Increase Participation


Here are 22 Steps you can use to increase participation and involvement in your training sessions.


How To Increase Participation and Involvement

  1. Arrange frequent small group sessions.
  2. Ask for frequent neighbor discussions to guarantee everyone participates.
  3. Move away from the center of the room, sit rather than stand, move to the back of the room to take emphasis off yourself. This also forces the participants to follow your movements rather than being focused on one place – the front of the room.
  4. Ask many questions. [amprotect=1,2,3,4]
  5. When a question is asked, get everyone to think before someone answers.
  6. Get everyone to write down their answers briefly before someone answers.
  7. Sometimes ask people to stand when they have written down their answers. When everyone is standing, ask for answers. (Standing provides a stretch and keeps people alert.)
  8. Relay questions back to participants.
  9. When a lengthy answer is required, get a number or participants to give only part of the answer to each.
  10. Ask “yes” or “no” questions and poll the group by asking them to raise their hands.
  11. Use puzzles to develop a “response habit”.
  12. Ask participants to respond and give feedback to each other.
  13. Ask participants to react to each other’s comments.
  14. Give participants a handout with questions to answer. Pause periodically and get them to answer questions then give feedback.
  15. Be quiet when you want participation (participants will fill the silence).
  16. When possible, devote 2/3 or more of a section to participant activity and feedback regarding that activity. Try to limit instructor/trainer input to 1/3 or less.
  17. When reading is required, give participants a task while reading (e.g. check of the most valuable items, check off the items that are new to them, check the items they disagree with or the items that applies to them most…).
  18. Give participants ten minutes at the beginning to ask questions about the course or the trainer. Get small groups to create questions together.
  19. In a course in which many questions are asked, get the participant who answers a question to select the next person to answer. People pay closer attention and have some fun in putting their friends on the spot.
  20. After a lecture or discussion, ask groups to summarize the main points.
  21. Set up a FYI sheet or spot on the all. Participants can put up post-it notes of ideas for others to read.
  22. To generate questions from participants:
    • State directly that you genuinely want questions.
    • Pause occasionally and ask for questions.
    • Use slipwriting (ask everyone to write one question on paper and pass it on to you. Read all questions out loud. Then answer or relay some questions back to the group).
    • Use neighbor discussions by asking people to pair off with a partner and together come up with one question on the material.
    • Ask groups to devise tough questions to be answered by other groups.

The above steps will definitely help you in your efforts to increase participation and involvement in all of your sessions. However, as you can see planning is crucial to your success.[/amprotect]