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Training from the Back of the Room!: 65 Ways to Step Aside and Let Them Learn

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  34 reviews
From Sharon L. Bowman, the author of the best-selling Ten-Minute Trainer, comes the dynamic new book, Training from the BACK of the Room! This innovative resource introduces 65 training strategies that are guaranteed to deliver outstanding training results no matter what the topic, group, or learning environment. Now, trainers can replace the traditional "Trainers talk; le ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Pfeiffer (first published January 1st 2008)
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May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: coaching
The book in a nutshell:

1. Before the training, use an activity to engage the learners with the material.

2. During the training, teach them only what they need to know, keep lectures to ten minutes max, then break it up with an interactive exercise.

3. End the training with teach-back activities.

4. After the training, stay in touch with the group to nudge them toward actually using what they learned.

That's the whole book really, though it does have lots of "ways to step aside an let them learn". O
Alexander Teibrich
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Stop talking, so others can start learning” is probably the key phrase of this book. I am amazed at how this book walks its talk and is structured in a understandable and truely engaging way! Designing trainings in 4 steps (Connections, Concepts, Concrete Practices and Conclusions) is both concrete and actionable! I hope this book will be read by many more trainers. Highly recommended!
Mahmoud Ghoz
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book for me considered one of the main reference books and a source to give you insight how to teach an interactive course. It will help you with 65 different techniques to make the class interactive without being the center or the focus of the class.

I wish the book was shorter as sometimes I got very bored.
Łukasz Lichota
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Restored my faith in trainings ;)
And now I know why I disliked many of the trainings I've been to.
Inspired me to apply this when I will run a training.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I struggled through the first few chapters, learnt a bit from the rest, and managed to adopt one or two ideas.
Mark Seemann
Dec 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book comes highly recommended, and I'm certain that I need it, yet it doesn't work for me at all.

I occasionally do highly technical training (in advanced computer programming), and while I'm on firm footing when it comes to my knowledge of the technical material, I have no illusions about my abilities as a trainer. Sometimes I manage to keep my students engaged, but it also happens that I fail to catch their attention. Certainly, I could do better, so I'd hoped this book would help me.

Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Foundational. Sharon's superb contribution to those of us who speak and teach to groups. Everyody learns differently, but no one learns from DBP (death by powerpoint).

Check out my site for blogs and certified Training from the Back of the Room! classes.
Jürgen Mohr
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Do you want to deliver successful trainings that stick in the participants minds?

This is a fantastic and incredible helpful book for trainers. All those who still use presentations with slide shows in their trainings should definitely read this book. It will give them an understanding how humans really learn and a bunch of ideas and concrete practices to improve the structure of their trainings. But even those who already use interactive training techniques will probably gather new insights and
Eduards Sizovs
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is a great addition to Learning 3.0 – How Creative Workers Learn. Read it, if you are involved in education. The book offers a simple, 4-step framework for creating brain-friendly learning environments. 4C – Connections, Concepts, Concrete Practice, Conclusions.

Since the book is repetitive, avoid wasting your precious time:
1) Start from the beginning and read carefully until you understand 4C principle
2) Continue reading with 2x speed and look for concrete implementation examples
3) Sl
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Invites a plethora of engaging activities that activate how the adult brain learns! This methodology was used for a one week Bootcamp I attended and even though each day was about 10 hours, I stayed energized and retained more information than I ever have through typical lectures. Will be using these techniques next semester in my class and at work. Highly recommend for anyone who teaches or conducts training.
Alex Shevchuk
Okay. That was super slow ride for me...

The book is HUGE! It's fundamental and complex to get it in a first/single read.
I'm using it as a handbook already for trainings design and that's just a tip of the iceberg.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting perspective on training. Clearly presents modern science how brain learns, suggests many ways how to make learners participate in knowledge passing. Some parts however seem biased by author's experience, so in my opinion you need to carefully pick what will work for you.
Tilman Moser
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: facilitation
Pure gold for every training and workshop facilitator!
Olja Manojlović
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is great to use it as a handbook while you are preparing for training. One reading is definitely not enough.
Paul Brandt
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having taken the course of Sharon I'm very impressed with what she's achieved with me; it's been more than a few years now but I still discover new material and tricks on how to better prepare the students on their task outside of the classroom. There simply are not many courses that achieved such an impact with me, in fact none have. Whether the book in itself, without the course and presenece of Sharon, would have achieved the same - I don't think so, but it definitely will change your perspec ...more
Agile Kindergarten
I liked it. The author ties learning theory and cognitive psychology to training behaviors, something we should all do all the time. However, I didn't find the book as easy to use as the author intended. That said, there is one take away that can absolutely make a difference for anyone.

The author puts great emphasis on graphical Concept Maps as a way of increasing retention. Concept Maps are nothing more than a visual hand-out that the trainer has the participant use in context of the session s
Brian Button
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I recently finished this book while I was I'm the midst of redesigning all of our courses right before a major teaching engagement.

During that process I found the information in this book extremely useful, both in helping to reframe my mindset as I built training and in helping me reorganize my materials into something that should be more fun and more memorable.

This was not my favorite book I have ever read, but the information in it is definitely worth the time.

One last thing is that the book
Christophe Addinquy
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christophe by: Laurent Sarrazin
Shelves: methodes, coaching
Note de lecture : Training from the BACK of the Room ! par Sharon L. Bowman
This is a mandatory reading on the subject of training, and more specifically on the interaction between a trainer and the trainees. It promotes a landmark evolution of the trainer posture, with more a facilitator attitude. The text is divided in 4 parts, mirroring the "4C" of the learning technic promoted here. The text itself is an incarnation of the approach. Unfortunately it makes a strange reading experience, rather
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Sharon Bowman is quite likely the most intelligent and practical voice in learning and human performance today. Her books are a delight to read, more importantly her ideas are phenomenal - connecting with and reading Sharon has made my practice infinitely better. If you're a trainer or have a responsibility for teaching anyone (kids, adults, clients) pick up a book by Sharon and get after it!
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so far quite nice and gave me already very good ideas about how to create sessions that are worth the attendees time.
After the second walkthrough and doing a crash-course about it I'm absolutely convinced that this is a must read for anyone doing trainings/workshops.

The feedback that you get from the trainings/workshops is your best indicator that you apply it the right way!
Collin Rogowski
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book proposes a clear structure for practice-based trainings along with an ample amount of exercises. I was able to use a couple of these exercises since reading the book and they actually delivered on their promise.
Jane Healy
Great, concrete training ideas for adults based on brain research and author experience. I've tried some of her suggestions with success and look forward to implementing more of her ideas. If you're a trainer or teacher, read this book!
J Edwards
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
The book was easy to understand and it will serve as a great addition to a trainer's bookshelf!
Chad Holdorf
Nov 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: training
Good book if you are doing a lot if training classes.
Gerry Kirk
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: agile
Fantastic, a must read for anyone involved in training / teaching others. This is to training what Agile is to software development.
Alexey Pikulev
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Awesome! It's very useful book for any trainers or coaches.
Chris Edwards
Good book, I just don't enjoy presentations where you have to be an active participant. Just a personal preference.
Jon Port
try it. Sharon Bowman has a lot of great books.
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Nice ideas to improve learning. Must read for any trainer.
Luis Gonçalves
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book with dozens of ideas how to run fantastic workshops.

A must for anyone who teaches.
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Sharon Bowman is the president of Bowperson Publishing & Training, Inc. She has been a professional speaker, author, teacher, and trainer for almost forty years. She works with businesses and educational institutions that want to offer exceptional in-house training and professional development programs.

Sharon is a popular speaker at both the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) and

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