Introducing Delegates |

Introducing Delegates

When you deliver a course how do you introduce yourself to your delegates and them to each other? It would help if you gave the approximate number of delegates involved...

"Go round the room" not allowed!


russlater's picture

pair everyone off

give them 2 minutes each to interview the other; to find out

1 who the person is

2 what they do

3 what they want out of the day/course

4 a little secret

then each person presents their colleague into the room in one minute or less

I don't use this every time but quite often it is an appropriate way to open proceedings


SteveRobson's picture


Would your choice of intro depend on age, level in company and number in group?

I say this beacase I think any Trainer should have many ways of intros as they are probably the most important part of any course or session...



andrewjacobs's picture

I usually have an activity after the domestics that I do before the introductions - join the dots, if your department were a car, if you were in a circus which role would you adopt etc.


I ask for a volunteer to speak first and then use the volunteer to nominate someone else in the room.  That person speaks, I ask the personal information - name, work area, objective, etc - and they nominate someone else.  At the end, I'm rarely nominated so make a point of adding my response.


It works well for groups up to 15 or so.

If delegates are going to be together for a day or less then individual stand-up intros are what I use.  If they will be together for 2 days plus (especially of 3 days or more) one method I use builds strong rapport and begins to build trust (especially if there will be small team activities or breakout groups):

1. Give everyone a 15" by 19" white board and pen markers in at least 4 colors;

2. Pair them up and ask them to interview their partner - they should take notes on what their partner says about himself/herself (job, where from, travel experiences, need from the course or whatever you want) HOWEVER, all their notes on the white board must be pictures or symbols - NO WORDS ALLOWED and the other ground rule is - you must use all 4 colors.

3. Then each person stands at place (not front of the room) and introduces the partner showing and using their white board.

Typical results: lots of information comes out and guess what? All the delegates remember the info over the course; lots of laughter at limited artistic abilities; some very interesting individual preferences.

4. When each person finishes their intro of partner I take their white board and post it on the walls; I suggest that more about each person will be revealed so anyone can go to a white board and draw something about the new info.

After the course I keep the best whiteboards and post them on my office walls (I sometimes joke that I'm saving it to show their parents when the delagtes are very young - harking back to scholl days.  And my walls become great conversation starters.     Washington, DC USA

SteveRobson's picture

Looks like you all make quite a big deal out of it (which is good... I think...)

1) Do you do anything with the information you get? If so...What?

2) Do the delegates realise the significance of what just happened?  If so...How?

3) In your experience as a delegate...(we have all been a delegate at sometime)...isn't it the most cringeworthy time of any course and usually handled very badly by the Trainer?

garry platt's picture

Before they arrive I get them to write up their name, company and function on a piece of cardboard that they hang around their neck using a piece of knotted string, this is all done before we start thus saving valuable time. I view anything else as airy fairy and an insult modern training techniques.

SteveRobson's picture

The string sounds a bit dangerous if you ask me...

"I view anything else as airy fairy and an insult modern training techniques"

Surely that would depend on the type of course?

In my world, introductions are extremely important and useful, essential some situations I agree, they are pointless...but as a minimum, the Trainer should introduce themselves in a formal sort of way (before the fluffy toys and tennis balls come out to play)

My biggest gripe is that on almost every course I have been a delegate on, I have been asked stuff and absolutely nothing was changed as a result and whatever I asked for as my "wants and needs" were never addressed or even noted down.

garry platt's picture

Of course, if it’s a lengthy programme running over several intermittent days I will get the candidates to tattoo this information on their foreheads, thus saving even more time on subsequent dates and overall reducing the environmental impacts of the event.

russlater's picture

Seldom......if there is a clear fact that delegates all know each other very well I might amend slightly......sometimes I ask them to share how long they've been in the busienss/company (I then note this and add it up so I can say that we have 236 years of accumulated experience here which is why I'm not going to teach you how to do your jobs [if this is appropriate]

I love Garry's "paddington bear" reminds me of my old army mugshot for my ID card!

Some courses that I run I base the entire "delivery" on the delegate "wants" and make that very clear from the outset.


I was working in an hotel and there was another training course running concurrently from a well known Insurance company.  They had obviously done the "Delegate Objective" intros and captured them on flipcharts which they then posted in the breakout area; an atrium in the corridor between the Reception Area and the Leisure centre.  The page was headed "Customer Focus Workshop", One Delegate Objective was "An early knock off and a free lunch!".......whilst I was passing through a senior manager was paying a visit to the course, saw this in the public area full of their customers and went absolutely "ape"



SteveRobson's picture

""An early knock off and a free lunch!"......."

That sort of proves my point that Trainers don't take any wants and needs seriously as they have a plan and will stick to the plan no matter what the delegates want...

I would have used that particular delegate to explore the reasons behind the comments...valuable learning for all of the group!


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