Free Online Resources for Soft Skills Training Material

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What are the best free online resources for soft skills training materials? We are going to help you to answer this question below!

As a trainer, educator or facilitator, you have probably experienced that good icebreakers, exercises, and energizer games are essential for an engaging and effective soft skills training.

Soft skills training programs may include different topics, such as effective communication, time management, emotional intelligence, presentation skills, active listening and more. They may be short or part of a more comprehensive program. Certainly, being directed to adult learners, they must include hands-on practice and engaging activities for skill development.

It takes careful consideration to choose the right activities for your session, the ones that will fit perfectly with your learning objectives, group size, profile of participants, and the time available.

We are here to help! Below you will find the best free online soft skills resources for trainers, education professionals, and facilitators.

The Best Free Platforms with Soft Skills Training Materials

Refreshing your toolbox of trainer resources is good for experimenting with new ideas and, importantly, in order to avoid falling back upon a popular activity that some of the participants have already done before.

However, finding proven quality exercises on soft skills online is not easy. There are many resources online that are not cheap, and yet their quality is questionable. Even with trusted resources there can still be a lack of essential information that can help you ensure your planned training activities are conducted properly.

Occasionally, you can find some information on professional forums, but usually not in a structured and easily searchable way. Here are 5 great places to go to find libraries of accessible, well-organized methods and tools for teaching soft skills.

BusinessBalls is one of the most comprehensive collections of free soft skills training materials online. You can find video clips for teaching and training, team-building games, and theories on different topics including time management, strategy and innovation, career success, leadership, and even relationships.

Moreover, the team behind BusinessBalls offers advice on how to enhance your use of the site and the materials and provides an option for asking for new content. They focus on resources and topics that help trainers, L&D professionals, and educators to gain knowledge and inspiration from.

With 230 available courses, there is something for everyone. All the topics are easy to search through and while some require premium membership, you can find plenty of free content as well. All the courses include different articles, videos, and a strong set of extra materials: you can create your own learning path, immersing yourself in topics from organization management to self awareness and many more.

Screenshot from the Business Balls catalogue of courses
Business Ball’s list of courses is extensive and easily searchable


As the name indicates, this site offers a great variety of different training games and resources. Icebreakers, training documents, and team building exercises are just a few of the topics you can find on Trainer Bubble along with training videos. Every exercise’s description states the objective, duration, and group size. Additionally, there is an “intended for…” section that gives you a brief overview of how to maximize your use of the activity.

Complete training course materials are available for purchase, but the free training materials section includes what is essentially a starting kit to help you train participants in soft skills. Aside from the games and exercises, there are articles on different topics such as how to lead a brainstorming session or how to do networking, evaluation sheets, and an overview of popular training models.

Screeshot from the free training materials page on trainerbubble
The free materials page on trainerbubble is a good place to start looking for inspiration

Training Course Material

This company specializes in selling training packages for the workplace. If what you are looking for is free soft skills training materials though, you can still find support for your creative process in the free material section.

Particularly interesting are the free assessment tools: they give the reader the possibility to self-test on such areas as learning styles and conflict resolution skills. Tests and quizzes are popular with learners, and can make a good addition to a successful soft skills training course.

Every test ends with notes and articles that can be a great place to learn more about soft skills and related topics. Different results from different learners can also form the basis of debrief conversations.

Screenshot from the Training Course Material free assessment page
Add some fun to your training course with self-assessment tests such as these from the Training Courses Material website

Best Collection of Games and Exercises to Teach Soft Skills

In this section we’ve assembled some of the best places to go if you are looking for individual games, activities and exercises to add some flare to your soft skills training experience. You can find still more in our collection of free online workshop resources.

Thiagi’s Game List

Thiagi’s game list has more than 400 free games and exercises with detailed descriptions, facilitation tips, and debriefing questions, ready-to-run for everyone. What makes these games so powerful is the debriefing section of every exercise. Content is important but success comes only if you can debrief in a way that participants can learn from.

Aside from the games, you can find articles, interviews and podcasts on their site. A significant set of Thiagi games are also available in the SessionLab library, where you can easily filter and search based on ideal group size, time frame and necessary materials.

Thiagi group games. And, delightfully, more games.

Hyper Island Toolbox

The Hyper Island Toolbox contains 100+ games and exercises sorted into categories such as energisers, self-leadership or innovation. The latter category is what gives this toolbox an edge: if you are looking for activities for a design-focused workshop or prototyping session, you can easily find it here. Every activity indicates group size, time frame, facilitation level and comfort zone from the participant’s point of view. The instructions are well-written and easy to follow. All of the exercises are available in the SessionLab library as well.

Screenshot from the Hyper Island toolbox contains a collection of more than 100 icebreakers sorted by group size and icebreaker type. As the name indicates, it focuses solely on icebreakers, but it does have a great variety of them on the website.

Icebreakers get a bad reputation sometimes. Nobody likes “forced fun”! When picking and presenting an icebreaking, getting-to-know-you or energizing activity, there are three things to keep in mind to ensure they help, not hinder, your learning experience:

  • choose an activity that connects to the workshop’s topic. There are plenty of games and quick energizers related, for example, to leadership, good communication or teamwork. Explain the purpose behind the activity and save some time, even a quick 5-min, to debrief learnings.
  • learn about your group before choosing activities. What are they comfortable with? What mood suits their style?
  • enable people to opt out! Every activity in a course should be an invitation. Give participants options, for example, to step aside and observe the dynamics if they don’t feel like joining a particular icebreaker or game.

Skills Converged Free Training Materials

If you are lost among Skills Converged’s over 500 articles, tips and tools for soft skills training, go check out the guidance in their Introduction Page. You’ll find selected topics and categories to begin with, from how to design a training course to curated collections on motivation, communication, and more.

A screenshot from the Skills Converged website
Choose your topic to find a selection of activities, tips and worksheets on the Skills Converged website

SessionLab’s Library of Facilitation Techniques

In our own SessionLab library you can find hundreds of methods and activities to support your delivery of soft skills training. This is a crowdsourced collection of over 1200 methods.

You’ll find classics from well-known frameworks such as Liberating Structures, as well as methods tested and added by facilitators across the globe. When using SessionLab’s planner, you can add methods from the library directly into your agenda, making the flow of designing skills training much more effective.

If you have created activities yourself and want to help others succeed, consider adding a new resource as well!

A screenshot of methods from SessionLab's library
Find the right tool for your next session by searching keywords or scrolling through a section in SessionLab’s library

Soft Skills Training Materials on Interpersonal Skills and Emotional Intelligence

The definition of what exactly is a “soft skill” changes depending on who you speak with. It is generally implied to include abilities related to communication and working with other people. This overlaps with facilitation skills, particularly those falling under the broad category of life competences.

Burnout, miscommunication, and workplace conflicts can impact employee happiness, even affecting turnover. Consequently, there is a big market for courses that can help teams improve their people skills in workplace environments.

Session Templates for Interpersonal Skills Training

This half-day agenda for a self-awareness workshop (based on Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: Why it Matters more than IQ) provides a real-world example of what a training session focused on improving soft skills with managers and co-workers looks like.

People in leadership positions need soft skill training boosts more than anyone. It can be taxing to manage people and figure out the intricacies of conflict resolution or workplace communication! If you are looking for the right sort of activities to upskill leaders’ soft skill abilities on the job, take a look at the flow of this two-day agenda template for a Leadership Development workshop.

Check out this detailed agenda template for a leadership development workshop on SessionLab

More Resources on Emotional Intelligence

If you are interested in how, as trainer, you can help teams develop emotional intelligence, we’ve written an introductory guide to the topic, which lists 25 activities you can facilitate to help build communication skills, empathy, and emotional self-management.

This article on the Positive Psychology page lists still more resources you can dig into if you want to focus on developing emotional intelligence skills.

Soft Skills Training Programs Materials on Feedback

Another vast field of soft skill training covers effective communication and feedback. In fact, learning how to deliver, and receive feedback is possibly the most requested of new skills. Trainers are regularly asked to upskill any new co worker on this topic. The ability to design and deliver an excellent soft skill training with a focus on feedback is bound to bring success!

  • a collection of 14 great activities for practicing feedback techniques in order to communicate effectively with your co-workers;
  • an in-depth look at what you need to prepare to run a feedback workshop, including information on pre-work to do with your potential client;
  • a template for a 2-hour workshop designed to introduce new managers to giving and receiving better feedback with their team.
A hands-on workshop to introduce new managers to giving and receiving feedback, in SessionLab’s planner

Further useful trainer resources

Forums and groups can be a great help for finding a specific exercise or theory, gaining some inspiration on delivery or getting feedback on your own ideas. Plus, in this section we are happy to share some more resources which were recommended by our SessionLab community!

Some LinkedIn groups for trainers are:

Further websites recommended by the SessionLab community:

  • More than two hundred free articles and resources to develop people and organizations on Nick Heap’s site. Among them you can find some exercises and games as well.
  • offers a range of free training resources: 10 training exercises among many other useful templates

If you are interested in solutions that help you in managing your sessions, we have collected no less than 47 of the best free tools for effectively preparing and running training sessions.

Do you have any further suggestions for where to find quality training resources? Share them with us in the comments, or join the conversation in SessionLab’s friendly facilitation community!


  1. Tim Robinson August 10, 2018 as 3:55 pm

    Thank you, this is a really useful list. I use Businessballs frequently, and it’s great to see some more resources out there!

  2. Thank you ! This indeed a useful info…

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