Table of Contents

“I always run out of time”

You put together an amazing design and your audience is completely engaged.  They’ve been participating throughout the session.  They’re loving it.  You’re loving it.  There’s only one problem.

You still have about 30 minutes of material left to present.  And you only have 5 more minutes remaining in your session.

Getting through your complete lesson requires time management on two fronts:

  1. Time management for the facilitator(s)
  2. Time management for the participants

Facilitator Time Management. As the facilitator, there are two points in time that are essential to your time management: 1. the planning stage and 2. the delivery.

During the planning, it’s a good idea to use a lesson plan in which you can estimate the amount of time you should spend on any given activity.  While some activities may take a little more (or a little less) time than you’ve estimated, you’ll know that if you want to get through your entire lesson, there shouldn’t be much variance from your initial plan.  Sometimes it’s difficult to estimate the time it will take to complete an activity, which is why it’s also a good idea to do a rehearsal in order to refine your time estimates.

During the delivery, it’s helpful to have a clock someplace in the room.  If there’s not a clock, then your watch or your mobile phone will do.  You’ll want to take your watch off or take your mobile phone out of your pocket and put it someplace where you’ll be able to check it discreetly.  If you get caught looking at your watch or pulling your mobile phone out of your pocket to check the time too often, your audience may feel you’re not very interested in them.

Participant Time Management. Breaking participants up for small group discussions, role plays, skills practice or other small group work is the best way to engage your audience and ensure they’re “getting it.”  However, this requires giving up some control.  It also requires active monitoring on the part of a facilitator to ensure the group is on task.  Giving clear instructions and a clear time limit are key pieces to successful small group work.  If the participants are not clear on how much time they’ve been given to complete the task or if they’re unclear on how much time remains to complete the task, small group activities can last much longer than you’ve budgeted in your lesson design.

The Mega Timer
The Mega Timer
Free Online Countdown Timer
Free Online Countdown Timer

When I break the audience up into small groups, I always show the audience exactly how much time they have for their work by using a Mega Timer placed conspicuously at the front of the classroom or by using an online countdown timer that can be displayed on the projection screen.

Do you have tips to stay on topic and on time?  Please add your thoughts to the comments section.

The Train Like A Champion Blog is published Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  If you think someone else might find this interesting, please pass it along.  If you don’t want to miss a single, brilliant post, be sure to click “Follow”!  And now you can find sporadic, 140-character messages from me on Twitter @flipchartguy.

Instructor-Led Training Resources

These are some of our favorite resources to support everyone involved with instructor-led training.

Training Delivery and Facilitation Competency Rubric

A rubric is a way to assess performance with a standard set of evaluation criteria. The next time you need to assess the performance of someone delivering training (even if that someone is you), you may find this rubric helpful.

The Role of Co-facilitators

Co-facilitators play an important role in a training workshop. The most obvious benefit is that when you co-facilitate, you get a break from leading the

18 Instructor-led Training Activities

Engaging, intentional, face-to-face and virtual instructor-led training activities can make the difference between a session that helps learners to apply new skills or knowledge and one that falls flat.

Articles Similar to “I always run out of time”

facilitator competency rubric
ILT & VILT
Brian Washburn

Training Delivery and Facilitation Competency Rubric

A rubric is a way to assess performance with a standard set of evaluation criteria. The next time you need to assess the performance of someone delivering training (even if that someone is you), you may find this rubric helpful.

instructor becomes the pupil with kassy laborie and zovig garboushian
ILT & VILT
Brian Washburn

Turning the Tables: From Trainer to Student

As people who have designed and delivered effective training, Kassy Laborie and Zovig Garboushian know a thing or two about good learning experiences. So what nuggets have they gleaned from a 9-month course that they’re both attending, and that all of us should consider when designing our own programs? Today’s podcast answers that question.

John Crook on role play
ILT & VILT
Brian Washburn

Is this the world’s most effective role play?

When it comes to your training participants, two of the dirtiest, or perhaps scariest, words you can say during a session may be: role play. In today’s podcast, John Crook, Head of Learning at Intersol Global, offers some thoughts on how to make role plays more authentic and robust.

Subscribe to Get Updates from Endurance Learning

Brian Washburn, Author

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll send you the latest updates from our blog. Thanks for following!

training facilitator evaluation rubric - page 2

Download the Facilitator Evaluation Rubric

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the rubric to help you assess the skills of someone delivering training.

Grow your L&D Career Today!

The Foundations of L&D course through the L&D Pro Academy provides the concepts and practical experience you need to grow your confidence and abilities as a well-rounded L&D professional.

Enter your email below and we’ll be in touch with an info sheet!

L&D Pro Academy

Find Your L&D Career Path

Explore the range of careers to understand what role might be a good fit for your L&D career.

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the What’s Possible in L&D Worksheet.

What's possible in L&D

Let's Talk Training!

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll get back to you soon.

Download the Feedback Lesson Plan

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the lesson plan as a PDF.

feedback lesson plan
MS Word Job Aid Template

Download the Microsoft Word Job Aid Template

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the Word version of this template.

Download the Free Lesson Plan Template!

Enter your email below and we’ll send you a Word document that you can start using today!

free lesson plan template
training materials checklist

Download the Training Materials Checklist

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the Training Materials Checklist.

Subscribe to Endurance Learning for updates

Get regular updates from the Endurance Learning team.