Congratulations, you’ve been asked to lead a training course! Helping others learn a new skill is something of great privilege, so you know you’ll need to do your best for them to come away with as much information as they need to know. So how do you do this? The critical point to start creating […]
The critical point to start creating a useful training session is to have an in-depth plan and special consideration for your trainees.
We can break this down into two areas:
A. Understanding your trainees and their needs
B. Understanding how to provide efficient training.
Firstly, we will take a look at your who, what, where, when and why.
Who will be your trainees?
What will they be learning?
Where will the training course be?
When will the course be happening and how long will it last?
Why do people need this training?
1. Who will be your trainees? It’s a good idea to consider the age demographic of your trainees. Will it be students? Directors? Or perhaps it’ll be a broad spectrum of ages and expertise levels. Take some time to consider what ways of working might work best for them. Students may find visual concepts such as infographics easier to absorb information. They may appreciate more humour and relevant on-trend topics to relate to. Board members and director may take in information better when you connect it to facts and figures. They’ll be able to relate to the business and financial aspects and how they need to apply these skills to make them benefit their business.
With a broader spectrum of trainees, perhaps it is safer to go with a roleplay and team-building scenario. This often throws most out of their comfort zone. However, this is better than one specific age/experience level feeling completely alienated.
Keep in mind that the “who” will also apply to logistics and accessibility. Will you need wheelchair access? Are there refreshments and loo’s nearby? Could your trainees be easily distracted? Will they be physically comfortable sat in the chair’s you’ll use? Might you need large-scale print? Perhaps print in multiple languages?
2. What will they be learning? Let’s be honest. Not all training is fun. For some topics, such as health and safety, it’s more of a necessity to ensure people can do their best to be safe within the workplace. Perhaps you have some brain-draining number-crunching issues to sort so that people can work more efficiently.
For these types of training, you must highlight the importance of the course and the tasks within it; all while keeping people feeling involved and in good spirits. When there’s a lot to learn that will result in them “passing” or “failing”, try to keep the conversations flowing. Check on individuals so that they will be comfortable asking questions. By doing this, it helps prevent you from leaving anyone behind.
You may have something entirely different to teach. Perhaps you’re teaching a group of students how to face paint, or a cocktail making party. Naturally, there should be a lot of humour and giggles. Some may think of it to be a lighter course, but there’s a lot of hard work in keeping your audience entertained while happy with their final masterpieces.
3. Where will the training course be? What country? What is the surrounding landscape? Will it be indoors or outdoors? What is the weather likely to be?
You may be lucky enough to be training at a lovely exotic travel destination. Consider what kind of clothing the trainees might have. Is it suitable for outdoor activities? Perhaps suggest a dress code in advance. Attendees in suits are unlikely to risk spoiling them. In the same way, people in a hotter climate may not want to team-build too closely with others. Does your training facility offer shaded outdoor areas that you could utilise for part of the course?
Be sure to offer facilities like water, etc. Make sure you think about how often people might need to take a break. Perhaps for a drink, the loo, a cigarette break, or even just a bit of time to absorb the course information so far.
4. When will the course be happening and how long will it last? If you have the luxury of deciding how long your course takes, then that’s great. All you’ll need to do is make sure that you cover on key area per day. By splitting this down, a daily session may look like this:
Introduction. (Overview). Telling your trainees what they will be learning today, how they will be learning it, plus anything they will need to learn it (like equipment). It’s good to say when you’d expect today’s session to finish, plus any breaks in-between. Knowledge (Memorisation). This is the part where you are to provide the information and facts to the class. Comprehension (Understanding). Here, you re-run through these facts by relating relevant examples. You could also rephrase these ideas using the different learning methods mentioned previously. Try using something visual, like a diagram, or roleplay video etc. Analysis (Dissection). Now that your students should understand the information, it’s time to work with them to analyse the content, pick it apart, understand how one bit relates to the other. Synthesis (Creation). Now it’s their turn to try the information out on their own. This part can vary widely. Let’s say, for example, that you’re teaching a science module. This is the part in which they’ll be experimenting themselves, predicting the outcome and seeing if they correct. For a fine art course, you may have taught a particular brush stroke. This is where the trainee will know if they’re able to replicate your methods. Evaluation (Judgement). Working with your trainees, you will evaluate whether or not their predictions were right, and if they had fully understood and followed your teachings. Other times this will be just marking a test.
5. Why do people need this training? A fair amount of your training course will be dependant upon why people need this training. Some of your attendees may feel that it is not essential, that it’s just an extra thing to put on their CV. What you need to shine a light on is encouraging the idea that this course adds a vital skill or area of knowledge. This skill/knowledge will be a unique tool for the individual or business to utilise in future. By completing the course, your trainee will have become more valuable.
Secondly, let’s discuss learning types.
While there are endless styles in which people learn, we can pop them into two types.