We begin Chapter 1 with a powerful tool that involves the trainees in defining their learning needs. Too often training and trainers are criticized for developing content that is not based on the needs of learners; too often trainers neglect to find out what the folks in their classrooms need that day. Seminar Leader R. Stephen Rayfield has created this activity that cleverly involves the entire group of trainees in specifying what they need from the seminar at hand. Stephen's "Seminar Roadmap" helps assure that trainees can find their way through the seminar, learning what they need to learn to improve their workplaces.


  • Articulating expectations for learning during the seminar

  • Defining personal and group learning needs

  • Setting goals for this seminar or for future sessions

  • Process mapping ”that is, outlining where the program, seminar, or project will start, progress, and end


This seminar provides a focus for the seminar and helps trainees specify any individual learning objectives that are not specified in the seminar materials prepared before the session. Here are some comments from actual participants in AMA seminars :

  • (from a seminar leader)
    "This helped me manage the expectations of the people in the seminar. It made sure that all the hidden objectives came out up front".

  • (from trainees)
    "This helped me to understand where the course was going".

  • "The roadmap exercise set up a process I can follow for new products".
    "WOW! The Roadmap made me see that others had the same problems as me".


  • To identify the individual needs of the participants in the seminar. People come to a seminar with their own objectives. Leaders need to get those out up front to manage the expectations and meet the individual needs of the participants.

  • To outline learning expectations for the seminar materials. The seminar roadmap sets out the content of the seminar. This helps to set the learning expectations for the participants.

  • To identify where the emphasis is for each individual seminar. Because each seminar has individuals with different make ups, the seminars need to shift in emphasis. This exercise sets up an opportunity for the leader to determine which modules or areas to focus on and which modules or areas to just touch on for each seminar.


A flipchart and markers for each team

Flipchart paper

Masking tape

Clear tape

Colored paper of several colors

Colored square self- sticking notepads of several colors

Colored pens


Use a room with an open wall for mounting flipchart pages. This exercise suggests that participants be organized into table teams of three to eight participants.


About 15 minutes of set-up time before trainees arrive to mount the flipchart pages. Exercise takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of trainees.


  1. Before going to the seminar, review the material and note the name of each individual module. Using different colored 8 ½ — 11 paper, print signposts naming or identifying each module. Use pictures, different typefaces , and/or different line outlines for each signpost.

  2. Before participants arrive in the seminar room, tear off several sheets of flipchart paper. Using masking tape, tape the sheets to the wall right next to each other. Roll the tape into a circle and hide the masking tape behind each sheet. Use clear tape at the seam, top to bottom, to seal the paper. When you are finished, you should have a large sheet on which to build your roadmap.

  3. Now mount your roadmap signs taping them at the corners. Join the signs using colored markers so they form a road. (See illustration)

  4. Set up a separate flipchart called the "Parking Lot" and place it to the side of the roadmap.


  1. When you have begun the seminar and are ready for this exercise, have each person choose a different color self-sticking notepad on the team table.

  2. Ask them to write their objectives for this seminar, each one on separate selfsticking notes. They can write as many as they want.

  3. When they have finished writing, group their objectives on the team flipchart and tell them to organize into teams.

  4. When everyone in the team has finished their objectives and placed them on the team flipchart, the team should stand around the team flipchart and set up the objectives to match the Seminar Roadmap sign posts.

  5. Ask them to choose a leader to help with this exercise. When they have finished mapping the signs on their team flipchart and have selected a team leader, they can sit down.

  6. The seminar leader then goes to the wall on which the roadmap is mounted. The seminar leader starts with the first sign and asks the team leaders for just the objectives for that signpost. The seminar leader then puts the objectives on that signpost or wherever they fit on the roadmap.

  7. The seminar leader can place any objectives that do not fit on the roadmap on the seminar parking lot, a separate piece of flipchart paper identified as the "Parking Lot". These objectives will be covered as time permits during the session. This ensures that all participants' objectives will be dealt with.

  8. The objectives can be dealt with in many ways:

    They can be reviewed after each module is covered.

    They can be summarized at the end of the day.

    They can be used as a morning review.

    They can be covered on the last day in the morning.

    They can be used as a closing exercise.

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R. Stephen Rayfield


1333 Church Street
Markham, Ontario L3P 2112






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R. STEPHEN RAYFIELD, CAAP , teaches people how to use a variety of marketing tools and techniques to add value to products and services. His business experience spans Fortune 100 corporations, small businesses, international services, coaching, and mentoring in every aspect of marketing programs and systems. He is President of ESIL, an interim marketing consulting firm that creates, mentors, and manages marketing programs.

Companies he has worked for include General Mills, Ralston Purina, and Hiram Walker. He has managed a variety of major brands, including Cheerios, Dog Chow, and Canadian Club, as well as participated in new product launches for Nature Valley Granola Bars, Private Label Cereals, Sugar Bay Rum, and Omni-Post Service. He has served Canada Post Corporation, ISI Systems, Inc., and Teleglobe Insurance. His areas of expertise include strategic planning cycles, sales promotion development, competitive planning, and new product or service systems development.

Stephen is a frequent trainee at AMA seminars in Marketing, Selling, and General Management and has been a guest speaker in other AMA seminars. He is well known as a keynote speaker in both national and international forums. He has done a number of customized AMA on-site seminars for Ethicon Endo-Surgery, BellSouth, Steel Case, Siemens Energy & Automation, First Data, Inc., and others.

Stephen Rayfield was educated at Ryerson College, Seneca College, the Institute of Canadian Advertising, and York University.

Steve Rayfield has taught these AMA seminars:


Planning and Developing New Products


Managing Your Marketing Communications Mix for Better Bottom-Line Results


Fundamentals of Marketing: Your Action Plan for Success


Successful Product Management


Competitive Strategy: How to Develop Winning Marketing Plans and Breakthrough Strategies

The AMA Trainers Activity Book. A Selection of the Best Learning Exercises from the Worlds Premiere Training Organization
The AMA Trainers Activity Book: A Selection of the Best Learning Exercises from the Worlds Premiere Training Organization
ISBN: 0814408141
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 61

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