When you conduct a training session, you are stepping into the role of educator. You are teaching your audience how to do something that you know how to do. In most cases, this will be business-oriented … but I’ve also trained people on how to belly dance!
The goal of a training session is to have the attendees able to perform some task or behavior by the end of the session. Therefore, it is essential that you prepare your material and that you know your audience.
Training sessions work best when they are tailored to your audience. This is because if your training methods go over the audience’s head, they won’t know what to do, and if it is too basic, they’ll get bored and tune you out.
Of course, regardless of what your topic is, knowing your audience is important. It just becomes critical in a training session.
Break it down
You want to break down what you are training people to do into easily digestible parts. If you can organize the task or behavior into a systematic process, so much the better.
For example, when I’m teaching belly dance, during the warm-up I use simple moves that are parts of the more advanced dance moves I’ll be training later in the class. That way, people get familiar and comfortable with the pieces, so as they put them together, otherwise, complex moves seem easy.
You can do the same thing with just about anything. The sale process can be broken down into component activities. Data entry can be broken down into each field that needs to be entered. Heck, writing a speech can be broken down into three primary parts!
Use strategic repetition in your training session
You’ve probably heard the old adage, “Tell them what you’re going to say. Say it. Then tell them what you said.” The thing that is often missing from this advice is that the reason you do this is to give people the same information is several different ways. That way, if they don’t understand the info when you say it one way, the likelihood they’ll understand it from a different viewpoint is pretty high.
Remember, your audience is going to be a mix of people with different learning styles. Some will be visual learners, others audio learners and the remainder will be kinesthetic learners. You need to get your training message to all of them. Use word pictures (if not actual pictures) for the visual learners. Explain things carefully for audio learners. And be sure to include some hands-on demonstration for the kinesthetic learners.
Of course, there is so much more to creating a successful and effective training session than what I cover here, but these tips are a good foundational start.
Resources for developing a training session:
- Developing an Effective Training Course
Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
- Developing Training Aids
Purdue University Libraries, Train the Trainer Series
- 10 Tips for Developing a Successful Training Session
Ashford Global Information Technology
Do you miss this?
Here is the last (and first) post in this “Types of Speeches” series:
The next post in this series is The Motivational Speech.