want to practice more?

- What would help you to remember these key points the next time you conduct an interview?

Post-Lecture Case Problem

Pose a case problem for participants to solve based on the information given in the lecture.

1. In a training program on mortgage product sales, the trainer gave a lecture on the ingredients of a mortgage commitment. When the presentation was completed, the following short case problem was presented to participants:

- A customer has received a good-faith estimate and believes this is a mortgage commitment. Confused, the customer makes an appointment with you for an explanation.

In trios, participants were asked what they would explain to the customer.

2. At the conclusion of a presentation on bank products, the participants were formed into two groups and given the following case problem:

- A customer's daughter has just been accepted at a college with very high tuition. Unfortunately, she does not qualify for a State-guaranteed loan. She has come to you for alternatives. What would you recommend?

After a small group discussion, individuals from each group were matched with each other to compare notes on the case problem.

Participant Review

Ask participants to review the contents of the lecture with each other (in any group configuration) and commit the major points to memory. Or give them a self-scoring review test.

1. A trainer gave a presentation on six job-centered motivators that Herzberg believes have long-term effects on employee's attitudes:

a. achievement

b. recognition for achievement

c. the work itself

d. responsibility

e. growth

f. advancement

When he finished, he asked participants to put away their notes and write down the six motivators from memory, providing an example of each. He then allowed participants to check their answers against their notes.

2. In a stress-management seminar, the trainer explained and demonstrated more than twenty stretching and relaxation exercises one can do while seated in an office. Participants were given a brief opportunity to practice each of the exercises. Assuming that participants could easily forget many of the exercises (even with a summary handout), the trainer divided participants into pairs and asked them to remember as many of the exercises as possible. Pairs were then allowed to check with each other to identify most of the twenty exercises. After working this hard to recall the exercises, the trainer hypothesized, individual participants likely would recall many of them for future use, without prompts and aids.

Experiential Activity

Design an activity that dramatically summarizes or illustrates the lecture you have given. Utilize any of the experiential learning approaches (role playing, games/simulations, observation, mental imagery, writing tasks, and projects).

1. A trainer gave a lecture on family systems to drug and alcohol counselors who were learning to use a family-treatment approach in their work. In particular, the lecture examined issues or proximity in families,how some family members are closely connected and how others become disengaged. At the conclusion, the trainer asked participants to join him in forming a circle, holding hands. He then released himself from the person to his right and began to lead the person to his left (and, consequently, all the participants who were connected to her) over and under the clasped hands of other participants. The result was a human knot, with some participants facing others and some facing no one. In addition, some participants emerged in comfortable body positions while others were in awkward positions. With the participants thus entangled, the trainer (who managed to end up in a comfortable position facing several other participants) began a discussion on a recent, controversial film. The discussion continued for several minutes, with some participants contributing easily and others showing little desire to become involved. The knot was then untangled, and participants returned to their seats. The trainer asked the participants to discuss their experiences in the knot and to relate them to the lecture he had just presented. It was a dramatic demonstration of the varied degrees of involvement and detachment possible within a group or human system..

2. A trainer had just finished a lecture entitled "How Brain Dominance Affects Teaching/Learning Style." She wanted to reinforce the lecture with a demonstration showing that, if we teach only from our preferred mode, frustration will result for both teacher and student. She asked participants to pair off and for each pair to decide who would be the student and who would be the teacher. "Students" then were asked to write out their responses to this question: "What are the first two steps you would like your teacher to take in order to help you learn how to drive a car most effectively?" "Teachers" were asked to respond in writing to a comparable question: "What are the two first steps you would take in order to teach someone how to drive a car most effectively?" Each pair was then asked to compare responses and discuss any discrepancies and/or similarities between the steps proposed by the "teacher" and those desired by the "student." Pairs were also asked to compare their scores on the Hermann Brain Dominance Inventory, which had previously been completed and profiled for each participant, and to try to draw some conclusions about the impact of their learning styles on their approaches to teaching.

Lisa Willich is a public relations consultant based in Seal Beach.

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