You know that feeling of wanting to jump out of the window when your boss tells you they signed you up for a training? Images of never-ending hours sitting down and watching slide after slide after slide… or, even worse, being forced to do an eye contact experiment with that creepy colleague with the serial killer gaze!
Providing a great training experience is far from easy, however there are a few key dos and don’ts to rock the training room.
- Too many topics, too many slides, too many words. Humans only retain about 10% of the information they receive during a formal training, so the more you include, the less they will remember. This is also true for the presentation, which is supposed to be a visual aid to help people retain knowledge, rather than a detailed list of all topics.
- Make a monologue. According to most studies, an adult has an average attention span of about 20 minutes. Meaning, if you speak for 1 hour, you can be sure nobody will be listening to you by the end of it. The good news is that attention can be refocused over and over again! How? By diversifying activities and alternating theory with practise or discussion.
- One-fits-all approach. To all businesses out there: stay away from standardised training packages! In order to be effective, every training needs to be consistently adapted to the unique needs and challenges of the client, the type of audience, the allocated time, even the atmosphere and motivation level of participants. A pre-training analysis of all these aspects is fundamental!
- Set yourself as the expert. As a trainer, you can have all the knowledge in the world, but the true experts in the room are actually the participants. They are the ones who know the job first hand and they will be the ones applying the acquired learning in real life. Be humble and open to constructive discussion and even disagreement.
- Be unprepared. Refreshing your knowledge before every training and, most importantly, keeping yourself updated with the latest research on the field are a must to provide a professional and informed training. Today’s business world is fast-paced and staying ahead of times will help you gain credibility and trust.
- Experience is key! There is no such thing as a mediocre training. A training is either terrible or amazing. So how can you add fireworks to your training? By having people experience as much as possible, being it in the form of self-reflection activities, role plays, brainstorming, group discussions, games, etc. The more people do in practice, the more they will develop their skills.
- Something for everyone. For a training to be effective, it has to ideally meet (and exceed) the expectations of all participants with their different personalities. There will be reserved people who dread speaking in public, creative types who love using colours and post-its, team players who appreciate open discussions. Diversifying the types of activities gives everyone the chance to be engaged in their own preferred way.
- Use gamification. Why do children play? Because they learn and in the meantime they also have fun! Games stimulate communication and interaction, while encouraging participants to apply the theory in a non-threatening environment (if you fail, you only lost a game, not a formal project), they create positive competition and increase collaboration.
- Set follow-up action plans. It’s a simple and extremely effective strategy to retain knowledge and yet one that is very often overlooked. Follow-up can be in the form of a written goal-setting, a personal commitment to take a certain action, a list of how the acquired learning will be implemented in the daily job, etc. One way or another, make sure something concrete comes out of the training.
- Be flexible. As a trainer you need to develop a “sixth sense” and constantly review how the training is going. Is the energy level in the room still high or do people need a break? Are the topics relevant to the participants’ needs? If not, is there anything that can be skipped/added to the program? Making the most of the training time means adapting the content and structure to the audience.
Are you ready? Now go and give that memorable training! Still unsure? The Coaching Heads provide tailor-made Train the Trainer workshops. Contact us for a personalised program!