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I recently returned to Calgary after running a workshop in Vancouver for the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC). It was a fantastic day about social media, recruiting best practices, and performance management. These are 3 diverse topics and represented almost 5 hours of presenting by yours truly. It was a challenge to keep everyone’s interest high and learning strong but I received great feedback from the day.
Below are 5 tips I use when building training sessions. They help me ensure ultimate learning conditions and meet my goal to help build competence & confidence. Use these tips to do the same with your audience.
5 Best Practices for Building Engaging Trainings:
1.Define Learning Outcomes Up Front
Be clear what you expect attendees to DO by the end of the session. Your goal as a trainer is to develop content & workshops to help attendees walk away having learned and demonstrated knowledge of the identified tasks.
Gain buy-in from attendees on those topics. I often use a pre-survey with attendees to understand their top business challenges related to the topic so I can build content and examples that directly help them.
2. Identify Relevant Content
Identify the knowledge, skills & attitudes required to complete the tasks. Use the following 3 questions to help identify relevant content to build into your training:
3. Don’t Overwhelm Your Audience
Choose relevant content – don’t try and do it all. Choose content that supports your goal of building competence and trainee confidence.
Edit. Edit. Edit. I always write my content, then leave it for a week, and then edit again. I then leave it alone for another week, then write my workshops, and then edit my slides again.
4. Use Workshops
I always use a handout to help attendees take notes, facilitate workshops, and help attendee’s reflect on the learning. Build your handouts with the following in mind:
Help your attendees put the training into action through the use of workshops. This gives them a change to practice their new skills.
Use the following model: Instruct your audience on the new skill, demonstrate it, allow your attendees to try it, and then provide feedback.
Build in a feedback loop so you as a facilitator and other attendees can give each other feedback on practices their new skills.
5. Self Identification of Next steps:
Asking your attendees what they learned and how to apply their learning creates self awareness and accountability. Sharing Learnings: Based on the size of your workshop, building a sharing mechanism of learnings can help it resonate. It could be sharing at your tables or with a smaller group or doing a learning circle by going around the room and having all attendees share their biggest learning.
To identify learnings, wrap up your training handouts by asking the 2 simple questions of:
Putting It Into Action:
In the effort to practice what I’m teaching, what are the 1-2 things you are taking away from this post? What next steps will you take to apply your learning when building your next training?