22 ideas on how to ruin your training…


I have just run away from the worst classroom training ever.

Dear Trainers, if you really want to kill your audience, here’s a bunch of hints on how to do it effectively (randomly selected):

  1. Do not present yourself / act as if everyone knew who you are.
  2. Keep acting as if you knew it all, in the end you, as a trainer, are the expert in all the possible areas.
  3. Absolutely forget about presenting the agenda of the training, why would you bother spending 1 minute out of available 6 hours on informing your audience about the plan.
  4. Keep joking each time the participants take active part in the discussion, laugh at their comments and ideas.
  5. Make numerous breaks, especially when they are least expected (like this, you will make sure your audience is nicely distracted – well done indeed).
  6. Keep bringing up out-of-topic remarks. Completely unrelated items. Chauvinist jokes are highly appreciated. And yes, your private life will surely interest the audience. Especially your relations with this poor mother-in-law.
  7. Choose your favorite participant. The one and only. Address all your questions and comments towards that person. That’s what we call engaging your audience. Or not.
  8. Keep using your awesome favorite word in each awesome sentence you pronounce. That’s really awesome. And you are awesome, too!
  9. Show us your heavy slide deck dripping with looong definitions.
  10. Do not forget to pick the ugliest font ever and make sure it’s hard to be read.
  11. Keep in mind this rule: the MORE the MERRIER! More info, more fonts, more colors, more pictures, more logos…
  12. Read your slides out loud. Back to your audience 🙂
  13. GREAT! Now you just have to forget what you have put on your slides. A good thing to try is to explain that the deck has been prepared by your colleague. Oh, and you can mention that you received it only last night.
  14. You are welcome to paste links into your presentation that do not work offline (did I mention: do not check whether all your equipment works prior to the training?).
  15. Or… open the link on youtube and let the participants wait till the buffering is over. Up to 10 minutes would be actually cool!
  16. Deliver the training while seated. Stability is the key.
  17. Or… walk around the room and let your audience follow you from one corner to another. The best idea would be to walk in circles and scrape the carpet with your shoes giving that annoying noise. It helps to focus on what you’re saying!
  18. Speak quickly! Ignore the audience who do not get what you’re talking about. Time is ticking away and there are so many things to be covered…
  19. Do not use your emotional intelligence.
  20. Forget about being flexible. Do not adjust to changes while you see the need.
  21. Use monotonous voice. There’s no better way to make these people fall asleep. Especially after lunch time.
  22. Expect everyone to be 100% attentive 5 minutes before the end of the workshop / training.


And you? What is your worst experience ever? Wanna share?

6 thoughts on “22 ideas on how to ruin your training…

  1. 23. You can definitely include “tell jokes in your mother tongue to an international audience and then try to translate them into English”

  2. 24. Do not translate foreign language content in your presentation. People who don’t speak English fluently don’t deserve to get anything from your training, do they?
    25. Use jargon / specific terminology every time you explain something to your audience and assume that everybody knows what you are talking about.

  3. 26. Make brakes every 20 for smokers, since you smoke, or make none brakes, since you never need to pee.
    27. Have a slide and never use it, cause you speak about something else.
    28. Ask a question and as nobody answers wait for people to speak. 5 minutes minimum | Ask a question and answer it before anyone could actually open their mouth.
    29. Remember to put all your pics from first five searches from Google images on topic you had chosen.
    30. See the presentation for the first time during the training. Remember to say from time to time, that you didn’t expert that to be in it.
    31. Never ever put any titles to pictures – everybody knows that face, right?
    32. You can always have some statistics. We love random numbers in charts. 78% statistics are made up to prove some point of view.
    33. Always use Power point and don’t even think there are other tools to present stuff.
    34. Nevertheless if you ever use any other tool (like Prezi) don’t bother to check how it works. Do it at the begging of the training to show everybody you have no clue how to play the presentation.
    35. No references? Good!
    36. Put everything you know about the topic. EVERYTHING! Let them die of information overload.
    37. Words, words, words – visuals are useless.
    38. How to present like a sir: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151716975058488&set=a.96253128487.113049.767508487&type=1&theater
    39. More that 15 words on slide will look perfect. People will read the text and nobody will pay attention to you.
    40. Video? 10 minutes at least. You’ll have time to sit and drink your coffee.
    41. Never use “CRAP” (contrast, repetition, aliment, proximity).
    42. What would possibly make you presentation more memorable? Emotions, fun, using imagination, inspiration. Instead use bullets, complex words, ugly pics and horrible template.
    43. Use some fancy font that:
    a) won’t have polish diacritical marks (if you present in Polish)
    b) will be so extraordinary that on other computers will not be screened properly
    c) will be too little
    d) in some pale colors on a light background
    44. Put everything what’s important on slide 1
    45. Have 3-5 slides for 6 hours
    46. Make small pictures big that everybody will be able to count pixels
    47. Mark, bold and underline almost every single word in presentation
    48. Never bring your VGA plug if you use Mac – it so obvious that you’ve got a Mac and everybody should respect that having proper stuff to plug you in.
    49. Pendrive? What for? You don’t have an internet connection? Oh…
    50. It worked well on MY computer! Something is wrong with yours!

  4. Wow, thanks Monika for those detailed observations 🙂 They are accurate from my perspective, too 😉

    I didn’t want to deep dive in the presentation itself just yet (wanted to leave that part for another post) but since you’ve mentioned it… I’m always amazed how great speakers tend to ruin their public presentation with a horrible slide deck. There are only very few great speakers I’ve had a pleasure to listen to that pay attention to what they produce (in terms of visuals) for their audience. I’d love to change that. I’m not saying I’m an awesome presentation maker but at least I do realize what is ok and what is not. Will drop a separate post on that soon and hoping to hear from you and others, too 🙂

    Thanks for the interest in reading my blog. Have a beautiful rest of the day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s