Tool 26a: Sample Training Agendas

Following are two sample agendas used to introduce the Communications Toolkit.

Training Agenda 1: Introducing the Communications Toolkit!


Welcome, overview, objectives


Icebreaker activity - Tongue Twisters from Communications Toolkit, pg. 39.


Communications skill-building activities can be built into any setting where adults and teens work with young people. Why is it important to help kids strengthen communication skills? Activity: Work in groups of three or four. Brainstorm and write on newsprint the longest list possible of career areas that rely on good communication skills. Give the groups three minutes. Have each group read their list and recognize the group who had the most career areas listed. Key point: There are very few careers that DON’T rely on communications skills!


Overview of Communications Toolkit: Fun Skill-Building Activities to Do with Kids (Use overheads to discuss background, format, contents of toolkit)


Public speaking activity: Let’s Talk About Nerves What Are You Afraid Of? Communications Toolkit, pg. 48-50. Have participants think about the fact that public speaking is one of the highest named fears people have. Have them reflect on what if anything they’re afraid of when it comes to speaking in front of groups. Ask for volunteers to share what they put down on worksheet. Facilitate discussion about helping young people and adults overcome fears of public speaking through preparation, planning and practice. Discuss uses of the toolkit for this purpose.




Ask participants to work in groups to examine the Communications Toolkit and brainstorm ways they could use activities and information in it to help young people build on their skills in writing, speaking, visual communications and video, media and technology. Have them share with the whole group. Share additional ideas and suggestions.


Graphic Design Activity: Group participants in new groups of four. Distribute overhead transparencies from "It’s a Dog’s Life" presentation (pages 122-130 of the toolkit) - one transparency per group. Give them five minutes to come up with a presentation using their overhead about some facet of a dog’s life. Tell them to also be prepared to share the strengths of their graphic as a visual communication tool.


All groups present using their doggie overheads. Everyone claps and affirms each group. Talk about how to use this activity with kids. Ask for their feedback.


Final questions, comments, evaluation forms completed and returned



Training Agenda 2: The Power of Communication Skills

(13 people; total time: 210 min.)



PART I: Icebreaker & Introduction:

  • Icebreaker: Communications Treasure Hunt (p. 152-153)
  • Introduce presenters, class-round robin
  • Why Communications? (pull from pages 2-7)
  • What’s in the Communications Toolkit and ways you can use it
  • Participants place confidence levels on chart

15 min.

PART II: Written Communication:

  • Intro. to writing (pull from section intro., p. 9) - 3 min.
  • Group Story Writing Activity (p. 23) - 35 min.
  • The Writing Process (p. 17-18) - 5 min.

45 min.

PART III: Vocal Communication:

  • Intro. to public speaking (pull from section into., p. 29) -5 min.
  • Overcoming stage nerves skills and activity (p. 34, pp. 48-50) - 10 min.
  • Delivering a vocal presentation skills (p. 31) - 5 min.
  • Speech Warm-Ups: Tongue Twisters activity - 10 min.
  • Tell Me a Story activity in groups of 2 - 15 min.
  • Announce that names of 2 Toolkit winners will be drawn at the beginning of second half. (Must be present to win.) Put names in bag for drawing.

45 min.


  • Set-up tables for design elements activity.

15 min.

PART IV: Visual Communication/Graphic Design:

  • Draw for Toolkit winners.
  • Intro. to visual communication (pull from section intro., p. 55) and.
  • Elements and principles of design skill sheet - 5 min.
  • Form teams of 2 for Design elements activity: Tables are set with supplies for design element warm-up activites (Line, Shape, Texture, Space & Size, Color.) Give each team a set of numbered task envelopes with instructions. Each team creates a 5 visuals demonstrating a design element, labels each and puts on a posterboard for presentation in "Gallery walk" (view the posters) - 40 min.

45 min

PART V: Video, Media and Technology:

  • Intro. to Video, Media and Technology (pull from section intro.)
  • Introduce "Create a Product/Logo/Commercial" activity (provide posterboard, markers, pencils, storyboards, rulers, T-squares)
  • Graphics for Video, how to use a storyboard
  • Divide into groups of 3 or 4 using candy
  • Group work (design logo, create storyboard, props, practice skits)
  • Perform (and videotape) commercials then playback
  • "Beyond the Toolkit" ideas

50 min

Last Updated: July 29, 2009; Last Reviewed: April, 2009
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