There are a number of ways trainers, facilitators, and consultants can increase strategic training participation. Below are just a few ideas to help you get started.
1. When participants ask you a question, ask another member of the group to answer it.
2. When you feel the need to reach consensus or to move the group along, call on someone to summarize.
3. Give participants enough time to think out their answer to a question before calling on someone to answer. Then, call on others to add to what was said.
4. Don’t wait for volunteers to answer questions; call on people by name. This will avoid having the same people answering every time.
5. When someone answers, do not say, “I don’t agree.” Let the group make their own decisions to ask participants to “weigh-in” on what was said.
6. As leaders emerge within the group, ask these people to summarize your discussions on a flip chart.
7. Encourage participants to sit in different places at each meeting to get to know others in the group and to provide a diverse learning experience.
Adapted from: Scott B. Parry and Edward J. Robinson, Participative Techniques of Group Instruction.