Train Your Project or Event Planning Team Like a Pro

Purchased ImageIf you want your event to run smoothly, you’ll need an efficient and well-trained team.  Whether that team is composed of vendors, volunteers, or family & friends, it’s your job to give them the right tools and training they need to succeed.  To train your team, use the ‘Tell-Show-Do-Review’ training technique.  Everyone has their own learning style (auditory, visual, and tactile), this method trains for each of them.

  1. TELL them what them what they’ll be trained on and why (auditory)
  2. SHOW or demonstrate what you’re going to train (visual)
  3. DO the task themselves (tactile)
  4. REVIEW what they just learned

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To demonstrate how the ‘Tell-Show-Do-Review’ technique can be applied to event planning we’ll use my wedding rehearsal.  If we were to view this as a classroom environment, the officiant and venue’s wedding coordinator function as the instructors and the wedding party is the team to be trained.

TELL them what and why

What is a wedding rehearsal?  It is an event to walk through the process of a wedding ceremony.  Why do we have a wedding rehearsal? It gives members of the the wedding party the opportunity to practice their role in the ceremony and to meet one another.

SHOW them how to do it

The officiant and venue’s wedding coordinator explain and demonstrate the components of the wedding ceremony.  The handout (below) is designed to reinforce the demonstration as well as show the location where everyone will be during the ceremony.  Since the rehearsal is also an opportunity for everyone to meet and build rapport, I included a brief description of everyone’s relationship with myself and the groom.

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DO it

We all take our places and practice a walk-through of the entire wedding ceremony.  Well, we don’t practice everything (i.e. getting married).  If we did, there’d be no reason for a wedding.

REVIEW what you just told them

At the end of the rehearsal, the officiant and venue’s wedding coordinator should encourage questions as they provide a high-level review.   In addition, our day-of coordinator explains the series of activities leading up to the ceremony that require the wedding party’s participation.  Although it would not be part of the rehearsal, this information is important and is also included in the handouts.  Using the ‘Tell-Show-Do-Review’ technique and your SmartDraw diagrams will ensure that your event takes place just as you envision.


As part of the review process, handouts are issued based on an individual’s role and degree of detail required (refer to org chart below).  Similar to the earlier post “Event Planning Made Simple: Design, Delegate, Dazzle,” I designed the diagrams to delegate.  The diagram above explains everyone’s roles.  The diagrams below provide the sequence of events leading up to and immediately following the ceremony.  These diagrams function as a review of the information provided by the day-of coordinator.  These are informational items that aren’t necessary for rehearsal.

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Review Handout #1: Ceremony Schedule Diagram

Audience: Wedding Party, Officiant (Note: Only the ceremony timeline portion of the diagram is shared with the venue’s Wedding Coordinator. That diagram is not shown).

Application of Information Learned: A section titled “What I Should Know Before the Wedding,” encouraged the members of the wedding party to answer questions regarding their participation in the ceremony.

SmartDraw Tips: Once you’ve mind mapped all of the information, simply organize everything by clicking and dragging them into logical groups.   As a side note, each of the photo groups (on the far right hand side) actually has a detailed list associated to it.  Since the wedding party members know which group they belong to, I chose to collapse or hide that information which is to be used in another diagram.  Learn how to create Mind Maps. With any of the templates you can add text, color, and style to bring attention to certain elements of a diagram.  Explore what you can do in the SmartDraw User Guide: Fundamentals for New Users.  Use the Flowchart  Template to clearly articulate the steps or process of the ceremony and photo shoot.  Explore SmartDraw’s easy to use Flowchart Template.

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Review Handout #2: Photo Line Up Diagram

Audience: Photographers, Maids of Honor (The two Maids of Honor were asked to assist the photographers in organizing the photo groups).

SmartDraw Tips: This diagram is actually the subset of the information that was mind mapped in the diagram above.  Unlike the previous diagram, the photo groups are no longer collapsed or hidden but rather expanded.  Here’s more information on how to expand or hide subtopics.  When you’re aware that you will re-purpose a diagram, I recommend that you first include all the information.  Then you have the option to determine what is displayed or hidden before you print.  Here’s some additional information about the printing features.

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Review Handout #3: Comprehensive Diagram

Audience: Day-of Coordinator

SmartDraw Tips: When designing diagrams for the purpose of providing instructions to others, it’s important to chunk the information to make it easier for your viewer to understand.  In this case, the day-of coordinator would need to see the big picture as well as details such as the names of individuals participating in the formal photos.  To label the diagram simply navigate to the Home Ribbon and select the appropriate shape from the Shape drop-down menu.  Then modify the color as well as transparency by using the Fill and Line controls found within the Home Ribbon.  Click to further your understanding of Adding Shapes and Lines.  There’s no need to eyeball the placement of objects in SmartDraw.  Simply use the Design Ribbon to align, make same, and space evenly.  The SmartDraw User Guide: Fundamentals for New Users goes into further details of how to use the Design Ribbon. 

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