Training plays a very important role in every organization. It serves as a point of knowledge. It drives consistency. It creates a foundation for future opportunities. However, training can often be dry, boring and a necessary “check off the list.”

How can you make your training engaging, memorable and yes, unexpected? Promotional Consultant Today shares these five tips from expert trainer and author Ken Brown.

1. Marketing. How are you currently marketing your training course to employees or customers? What can you do that’s unexpected? Take a lesson from Hollywood by creating a couple of short video trailers for your course. Enhance the scarcity of your course by only making it available for a certain period of time and embed a countdown timer on your registration site to remind your employees and customers of the limited availability.

2. Room Setup. Your participants have an expectation of how the room will be organized. They assume it will be just like every other training they’ve ever taken— classroom style. You want to deliver unexpected? Change the room setup. Create small groupings of tables and chairs. Or, get a room with couches and lounge chairs. Create a sense of the unexpected from the moment they walk in the room.

3. Those Critical First Few Minutes. During the first few minutes, your participants are going to decide if your course will indeed be different, or just like every other course they’ve taken. Don’t tell them that you expect them to participate. Simply get the group involved in as unique and different a way as quickly as possible, and they will be engaged.

4. Speed Dating. Want your participants to practice a behavior repeatedly in a short window of time? Can this also be a practice where you encourage them to try and fail, because failing in your classroom is safer than failing in the real world? Then try a speed-dating format with role-playing scenarios, where participants have to interact with each person in the room.

5. Use Something That Inspires You. You see something in a TV show, a magazine ad, a movie trailer or a teaching technique that causes you to pause. You’ve just been inspired. Now take that inspiration and figure out how to apply it to your training. For example, tweak your current data slides to emulate a look from an infographic that caught your attention. Or, duplicate that powerful opening you saw at an industry event to open your training course. Always be on the lookout for more inspiration. That’s how you come up with the unexpected.

Source: Ken Brown is an experienced educator, instructional designer, facilitator and videographer. He blogs about how to create engaging, memorable and unexpected training at