Our mission statement, copyright notice, and cast of characters.

US Workshops
Workshop in New York City in February 2013
And you get a discount, too!

Card Games
Can you write the best headline?

Interactive Lecture
Missing Step
Discover possible additions.

International Workshops
Interactive Training Strategies Workshops
Playing (and learning) around the world.

From Brian's Brain
The Truth About Dishonesty by Brian Remer
A link to the latest issue of Brian's newsletter.

Online Survey
Leadership and Comfort
Read, reflect, and react

Survey Results
Similarities and Differences
A summary of your responses.

Check It Out
Mieux-Apprendre vous annonce un heureux événement ! ( )
Thiagi in French.





To increase and improve the use of interactive, experiential strategies to improve human performance in an effective, efficient, and enjoyable way.

Editorial Roster

Author and Editor : Sivasailam (Thiagi) Thiagarajan

Assistant Editor : Raja Thiagarajan

Associate Editors: Jean Reese

Contributing Editors: Brian Remer

Editorial Advisory Board: Bill Wake, Matthew Richter, Samuel van den Bergh, and <type your name here>

Copyright Info

The materials in this newsletter are copyright 2012 by The Thiagi Group. However, they may be freely reproduced for educational/training activities. There is no need to obtain special permission for such use as long as you do not reproduce more than 100 copies per year. Please include the following statement on all reproductions:

Reprinted from THIAGI GAMELETTER. Copyright © 2012 by The Thiagi Group, Inc.

For any other use of the content, please contact us ( ) for permission.

Subscription Info

To sign up, or to donate and help us continue this newsletter, please see the Online Newsletter page on our website ( ).

Feedback Request

Thiagi believes in practicing what he preaches. This is an interactive newsletter, so interact already! Send us your feedback, sarcastic remarks, and gratuitous advice through email to . Thanks!

US Workshops

Workshop in New York City in February 2013

For the first time ever in my decades of conducting workshops, we've had to reschedule one. We planned to conduct a one-day workshop in New York City this October—but our plans were messed up by Hurricane Sandy. That's the bad news. The good news is that we have rescheduled the workshop for February 5, 2013 in New York City at the same location.

Basic Information

WHAT? Interactive Techniques for Instructor-Led Training: A 1-Day Workshop

WHEN? Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 9am-4pm (Check in at 8:30am)

WHERE? Courtyard by Marriott, Upper East Side, 410 E 92nd Street, New York, NY, USA. Make your hotel reservations on the hotel website at .

HOW MUCH? Regular registration rate: $495. Get $50 off by entering coupon code TGL-NYC when you register online.

Register Now at .

BY WHOM? The workshop is designed and delivered by Thiagi. No bait and switch!

FOR WHOM? Trainers, facilitators, instructional designers, performance consultants, and managers.

Workshop Outline

This workshop comes in two parts. In the morning, we focus on the design and in the afternoon, we focus on the delivery:

Part 1. Designing Interactive Strategies

The best way to improve your training is to encourage participants to interact with each other, with the content, and with you. In this workshop, Thiagi reveals five secrets of effective interactive training that is faster, cheaper, and better. Begin by rapidly exploring 60 different training strategies. Later, master additional details of selected strategies:

With Thiagi's framegame approach, you will learn how to load your content on to existing templates to create your own games in a matter of minutes. You will also learn how to avoid irrelevant fluff and fun, and immerse your participants in engaging activities.

Part 2. Conducting Training Games and Activities

Are you excited about training games and activities but anxious about losing control, wasting time, and being attacked by participants? Based on 20 years of field experience and research, Thiagi shares with you three important secrets of effective training facilitation:

What You Take Home

In addition to your new set of skills and knowledge, you will have tangible products:

Register Today and Save $50

Because you are a reader of TGL, you may register at the discounted rate of $445 ($50 off the regular rate). Enter the coupon code TGL-NYC when you register.

Register for this workshop by calling Brenda at (812) 332-1478, or visiting our online store at .

Reserve a room at the hotel by visiting the hotel website at

For more information, download our detailed brochure (169K PDF).

Card Games

This activity is included with our decks of Practical Advice Cards. You can also create your own cards for this game, or even have teams of participants create cards and exchange them with each other.


An appropriate headline for a piece of practical advice attracts the readers' attention and highlights the key elements. It also makes it easier to recall the piece of advice later. This game rewards players who have a talent for writing effective headlines.


Players independently write a headline to go with a randomly selected piece of advice. A non-playing judge selects the best headline.


To create a meaningful and memorable headline for a piece of advice.


Minimum: 3
Maximum: 28 (subdivided into groups of 3 to 7)
Best: 5


4 minutes for each round



Appoint a TKJ. Select one of the players at each table to take on the role of the Timekeeper-Judge (TKJ). Reassure the other participants by explaining that everyone will have a turn being the TKJ during the subsequent rounds.

Display a card. Ask the TKJ to pull out a random card and read the piece of practical advice printed on it. Instruct the TKJ to place the card in the middle of the table, printed side up.

Think for 30 seconds. Ask the TJK to keep track of time for 30 seconds. Ask the participants to think about suitable headlines for the selected piece of advice—without talking or writing.

Write the headline. After 30 seconds, ask the players to write a meaningful and memorable headline for the piece of advice.

Select the best headline. Ask the players to take turns to read the headline they have written. After all players have done so, ask the TKJ to select the best headline and give its author the practical advice card. Remind everyone that the judge's decision is final and she does not have to explain her logic.

Continue the game. Ask the next player to take on the role of the TKJ and repeat the same procedure. Continue the game until every player has had a turn to be the TKJ.

Identify the winner. At the end of the game, ask the participants to count the number of practical advice cards they have won (by writing the best headline for each card). At each table, the player with the most cards is the winner. Identify these winners and congratulate them.

Interactive Lecture

Missing Step

Many training topics involve procedures or processes. Here's an interactive lecture design that encourages the participants to go beyond the content of the presentation and critically examine the steps of the procedure or phases of the process.


To explore the steps in a procedure or phases in a process.

Use This Strategy When


Any number. The ideal size is 15 to 30, divided into teams of two to seven.


About 20 minutes for the lecture and 20 minutes for team discussion and presentation.


Sample Topics


Present your lecture. Explain the different steps in the procedure or the phases in the process. Disclose the activities associated with each step or phase.

Announce the details of the “missing” step. Tell the participants that you left out one of the steps or phases in your presentation. (This is not really true, but there could be more steps or phases in the procedure that you are describing.) Explain that this step could be at the beginning, middle, or the end of the process.

Let the participants work in teams. Divide the participants into two or more teams, each with two to seven members. Ask the teams to compare their notes, discuss the steps, discover the missing step, and work out relevant details. Announce a 7-minute time limit for this activity and start your countdown timer.

Invite presentations. Blow the whistle at the end of 7 minutes. Announce the end of the discussion period. Ask the teams to take turns presenting their hypothesis about the missing step and explaining their reasoning.

Give your comments. Wait until all teams have made their presentations. Offer your feedback, comparing the ideas from different teams. If any presentation indicates some fundamental misconception, be sure to provide corrective feedback.

International Workshops

Interactive Training Strategies Workshops

During the next few months Thiagi will be flying to different parts of Canada and Asia, conducting his interactive training strategies workshop. Here's an update of our international workshops. For additional information, brochures, and registration forms, visit our website calendar.


Winnipeg, MB, Canada: December 2, 2012

Participants and Presenters: Better Together. Preconference workshop at the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers National Convention 2012.

Vancouver, BC, Canada: December 6-7, 2012

Interactive Strategies for Improving Performance—All New!


Singapore: January 10-12, 2013

Interactive Training Strategies. Organized by Stanis Benjamin and his team at Centre for Communication and Sales Training.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: January 21-23, 2013

Interactive Training Strategies. Organized by Click Academy Asia.

Winterthur, Switzerland: June 4-6, 2013

Interactive Training Strategies, Switzerland. Organized by Samuel van den Bergh and his team at van den Bergh Thiagi Associates.

Winterthur, Switzerland: June 7-8, 2013

Design Clinic and Advance Interactive Strategies, Switzerland. Presented by Thiagi and Samuel van den Bergh. Organized by Samuel van den Bergh and his team at van den Bergh Thiagi Associates.

Coming Soon

We are in the final stages of organizing our workshops in Australia and India.

From Brian's Brain

The Truth About Dishonesty
by Brian Remer

Sorry to break the news but you probably are dishonest more often than you realize. We'll explore this phenomenon by reviewing Dan Ariely's new book which examines our reactions when faced with opportunities to cheat. Through his research we quickly learn that the person we most often deceive is ourselves! Power Tip: Punishment is not always as much of a deterrent as you might expect.

Read more in the November 2012 issue of Firefly News Flash: .

Online Survey

Leadership and Comfort

When you read a piece of advice, it's always a good idea to take some time to reflect on it.

In this month's online survey, we invite you to read and reflect on a piece of advice related to leadership.

The Advice

As a leader, go beyond your comfort zone. Keep pushing yourself into unknown territories until you begin to feel comfortable. Then seek other stretch goals.


After you have reflected, click the “Respond” button above to send us your comment on this piece of advice. (The survey will open in a new window.)

You may include your name along with your response, or if you prefer, keep it anonymous.

Survey Results

Similarities and Differences

In the October issue of TGL we asked for one important similarity and one important different between face-to-face coaching and telephone coaching. Here are some of your ideas:

  1. Similarity: The interaction is based on trust between two people who wish for the same goals.
    Difference: The amount or level of ability to use non-verbal communication. Also, silence will be interpreted differently.
  2. Similarity: F2F coaching allows both parties to look (together) at an object (and then to discuss aspects of it).
    Difference: Telephone coaching permits this only if both parties have the same object.
  3. Similarity: Both are designed to improve individual performance.
    Difference: In face-to-face coaching, body language, gestures and facial expressions play a big role. In telephone coaching, it's only the voice.
    (Arshad Nadamal, Muscat, Oman)
  4. Similarity: Both involve giving the participant feedback on real-life situations.
    Difference: Face-to-face involves the nuances of in-person interaction, such as body language and facial expression, that can help the coach know when more feedback is needed, while telephone coaching lacks that component.
  5. Similarity: Both involve using the voice.
    Difference: Face to face includes analyzing physical responses while telephone coaching can only judge changes in the voice.
  6. Similarity: In both situations, the focus is on the coach helping the other person solve problems and improve his or her productivity.
    Difference: Telephone coaching will not work as effectively as face-to-face coaching to improve psychomotor skills such as golf swing.
  7. Similarity: Both are one on one coaching
    Difference: In phone coaching one has to depend a lot on nonverbal cues as tone of voice while in face to face one the coach and coachee has more visual inputs.
  8. Similarity: Both seek to enable the person being coached to resolve a difficulty so they can improve their performance in an area that is important to them.
    Difference: F2F coaching enables the coach to take in the nonverbals whereas the telephone coach needs to ask more clarifying questions to pick up whether things like hesitation are breathing spots or resistance. Telephone coaches, to me, need more permission to clarify and explore because they must be certain that they are picking up the correct messages.
  9. Similarity: Person to person coaching
    Difference: It's possible to observe the person in face-to-face coaching. In telephone coaching, you have only one element: the voice and the words.

Thanks to everyone who responded.

Check It Out

Mieux-Apprendre vous annonce un heureux événement ! ( )

Pour célébrer le partenariat officiel entre le Thiagi's Group et Mieux-Apprendre, nous sommes heureux de vous annoncer la mise en ligne du site .

À travers cette vitrine, vous découvrirez tous les trésors de Thiagi, jeux-cadres, jeux à thème, jolts, ainsi qu'une expertise unique qui fait sa renommée mondiale.

Ce site de référence vous permettra aussi de partager vos expériences, et sera alimenté par vos échanges et nos ressources de manière régulière.

Toute notre équipe est honorée de cette confiance, qui fait de Mieux-Apprendre le partenaire officiel de Thiagi en francophonie et son représentant le plus actif pour promouvoir son nom et son Ĺ“uvre.

De façon régulière, Thiagi répond avec enthousiasme à notre invitation pour animer nos formations sur le thème des stratégies interactives. Prochaines dates : printemps 2014 !

Pour tout renseignement complémentaire : .