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Are You a Training Rock Star?

At a concert this week, I watched my favorite band walk out with a big piece of paper they laid in front of them before the show. Even many rows back, I knew immediately this paper contained the setlist and I impatiently wanted to know what it said. Setlists are an interesting art, and bands have different approaches to their creation. While varied in approach, it is hard to miss that most bands are using this list to balance the energy of the audience.

Do You Create a Training Setlist?

Every presentation should be engaging, but how do we know how our participants will react to our engaging activities? How do we balance our instruction with engagement? I wouldn’t say there is a silver bullet, but I think we can start by creating a facilitator guide that is curated like a set list. Let’s take a deeper look at how to approach a facilitator guide like a set list.

First Set

The way a band kicks off their show sets the tone of the experience. If they start with a lot of high energy, they will need to bring it down to give the audience a break and vice versa when starting with a lower energy. If your training starts with activities on either extreme of the energy spectrum, look for ways to balance that with a recharging activity.

The Hits

As long as bands want to continue selling tickets, they keep playing their greatest hits at their shows. While new is exciting, familiar facilitates connection. Give participants the opportunity to find a relation to content by giving them something familiar. A few ways to accomplish this would be allowing them to share experiences with one another or giving them an analogy to something familiar.

The Intermission

Breaks are important. Don’t forget to build break time into your training.


Good training leaves participants with a good encore, and I am not suggesting you come back into the training room after dismissing your participants. The training encore is where you give participants something unique to remember or to will bring with them in the future. During your encore, give your participants a call to action or an important resource that completes their experience.

That is how I would create my training setlist.

Are you a training rock star? How do you rock your training room? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

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