5 Tips to Build Engaging Trainings


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Engaged Participants
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:

  • What must someone DO to perform the task? (identifies the skills)
  • What must someone KNOW to be able to perform the task? (identifies the knowledge required)
  • What must someone be CONCERNED about to be bale to perform the task? (identifies the attitudes)
  • 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:

  • Personal Commitment: What are the 1-2 things you are taking away to do differently in relation to XXX topic?
  • Actioning Your Commitment: What next steps will you take to action the above commitments?
  • 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?

    Chelsea Newton
    Chelsea is known as a dynamic and engaging talent consultant and professional speaker. As a Certified Executive Coach, she is extremely passionate about helping people realize both their goals and full potential. Chelsea has worked in 12 countries around the world helping Fortune 500 companies recruit, train, develop, and motivate top talent using cutting edge communication techniques and social media. She is currently developing top talent in the oil sands and speaking across Canada as the founder of Talent Formula.

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