Tips For Teaching A Half-Day Workshop

Here are helpful tips to help you prepare a dynamic half-day session that will provide participants with valuable skills and resources.

If you've ever attended a half-day session that turned out to be a dud, you know that a training session needs to be well organized for success. A great deal of thought should go into the planning phase to ensure that participants get their money's worth, and more.

As a trainer you want to make the most of your time with the attendees, since a few hours may be all you will ever have to help the group meet specific goals and objectives. Here are a few guidelines that can make the session work well for everyone.

1. Limit attendance. A group of 15 is ideal. If the number is much lower, interaction may drag. Larger groups will not be able to participate in a variety of activities, and the session may turn into more of a lecture.

2. Schedule a useful facility. Unless the session will be held at the job site, choose a meeting room at a local conference center or hotel that is convenient for attendees to find. Find out which equipment is provided, like an overhead projector, and which items you may need to bring. Check the area in advance to plan seating arrangements and activity layouts. Test electrical outlets and temperature gauges.

3. Plan refreshments. A continental breakfast is great for a morning session, while lunch helps to attract an afternoon crowd. Whether or not you serve a meal, at the midpoint you may want to make beverages and snacks available during the restroom break.

4. Organize the presentation. Obtain supplies like name tags, paper and pens. Prepare training materials, including transparencies or handouts. For a half-day time period, you may want to utilize a set-up like this one:

8:30 to 9:00

Arrive, greet people, put on name tag, coffee

9:00 to 9:15

Introduce presenter and session overview

9:15 to 9:45

Cover first point with lecture, video

9:45 to 10:15

Interactive exercise (role play, problem solving)

10:15 to 10:25


10:25 to 11:00

Cover second point with handouts, small groups

11:00 to 11:30

Reconvene to discuss findings and summarize

11:30 to 11:45

Questions and answers, resource list

11:45 to noon


Similar activities can be set up for an afternoon or evening slot.

5. Promote the event in advance. You may want registrants to take a pretest or review materials before the session. Some presenters solicit questions or issues from staff members ahead of time so these can be incorporated into the schedule. Another option is to distribute case studies beforehand for discussion at the workshop. Send reminders a few days before the event so attendees will not forget.

6. Offer take-away value. A reading or resource list, handouts, visual aids, summary of observations, or other tangible results of the presentation can provide lasting value to participants. Give them something to use for future reference, and include your name with contact information. They may invite you to come back for another session.

A half-day training event should be carefully planned and carried out. Start early to ensure that everyone comes away feeling satisfied and inspired.

© High Speed Ventures 2011