Think back to the last time you went to an amusement park. Fun was all around you – food, rides, themes, music, thrills and laughter. Roller coasters towered above your head with their steep hills and big loops and the log flume taunted you with the opportunity to make a big splash. There were games and surprises around every corner. Pretty memorable, right?
You might remember exactly how you felt exiting the coaster car, buying that special souvenir or enjoying an ice cream cone as big as your head. So, why was that experience so memorable? In short, because the fun you experienced increased your levels of dopamine, endorphins, and oxygen which put your brain in a state that is optimized for learning and memory retention.
What if we could apply this phenomenon to work or, even more specifically, training? The more fun you have, the more likely you are to retain it.
Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun. – Randy Pausch
Keep Training on Track
Amusement parks host large groups of people who are participating in the same type of activity. Each person will process the experience in their own way, but the map of the park is the same. The trainer’s job is to keep the group moving, incorporate highs and lows, and anticipate roadblocks such as daydreaming, clock-watching, and multi-tasking. Just like on a roller coaster – staying on track leads to fun!
Participants in training programs enter the room with some anticipation of the unknown – just like the feeling you had when the coaster car is “clickety clacking” up the steep incline of a new track. Will the trainer be fun or boring? Will I be asked to speak? Am I the only one in our group who’s afraid of heights?
Training is more involved than a 30-second thrill ride, so how do you keep people’s attention? Start by being memorable with a well placed story or joke and showing some personality. Funny stories, clever use of memes, hands-on activities and role play to name a few.
Packaging information in fun and engaging ways helps trainees stay open-minded and inspired.
Give the People What They Want
Amusement parks have takeaways lining the shelves of their gift shops to offer people a token item to remember their experience. T-shirts to wear, shot glasses to collect and colorful magnets for the fridge. Great training also offers takeaways in the form of knowledge, new skills, key phrases, useful scenarios, stories and more. The job of a trainer is to give people what they want AND what they need with sprinkles of fun.
People go to amusement parks to take a break from the everyday routines and take in as much fun as possible. Training offers participants a break from the everyday routine of their jobs. Extra snacks, breaks and sometimes even shorter days add to the fun of training.
1 out of every 3 employees say that uninspiring content is a barrier to their learning. Humans forget 40% of what they’ve learned after 20 minutes and 64% after just nine hours. This statistic emphasizes the importance of memorable experiences and inspiring content. Training must be fun and engaging to be effective.
Fun is just another word for learning. – Raph Koster
Similar to roller coaster designers, our trainers develop an experience, pace the “ride” with precise detail, organize intense moments with lower intensity moments for trainees to process the material, all while keeping everyone’s safety and enjoyment in mind. It isn’t an easy task, but it’s one that we have mastered after years of practice and experimentation. Don’t take our word for it…see what our trainees had to say after the session:
- “The upbeat atmosphere made it easy to stay alert and accept information.”
- “This training was engaging which kept us focused to retain the information.”
- “Very informative, kept us engaged! All businesses should do training like this.”
- “The trainer was very upbeat and kept the group as a whole engaged. I rarely get the opportunity to attend a “fun” training and this was just that “fun.”
Just like gravity, fun is a powerful force. Not only is fun training more enjoyable for the learner, it’s more effective and in turn reduces the need for costly retraining. Use it to your advantage! Contact us today.