Unfortunately, a bad training session is something that almost everyone has experienced at one time or another. Whether the issue was a lack of engagement, poor subject knowledge or boring content, ineffective training achieves very little. However, for those responsible for delivering training of any kind to a team or group, there are ways to ensure everyone gets more from the experience.
Start afresh every time
Managers/trainers should begin from a blank page, assuming nothing about the recipients of the training. You might know their names and positions within the business but the more important information to establish through the session will be what they actually do day-to-day, what skills they want to acquire and what issues the training needs to address.
Create some ground rules
Training sessions work better when they have a structured approach so ground rules are essential. Scheduled breaks, required participation and whether mobile phones need to be switched off – this is all essential information that is better delivered before training gets under way so that everyone there knows what is expected of them.
Focus on content that will get attention
What this requires often depends on the time of day that you’re training people. For example, if the session takes place after lunch when everyone is experiencing a post-food slump, it may be preferable to focus on tasks that involve movement and interaction than training that is based around looking at a screen. It’s always important to consider the audience and what medium they are most likely to engage with, whether that’s group working, question and answer sessions or watching video content.
Know the topic
In a professional environment, gaps in the knowledge of the trainer are not only embarrassing to deal with but can demotivate the entire group – especially if you’re their manager. So, it’s crucial that the trainer has a comprehensive grasp of the subject matter before the training takes place. It’s important to be prepared for participants who might have an unexpectedly in-depth knowledge of a topic – have back up material ready in case the initial stages of the training are completed faster than expected.
Checking in is important
Good training is delivered responsively – are the participants engaged, are they enjoying it, or do they look ready to walk out at the next break? It’s key to check in regularly to establish whether the pacing of the session is right for the group, the level of difficulty is well suited and that what has been delivered so far has been absorbed.
Be prepared for reluctant learners
Especially in a professional environment, participants may often feel that they have better things to do with their time. Others may have already decided that they know everything before the session even begins. It’s a challenge to deal with reluctant learners but a little humour and helping them to identify the relevance of the training can often create that essential engagement.
Being able to design and deliver training is an essential component in great management. Our Train the Trainer course is designed to empower managers to assist and guide their team to their stated targets and beyond.