A great training session doesn’t just start on the day of delivery. Planning is equally important and impacts greatly on effectiveness. Just as important is the consideration given to the ‘takeaway’, thinking about what you want to change or happen as a result of the training – what participants will be taking with them to apply in the real world. For example, if you were conducting a training session on the importance of communication skills in business, some of the key takeaways could be:
- Understanding the importance of good communication in business
- Key business communication skills
- Presentation skills and strategies
- Tips for good business writing
- Consider what the participants already know. Make sure the session is pitched for their level, needs and interests. You could share a pre-session questionnaire which will help you plan for this.
- Decide what you want the participants to know beforehand. Share details of the session to build interest. Having clear objectives, pre-session tasks (if you are leveraging a flipped classroom model), a list of equipment needed and a brief biography of the trainer can all help prepare participants and whet their appetite.
A good training session has clear stages that go from learning to application. One possible way to label these is Define-Inform-Connect-Resolve.
- Define the issues, skills or development areas being covered.
- Inform participants by introducing strategies, techniques, theories or models that can be applied to the above areas.
- Connect participants to the strategies through practical activities such as role-plays and discussions.
- Resolve the learning through considering future and alternative applications of the strategies.
Training is a success when the participants can immediately go out and apply what they have learned.
- Ensure you provide opportunities to participants to reflect on what they have learned as it applies to their own contexts. Make sure they always have something practical to ‘take away’ and apply.
- Always ask for feedback after the training. It’s a great way to gauge how well participants processed the information and to find out what they enjoyed and what they didn’t. Use this when you are planning next time to create an even better training experience!
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