(First published, April 2004)
Here's a closer that encourages participants to recall what happened in the session and come up with second thoughts about how they could have benefited more. It also creates useful materials for an interesting icebreaker.
To review the training session and identify personal highlights.
15 to 30 minutes
A postcard-sized piece of card stock for each participant
Flip chart paper
Brief participants. Present the following scenario, using your own words:
Imagine it's three months ago, and you received an e-mail note from a friend indicating that she's going to attend this training session. She is curious about your experiences with the session and wants your advice on how to get the most out of it. You are ready to respond to her by sending her a postcard.
Begin the postcard writing activity. Ask participants to think back on the training session and recall one or two highlights. Also ask them to think about what two pieces of advice they should give this friend. Distribute a blank “postcard” to each participant and ask him or her to write a short, friendly note incorporating the highlights and the advice. Announce a 5-minute time limit.
Conclude the postcard-writing activity. Ask participants who have finished ahead of the others to decorate their postcards with doodles. When everyone has concluded, collect the postcards and thank the participants.
Ask participants to compare notes. Organize participants into teams of 3 to 7 and ask them to share what they wrote on their postcards.
Create joint postcards. Ask each team to write a joint note to the imaginary friend using large letters on a sheet of flip chart paper positioned horizontally (landscape format). Announce a 5-minute time limit.
Display the joint postcards. After a suitable pause, ask teams to tape their giant postcards to the wall of the meeting room. Encourage the participants take a gallery walk and review the products from the other teams.