Anagram Closer

We have used different puzzles for reviewing the content at the end of a training webinar. By making sure that the solution to the puzzle is related to the content presented earlier, the puzzle-solving activity serves an instructional purpose.


One of our favorite review games involves anagram puzzles. What is an anagram? It is a word or a phrase that when you rearrange the letters, you come up with another word or phrase which is the solution.

Here’s a sample anagram:

wine bar

When you rearrange the letters in this phrase, you come up with webinar as the solution.

This article describes a LOLA (Live Online Learning Activity) that we used recently as a closer for a training webinar on trust building.


To recall five factors that influence a person’s trustworthiness


10 to 15 minutes

Technical Requirements

A chat box that permits the participants to type their responses. This chat box should permit setting the message to be visible only to the facilitator or to the entire room.


Identify the words to be reviewed. Go through the content presented earlier in the webinar and identify 5 to 8 key words or technical terms.

Our webinar on trust explored these five key trust factors:

  1. Selflessness
  2. Predictability
  3. Authenticity
  4. Relatedness
  5. Know-How

Instead of asking the participants to work directly with these words, we decided to play with synonyms of these words. Here are the five synonyms that we came up with:

  1. Support
  2. Dependability
  3. Transparency
  4. Connection
  5. Acumen

Create anagrams. Come up with suitable anagrams for the review words. This used to be a time-consuming activity. Fortunately, however, there are powerful online tools available to perform this task for us. Our preferred tool can be found at On a convenient form, you type the key word (or phrase) and the program immediately spits out a long list of anagrams.

In our webinar on trust, we came up with these anagrams:

  1. up ports
  2. ad pen debility
  3. cranes pantry
  4. conic tenon
  5. mu cane

Prepare slides. Create a slide with the anagrams for use during the webinar. Also create slides with examples and instructions for the activity.


Explain the nature of anagrams. Give a brief definition and an example.

This is what I said in our webinar on trust:

An anagram is a word or a phrase that if you rearrange the letters, you come up with a different word or a phrase.

I displayed a slide with the phrase “wine bar”.

For example, look at this phrase. Can you rearrange the letters in this phrase to spell out an event that we are currently attending?

I paused briefly.

Yes, the letters in “wine bar” spell “webinar”.

Brief the participants. Recap the topic and specify the area for the anagrams.

In our webinar on trust, this is what I said:

Earlier we explored the five factors that influence your trustworthiness; selflessness, predictability, authenticity, relatedness, and know-how. In this activity, we are going to use anagrams for suitable synonyms for these five factors.

Display the anagrams. Show the complete list.

In our webinar, I displayed all five anagrams. I said:

Here are five anagrams. They are synonyms of the five trust factors.

Each anagram spells out a single word.

Study the list and see if you can solve any of the anagrams.

Process the first anagram. Focus the participants’ attention on the first anagram. Ask them to rearrange the letters to spell the appropriate word. Ask them to type the solution in the chat box that is set to send the message only to the facilitator (to prevent the other participants from stealing their intellectual property).

Supply clues to simplify the task. Optimize the difficulty level of the puzzle so the task falls inside the flow channel between frustration and boredom.

Here are some of the prompts I used in the trust webinar:

This word is a synonym of Selflessness.

It is related to helping others.

The word begins with the letter S.

The word ends with the letter T.

We used these prompts only as needed.

Conclude the processing of the first anagram. After the elapse of suitable time, announce the solution. Congratulate the participants who had successfully unscrambled the anagram.

In case you are curious, the solution is support.

Repeat the process with the other anagrams. Go through the list, one item at a time. Perform your balancing act between too difficult and too easy.

Conclude the activity. After the participants have solved all the anagrams (with appropriate help from you), announce the end of the activity. Briefly recap the review words and relate them to the concept of trust.