Why should people give up their time and pay attention to you? Simple, you add value and they need to know and experience this. Avoid some of the ‘groan moments’ when delivering your training by using some of my top ten trainer tips.
10 Top Tips for Trainers
1. Keep to time
Waiting for late comers is disrespectful to those who chose to arrive on time. If one person arrives 15 minutes late and you have 10 people who arrived on time, you have wasted 150 minutes of other people’s time. It also sets up the precedent that it is okay to arrive late which encourages more later-comers. Respect peoples time and keep your boundaries at break times and at lunch time as well.
2. Build in interaction
The days of the training course where you speak and people listen have long gone. Your aim now must be to build in lots of interactive discussions, activities and exercises. I recommend going even further by thinking about how to stimulate interaction and networking during breaks, over lunch and after the training course.
3. Plan a surprise
One of my pet hates is over running at the end of the day – this is NOT a good surprise. Whilst I do not advocate you finish early, you can plan into your training course delivery plan a surprise early finish. In my experience, the bonus of a slightly early finish works well. It gives people time to beat the traffic or, for those more diligent, additional time to talk to you.
4. Quick wins and fast takeaways
Make sure people can see and experience the value of the training course by building in some early takeaways and quick wins. The sooner people realise this is valuable stuff and think ‘I need to pay attention in case there are more ‘golden nuggets’ ’ the sooner you will have their cooperation and commitment.
5. Be clear on what is expected
Start as you mean to go on by communicating important information in advance. Make sure people know how to find the venue, where to park, any specific dress code or evening activities. If you plan to start at 1.15 pm, start at 1.15 pm. If they have 20 minutes for an activity, stick to 20 minutes. Respect yours and their boundaries.
6. Reflect and recap
Never end a training session, day or course without reflecting and re-capping key points and important lessons. Use these as opportunities to ‘hammer home’ your core messages and to confirm that everyone has ‘got it’.
7. Start the day with a reminder
To get people to reconnect with the previous day or the previous session’s content and core messages, kick-off sessions with a simple re-cap. I like to involve people in summarising and recapping core points for me rather than me doing it. This gives me another chance to confirm they have ‘got it’ – plus hearing it from someone else helps people to retain and engage – there is something about peer-to-peer learning that is very powerful, so capitalise on it.
8. Give some extras
People like ‘freebies’ and extras. I plan in most of my extras and freebies even though they might look like adhoc or spontaneous extras. Use the phrase, “Here’s a great web site that you can get ideas from” or “A great source for more templates and tools is www.abc.com – you might like to make a note of that as this is not in the training materials.”
9. Tell stories
Never lecture, do not preach, but do tell stories. Everyone loves a good story. When telling stories use humour, visuals and create powerful images and mental pictures. Using anecdotes, examples and metaphors all help to communicate and make your message vivid, interesting and memorable.
10. Be prepared
I find I can never be too prepared. Makes sure you know where you are going; who will be attending; what their needs are; the order and content of your training materials; where the toilets are and where the refreshment breaks will take place; and how success will be measured.