3 MORE Examples of How to Theme a Presentation

Let’s dive into some additional examples of real themed workshops we’ve created.

As we go, pick and choose how you might take those ideas and be inspired to create a theme that makes your training more entertaining and sticky.

1. How to Set Up Foolproof Learning Activities

In the workshop “How to Set Up Foolproof Learning Activities”, we realized that setting up a foolproof learning activity, and giving activity instructions, is kind of like following a recipe card while baking.

how to set up fool-proof learning activities

So we had folks discuss in a breakout room… how would they take these activity instructions (a recipe card for how to bake cookies), which are currently out of order, and put them in the most logical order that would create the most clarity for the baker?

work with your breakout room

let's walk through the ideal activity instruction sequence

We then walked through the ideal worder as a group.

And we connected each of the nine steps to the ideal instruction sequence for leading a foolproof learning activity.

9 step recipe

And I dressed as a French pastry chef.

french pastry chef

Here were some soft openers that we did to weave that thematic lace throughout the training.

How sweet is your sweet tooth?

stamp it

How do you spell her name?

rachel ray

Type your favorite kind of cookie.

what's your favorite kind of cooke

2. Making Training Memorable

In the workshop “Making Training Memorable”, we realized that there was a specific movie that highlighted an object lesson that spoke to a big challenge we all have as trainers.

We showed a clip from the movie “Men in Black” where Tommy Lee Jones uses his “neuralyzer” device to erase people’s memories.

tommy lee jones in men in black

In trainings, there are many “neuralyzers” that cause our learners to forget our teaching content.

learners' memories

Emails. Text messages. If they’re tuning in for a webinar, maybe it’s their cat puking on the carpet next to their computer.

This activity set up this big pain point throughout the entire workshop, talking about how we can overcome those various neuralyzers that are erasing our learner's memories.

The neuralyzer informed a whole outer space theme for that entire workshop.

I also dressed as an alien and used a neuralyzer prop.

a man dressed as an alien

And we did these soft openers.

Type your favorite sci-fi movie or book.

what's your favorite book

Some believed these were pieces of a flying saucer… stamp what they really were.

pieces of a flying saucer

When it comes to making training memorable, it’s important to use completion activities where learners make their best educated guesses about what the correct answers are… and then the trainer debriefs by revealing the correct answers.

Therefore, we did this activity where we assigned people to Google various trivia about outer space…

google the questions I assign you

…and then we came back and had people text chat their guesses for each one.

text chat your finding

Then we revealed each individual answer using fun GIFs that made that activity more engaging.

space gif

And obviously, to make this completion activity thematic, the trivia questions were outer space themed.

3. Crack into Learner Motivation

Our last example is from a workshop called “Crack into Learner Motivation” (about how to motivate our learners).

We realized that Rocky is one of the most motivated people we've observed in film or in real life.

rocky pushups

We watched a clip of Rocky’s training montage, and it helped inform nine things that motivate Rocky.

things that motivate rocky

Those things that motivate Rocky are also things that motivate our learners. We walked through in that workshop different examples of how to lead your training in a motivating way that would accomplish all nine of these different things that motivated Rocky.

The “costume” was a little simpler than most, and frankly, more appropriate than Rocky’s outfit above.

a man in a rocky shirt

After the Rocky video, we had people go into breakout rooms and make guesses together as to what were the answers to some Rocky trivia.

This helped accommodate some of those folks who maybe hadn't seen Rocky, even though it's one of the most popular sports movies of all time. (I wanted to choose that movie because it was more likely to be seen by everybody, which is a positive, to include as many people as possible.) So that Rocky trivia breakout room helped even more people who hadn't even seen the movie (or perhaps not all the movies in the Rocky franchise) understand the Rocky analogy.

As the debrief after the breakout rooms, we had learners stamp their team’s guess for each question. For example, one of the trivia questions was… Which of these is not a nickname for Rocky's hometown of Philadelphia?

nickname of rocky's hometown

This completion activity, which motivated learners to pay attention.

Maybe you've been in a Bob Pike Group workshop, and you've collected stickers for sharing insightful things, asking insightful questions, etc. (Learners can give each other stickers for contributing to each other’s learning environment.) The people with the most stickers at the end of the workshop win prizes.

In the Rocky-themed workshop, we didn't use stickers. We had a page in the handout where people could track the number of jabs that they landed in the workshop, to make the incentive for participating thematic, which made it more memorable.

use handout to track how many jabs you land

At the end of the workshop, people added up the jabs they collected in the workshop individually, and they returned to their original breakout rooms to add up how many jabs everybody in their team had collected.

The team with the most jabs won discounts to our Spring Fling conference, which took place the month after the Rocky webinar.

As you think back on those three examples of themed workshops, which of those examples was most impactful or most helpful to you?

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