I believe training is a love/hate relationship. The result being based on a number of factors:

The trainer: engaging, monotone, lecture style, mannerisms, knowledgeable

The venue: temperature, seating(!), refreshments, time of the day, easy to get to, parking

The method: interactive, powerpoint, handouts, group work, tests, brain storming, fun

Rules: structure, dress code, technology, involvement, mandatory

And most of all: You; the attendee.

Everyone is different, we learn in different ways and respond to teaching in different ways. For a trainer this is the area of most concern. How to engage with all, encourage responses and generally to ensure that all attendees get the most from the training.

Individuals will turn up to training with a level of self motivation. A high level will certainly help the trainer (although the trainer still has to deliver but they have a head start because the attendee wants to be there and learn what is on the agenda). If however they have been sent or they have other things to do that self motivation may be less so. If you think about mandatory, yearly training for the individual going for the 3-4-5 time; they are not expecting anything new and therefore don’t see the value or need to be there and will be far harder to engage with or motivate. This can impact other attendees; even first timers where the knowledge may be new.

Finding value in the training: another thing a trainer must get over to the attendees within the first few minutes. Showing how they will benefit personally, or their job, or their income, or their promotional prospects – this will increase motivation and enable the training to become more relevant and therefore more interesting to the attendees.

Early engagement is essential; grasping the attention and showing the value as well as receiving early feedback from the audience. For example ascertaining the experience and knowledge in the room. This will help the trainer to draw out that knowledge to support the training as well as recognising that knowledge and valuing their input – fundamentally we do love to share our knowledge and help others and as a trainer it works really well if people can learn on the day but also have a reference point for the future for additional materials and individuals to refer to.

I would say the primary area’s for an optimum training session are:

  • Engagement
  • Motivation
  • Value
  • Feedback
  • Learning

So, do you love it or hate it? I’d love to hear what you love/hate about sessions you have attended or even given.

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