SIDS Program Manual Trainer's Guide SIDS & Infant Death Program Manual and Trainer's Guide


During the Training


Energizers can be used at anytime during training when the energy or attention of the participants is low. Energizers should take no more than five to ten minutes. They are really intended to get people up and moving, not to spend a long time discussing ideas. They are especially helpful right after a meal when people are often sluggish. Introduce energizers with enthusiasm because some participants may be reluctant to act silly.

Model the activity first and be an active participant yourself. Your participation gives participants permission to get involved, too. For examples of energizers, see Appendix F: Icebreakers, Energizers and Closing Activities.

Encouraging Group Participation

When participants take an active role in their learning, they are more likely to own the information and skills covered during the training. People are more likely to participate actively in a training session if you:

  • Maintain relaxed body language.
  • Use an icebreaker to help participants relax, get to know each other and get ready to learn. Specific examples of some icebreakers are described in Appendix F: Icebreakers, Energizers and Closing Activities.
  • Set group norms, sometimes called ground rules, to help make the training a safe, comfortable and productive learning environment.
  • Ask participants to give examples to illustrate a point. This strategy ensures that examples are relevant to participants.
  • Bounce back to the group questions you receive from participants, as appropriate. What do other people think about this? and What other ideas do you have? are ways to show participants that you recognize their expertise.
  • Show participants that you appreciate their contributions by saying things such as, That’s a good point, Thank you for bringing that up, or Many people have that same question.
  • Link discussion back to comments participants made earlier in the session, such as, As Monique said earlier, this is a very emotionally-charged subject.
  • Bridge forward to what comes next, by saying things like, After break, we’re going to practice putting these new insights into action.
  • Move around. If you stand behind a podium, you are likely to appear distant or inaccessible to participants.