It seems like the best way to get people involved or keep them interested is to tell amusing anecdotes. I know when I'm sitting through any kind of training, I like to hear funny stories that are relevant to the material I'm supposed to be learning. I've got a few forklift stories from other facilities, thank goodness, that are pretty funny and always get a reaction.
I have used tinkertoy construction set and split the folks up into small groups. Each group builds a fork lift model of which I have provided an example. The round wheel shapes are used as loads. Each group will build different heights on the masts. We then talk about the stability triangle and how the truck will respond to different heights, loads, ramps, etc. One can even add more counter balance to see a different effect.
The visualization of how the truck responds is a great tool to get them engaged after watching a video or listening to war stories.
I don't know about making forklift training anymore interesting. I usually show various clips as they all come into class. Then the hands on training is an obstacle course outside or in the plant on a weekend depending on weather. They seem to enjoy that at least.
for the classroom I show pictures of forklift accidents and give my employees the stats of forklift mishaps in the US.
For the hands on I place a 1 gallon size (or something similar) jug w/ water or non hazardous liquid on a pallet and set up an obstacle course where they have to maneuver. The goal is not to tip over the container while moving the pallet. If they do.............no worries. They enjoy the competition.
First make sure the training is effective, then you can have the luxury of worrying if the students are having any fun. I recently posted a photograph that depicts the result of 'fun' but obviously ineffective training.
My experience has shown that the individual delivering the training is always the key to an interesting training class. A dull or monotone speaking trainer will lose the interest of the class faster than a speeding bullet. However, you put that same material and agenda in the hands of a trainer with some wit and a sense of humor, the training class instantly becomes more interesting. In addition, by adding elements like anecdotes, obstacle courses, videos, and stories (like previous posters suggested) a trainer can keep the class from becoming bogged down or tiresome.
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