Quizzes for your training programmes


How to run a quiz to teach a subject
Many trainers run quizzes or tests during their training courses or at the end to help capture learning and events.  But have you ever run a quiz to actually teach something from scratch? It works, is fun, and I’ve done it many times, so let me share with you how you can do it. It works especially well if you wish to teach something quite technical that’s contained in a booklet or workbook or textbook. First of all, you need to decide what you want to cover in your course. And you should have this within a handout or workbook.  Then you announce the quiz to your group. You’ll want to explain to the pragmatic ones why you are doing this.

They will be thinking a quiz won’t teach them anything, but it does. As always, announce instructions in steps, keeping a tight control over the explanation so that everyone is listening. Next put them into teams. You decide the size and structure of these, but I have often worked with groups of forty people. Teams mustn’t be any bigger than four or five. Then set them the task of designing five or six questions based on the material in front of them. Give them index cards to write the questions on and ensure they appreciate the need for the answers on the reverse of the card.  Give them time to create the questions. Suggest they don’t go for easy questions. Put the score cards on the white board or flip chart, clearly laid out, and begin round one.

When they have finished, ask them for a team name; encourage cool and funky names, such as the Winners or the Cool Gang, something humorous. Confirm that each team will ask one of their questions to another team and that there’ll be four rounds. You have fifteen seconds to determine the right answer, and you can refer to your textbook or brochure during this time.  If you are incorrect, then you can allow a bonus to another team worth three marks. Begin round one.

Give a big prize to the winning team, and as always, debrief the exercise by GLU’ing the whole thing together

Make it fun and quiz showy. Deduct marks for insolence; award extra marks for smiling, good questions, or because you can. Keep it moving; do scores after each round; promise a prize; make the event exciting. After a few times of running your quiz session, you’ll collect some good questions so you could have a ‘Paul Round’ to tighten up on the learning objectives. Give a big prize to the winning team, and as always, debrief the exercise by GLU’ing the whole thing together.

G – What did you get from the exercise?
L –  What did you learn?
U  –  How could you use it in your work?

Don’t be afraid to run a quiz session around a particular technical subject. Allocate a good hour; you’ll have some fun, and they’ll learn a whole lot more than if you forced a dozen PowerPoint slides at them.

Ready-made quiz
Give each learning team half a dozen index cards and ask them to write questions about the subject matter on the card with the answer on the reverse. Collect all the cards and run a quiz along the lines of a quiz show with points and prizes.

Answer search
Ask each learner to write three or more questions on a piece of paper.  Ask them to wander around the room and find someone to ask one of their questions.  If they know the answer, great. If not, then the pair needs to find someone who does. The aim is to have all the questions asked. To review ask some learners to read out their questions and confirm the answers.

Question marathon
Put people in pairs. Designate one partner ‘A’ and the other ‘B.’ Have ‘A’ ask ‘B’ questions nonstop for five minutes, one question after the other.  Questions can be a mix of ones the questioners know the answer to and ones they don’t. Have them make notes of the questions neither ‘A’ nor ‘B’ can answer. After the allotted time, have the partners exchange roles. After this exercise the class as a whole, together with the facilitator, can field any questions that remain unanswered.

Question Post
Give learners several large Post-it notes and ask them to write on each one a question they have about the learning material. Ask them to post their questions anonymously on a question board on the wall or on a flip chart. During a break, ask learners to examine the questions and pick off those that they can answer. After the break, have learners read to the class the questions they have picked and give the answers. Learners and the facilitator can add to these answers as appropriate.

Question Ball
Give each person a full sheet of blank paper Ask everyone to write a question that they have on the paper. Ask them to print their question so someone can easily read it and to not sign their name. Have them ball up the paper. You can then collect the question balls in a bucket and redistribute them by throwing one to every person in the class. Or if the group needs a physical energizer, you can ask them to stand up and have a snowball fight with the question balls, seeing how many people they can hit in three seconds. Then, at a signal, ask everyone to pick up a ball, open it, and use any person or resource in the room to help answer the question on it. After a few minutes, ask everyone to read their question to the class and give its answer.

Put all your (question) cards on the table
Distribute blank index cards to learners seated five or six to a table. Ask each learner to write the questions they have about the learning material on the cards, one question per card. Then ask all the people at the table to combine their cards into one deck. Have each table select a dealer. The dealer then shuffles the deck and deals the cards face down to everyone at the table. Each learner in turn reads while you play music. Ask them to keep passing the question cards around the circle to the person on the right. When the music stops, they’ll be given one to three minutes to formulate an answer to the question they are holding. They can use any person or resource in the room to help them answer it. Then everyone reads their question and gives its answer.

Hot potato question circle
Ask people to stand and form a circle. Have one of the learners start the play by asking a question and throwing a Koosh ball or other soft ball to anyone in the circle. The person catching the ball has to answer the question. If the person cannot answer the question immediately, they quickly throw the ball like a hot potato to someone else in the circle. The ball keeps circulating until someone can answer the question posed. The person answering the question gets to ask a new question and the process starts all over again. Instead of a Koosh ball, you could use an actual potato. (Variation: To prime the pump, the facilitator can give everyone in the circle a card with a question on it to be asked when it’s their turn.)

Team question exchange
Divide the learners into two or more teams. Ask each team to devise a ten- or twenty question quiz for another team that would test their understanding of the learning material. Teams then exchange question sets. The first team to answer all their questions correctly wins a bag of peanuts or some other prize.

Stump your buddy
In the middle or at the end of a presentation, put people in pairs. Have partners ask each other five questions about the subject matter – both questions they know the answer to and those they don’t, If neither partner can answer a question posed, the partners ask this question to the whole group at the end of the exercise.

Pass the hat
Ask everyone to put one or more of their questions on a card and put it in a hat. Then have each learner pull a question from the hat and read it to the class. The first person to answer it correctly gets a point, or a prize. The facilitator answers only those questions that none of the learners can.






About Author

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Paul Archer is an Online Sales Trainer, Speaker and Conference Host. He’d be happy to assist you in moving your workshops online during this challenging period. Email him on paul@paularcher.com or LinkIn with him at www.paularcher.uk The world of sales development has changed, many have missed this and boldly go on to run courses in the old-fashioned way. You want to develop your people – professional advisers, salespeople, coaches - and know there is a better way. He can help you. Think about music. I mean the music industry. In 2000 music became free, illegally at first with Napster, downloads became cheap as chips and streaming now cost $10 a month. In the same way, traditional self-development is now free. Everything is available online. Music artists and bands now make their money performing live. The live experience is what fans will pay money for. Recorded music is merely to create demand for the live experience. He brings his 35+ years of sales expertise and experience to you in two ways: Online, on-demand, just in time. He doesn’t run “just in case” training courses, they’re a thing of the past. Development should be “just in time”. Curated video, live videocasts and webinars, podcasts — books, articles and blog posts delivered via his Learning Platforms, YouTube or your in-house systems. Live. He can bring his expertise to your teams in live sessions, but these are rare now and need to be exceptional events. Conferences, seminars and events, he can educate, entertain them with my unique speaking style that has been enjoyed by thousands of sale people and advisers across the globe. Forty-five minutes, 2 hours, maybe a day – you choose. You figured there was a better way to develop your sales teams, you are right, and now you may want to make contact with him so you can talk further. You can Linkin with him at www.paularcher.uk, and he’ll start a conversation or head to his YouTube Channel for more at www.paularcher.tv email him at paul@paularcher.com or phone him on +44 7702 341769, and where ever you are in the world he’d love to hear from you. Paul is a prolific writer and blogger – maintaining three blogs, with www.paularcher.com attracting thousands of hits from all over the world. He has published eight books. His latest tome "Pocketbook of Presentation Skills” was released in January 2020 and is available from Amazon. The third edition of his book “Train the Trainer of the 21st Century” is also available from Amazon.

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