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The Training Page of Volunteer Today has practical trainer techniques and activities to make orientation sessions more productive and valuable. There are also ideas to help enhance the professional volunteer manager's training level.

~ May 2006 ~ Topics

Getting Them In Groups
Facts to Remember When Training

Getting Learners In Groups

Volunteers who attend trainings or meetings congregate with their friends and neighbors, people they know. This does not help build team spirit or camaraderie. There are the usual means of breaking people into groups; number off, color name tags, and other things. Try these on for size!

Ask people to form small groups to get acquainted or for discussion purposes:
Groups are formed by favorite type of music-jazz, classical, pop, rock country, latino, soul, hip-hop.
Groups are formed based on favorite foods-Italian, French, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican. . .the list is endless.
A variation on the food is to ask people to separate by their favorite food group-vegetables, beef, pork, chicken, citrus, fish, etc.

Want more ideas for training? Check out our online bookstore for Sharing Moments of Recognition Every Day by Linda L. Graff. Details for Slide Shows Book

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Facts to Remember When Training

After a month we remember---

    • 14% of what we hear
    • 22% of what we see
    • 30% of what we watch others do (demonstrations)
    • 42% of things repeated using lots of our senses (rituals that use seeing, hearing and the doing of skills or discussion of ideas)
    • 72% of imagined life experiences or "movies of the mind"
    • 83% of a life challenging activity
    • 92% of what we teach others

A child is like the inexperienced birdwatcher for whom every bird is a first. The adult is the experienced veteran who approaches eac h sighting with a highly complicated set of expectations and a great deal of experience against which to check what he/she sees; every field identification for him is structure by these past experiences.
~ Harry L. Miller ~


Close to 200 colleges and universities offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management. They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out the professional development window, consider taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides at http://pirate.shu.edu/~mirabero/kellogg.html. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.

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