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10 Tips for Developing a Successful Training Session

Business Group 01 webOn a regular basis, companies prepare training sessions to develop the skills of their employees.  If your boss assigns the task of preparing and delivering a training session to you, here are some tips which will help you deliver superior training:

Develop Training Skills

Tip #1: Evaluate the Audience

Before you start preparing what information you plan to deliver, you need to evaluate your audience. In this process, you should gather relevant information about those participating in the training, such as how familiar they are with the subject, their age, their gender, and cultural diversity.

In addition, when developing your material, you need to consider your audience’s learning styles. There are three primary learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile. Visual learners need to see your body language and facial expressions as well as look at graphical content such as graphs, maps, and pictures to comprehend the material of your training. This is a method preferred by older and more experienced users. Auditory learners prefer listening to lectures rather than watching. Finally, tactile learning is a more hands-on approach; it is preferred by younger and less experienced employees.

Tip #2: Prepare Training Goals

In order to define the goals you plan to achieve through this training, you should take the needs of your stakeholders (co-workers and employers) into consideration. To determine your goals, use the following questions:

  • Who is being trained?
    • This will help you identify the level you are supposed to target.
    • A single subject can be presented differently for basic users, super users, or C-level personnel.
  • What are the objectives of this training session?
    • You need to conduct a needs analysis to determine the objectives of this training.
    • Ask your employers and co-workers what benefits they expect from your training and what knowledge they need the most to excel in their work.
  • Is there an upcoming change that requires this training?
    • You should know whether new industry trends are driving the development of the class.
    • This will help you determine the direction of your course.
    • In addition, you will be able to estimate how long you have to train your colleagues before the change is implemented; thus, you can decide to design a crash training course or extend the matter over several training sessions.

Tip #3: Organize Your Information

To deliver an effective training session, you need to make sure of one aspect: organization. You should make sure that your delivery is organized from the beginning of your training session until the end. At the beginning, give your participants an overview of the training session’s objectives in simple terms.

The next step is to deliver your training. Depending on the type of training you will deliver, your material should flow in one of these ways:

  • Chronological: A chronological flow will be a better option if you are covering aspects which are related to time. For example, if you’re discussing technical methods, you can start with the oldest one and move on to the latest.
  • Sequential: Following a sequential pattern will allow your information to flow in a logical manner. For example, you can start by explaining the different aspects of a problem and then explain its solution.
  • Point-Counterpoint: This technique emphasizes presenting two different sides of an issue. For example, you can explain the benefits of a software application and then counter it by mentioning its negative effects.

Regardless of what method you choose, make sure that the learning sequence is sensible, meaning every bit of information you share must be obviously related to one another. Also, include real-world examples as these will help stakeholders connect easily with your training material.

By organizing your material, you will be able to effectively manage your time. Thus, you can have several minutes at the end of your training to summarize the points and objectives of your training as well as ask questions to ensure that your message got through.

Tip #4: Address Learning Styles

Previously, you evaluated the audience to determine which learning styles suited them the best. Now, you need to prepare how you intend to address these learning styles. The most effective ways for each are listed below:

  • Visual: The way you seat your audience matters here because they want to be able to see you without any visual obstructions. You can use a podium or a stage so that everyone can see your facial expressions and movement. The use of diagrams, charts, transparencies and even handouts can help your message reach your audience effectively.
  • Auditory: You will need to have a good set of speakers and a clear microphone in order to make sure that everyone can easily hear you.
  • Kinesthetic – Tactile: For this approach, you should make sure that you have all the apparatus necessary for your set of activities. Also, check that you have extra equipment just in case more people take interest in your training and want to join it.

Tip #5: Develop Powerful Images

The best way to keep your audience captivated by your training is to use powerful words and graphics that help them create mental images. Provoking the imagination of your co-workers and employers will help them relate more to your training and make the most of it.

Tip #6: Choose Appropriate Media

In order to make your training a success, you need to choose media that is most effective. Here are some of the best media for training along with their pros and cons:

  • PowerPoint Presentations: This method is known to increase an audience’s concentration by 43%, improve communication, enhance your co-worker’s perception of your abilities, and boost your confidence. On the other hand, this method is useless for detailed processes, will require the use of other gadgets (LCDs and projectors), and can alienate audiences.
  • Flip Charts: If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get your message through, then this is it. Flip charts are also portable, easy to view, and allow you to interact with your audience. However, the downside of this method lies in its unsuitability for large groups and for presenters with poor handwriting or poor spelling.
  • Projector Slides: Slides will give you the advantage of appearing professional as well as help you address large groups. However, they won’t suit younger employees because they are too formal and do not allow interaction.
  • Videos: Using these can help you manage large or small groups. However, videos will cost your company more money because they need special equipment like VCRs, screens, and projectors.

Depending on your company’s priorities, you can choose any of these after measuring their pros and cons.

Tip #7: Practice, Practice, Practice

The old proverb “Practice makes perfect” is true in this case. You should go over your training more than once in order to discover awkward parts and irregular facts. In addition, practicing your material will reduce your nervousness, help you manage your time, and motivate you to get started.

Tip #8: Prepare the Learning Environment

In order for your co-workers to make the most of the training you had designed, you need to prepare their learning environment using the following pointers:

  • Stay Clear from Distractions – If you’re conducting the training at your company, make sure that your co-workers are in a room that won’t resonate with the sounds of your bustling organization.
  • Prepare Necessary Materials – Make sure that your equipment is up and running, and check for pencils, papers, and other apparatus your audience may need.
  • Check the Seating Arrangements – Find out how comfy the chairs are, and go over the seating plan to determine whether you and your presentation material will be visible or not.

Tip #9: Keep the Audience Interested

Always make sure that your audience is attentive and involved, or else your training session will fail. Using real-life examples and thought-provoking questions, you can easily have your co-workers concentrate on what you are teaching.

Tip #10: Handle Questions and Answers Effectively

Question and Answer sessions are the most important part of your training; thus, you should prepare for them beforehand.

Think about questions you may have to face and prepare their answers. Before delivering your training, inform attendees whether you expect questions during or after the presentation. Finally, when you answer questions, make sure to repeat the question for all to hear, and then answer concisely while keeping eye contact with the questioner.

These tips will make sure that your training runs smoothly. However, if it is success that you wish, then Ashford Global IT (AGIT) is the key. The institute offers a one-day training course entitled Developing Successful Training for Non-Training Professionals. This instructor-led class will teach you how to determine the training needs of your co-workers and employees, how to create your training, and how to present it.

So, come to Ashford Global IT, and allow its expert instructors to refine you into becoming the star trainer at your company.

About this author:

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Mary is a leading trainer in Microsoft® and Business Applications.

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