The best layout for a training room depends, in part, on the size of your facility and the number of people you hope to train. A classroom of 100 people, for example, limits your options to a lecture-style approach.
For most training groups of 5 to 40, though, I recommend using round tables that accommodate 4 to 6 people. There are several reasons for this:
- Groups of 4 to 6 work well for discussion purposes; for shy participants, the intimacy of the grouping does not seem threatening to them and encourages their participation
- Group work is a key advantage to face-to-face training because it begins the discussion process. When groups discuss an exercise or a challenge scenario, they share ideas and learn to problem-solve as a team. With encouragement and management, this can be continued post-training, when everyone has returned to their jobs.
- As the facilitator, walking around the circles, listening to the discussions and guiding the work as appropriate allows you to get a sense of the uptake of your training.
Along with the tables, I would also recommend one flip chart per table. Encourage groups to use the flip chart when working on problems. This not only allows them to have a presentation platform when presenting their solutions, it gets people up and moving, which is key to keeping learners motivated and engaged, especially during full-day sessions.