How to conduct effective trainings?

Conducting effective trainings takes careful planning and the ability to explain things on a level that everyone present at the training is able to comprehend. The key is to prepare well, enjoy the training process and connect with audience.  Some of the key tips are as follows:

  • Preparation is the key word for conducting effective trainings. Trainers need to invest time for preparation and be well versed with their training and learning material.
  • Your enthusiasm in conducting trainings will inject natural confidence and energies in you. Actively participate as a trainer and be open and friendly. Be upbeat and energetic.
  • Create an enjoyable atmosphere. Use different items to make the training fun for all who attend, such as video and audio clips, games that give participants a chance to participate and keep them engaged. Team activities, role plays, group exercises, all contribute to training.
  • Maintain the interest of the participants and raise the degree of absorption of knowledge during training. Allow the participants to ask questions, come to the front of the room and perform a group skit or make suggestions as to what they would like to learn during your training session.
  • Power Point has really changed the world for trainers and all business people alike. This is a great training tool that you can and should use, but use it wisely, and don’t make your workshop an entire Power Point slide lecture.
  • The presentation skills are very important for effective training. Always face participants and make the session an interactive one. Open, well balanced and straight body posture together with clear and firm tone of voice are keys to success.
  • Facilitate and run the training session with control. Build rapport with the groups by trying to learn their names, making eye contact and encouraging participation. Use of questions can help you enormously in your training. Be ready to extricate yourself from complicated situations and to deal with difficult participants.

How to keep the interest of participants alive & keep them engaged?

Keeping participants’ attention is more important and more difficult than grabbing the audience attention. A one-way presentation is one of the worst possible ways of transferring information from person to person. Following guidelines are important to keep the interest of participants alive and keep them engaged:

Talk about something your audience is interested in. Think out of the box and relate to examples which participants encounter in their normal life. For example, when explaining client service relate to examples of Mc Donlads, Pizza Hut etc.

The ultimate goal is to have your audience in a state of flow. One of the prerequisites for flow to occur is for the task to be not too easy and not too hard. Audit every minute of your training session in terms of what is the thinking task that you’re asking your audience to engage in. Is it too easy or too hard?

Every good trainer extols the power of stories. When you say “I’ll tell you a story about…” your audience will perk up. Your stories should of course reinforce the point you’re making.

Give out prizes and awards. Let all attendees know that there will be prizes awarded during and at the end of the training. Give awards to the person who asks the most interesting questions. Give a prize to the group who is able to come up to the front of the class at the end of the session and summarize what took place in the best way.

When to start preparation of training due in 2 weeks time?

The preparation time required to prepare for a training session varies from person to person. Generally one hour of training/lecture requires three hours of preparation. Therefore it is important to invest ample time for preparation in order to conduct an effective training session. Make sure all logistics arrangements i.e. computers, projectors, flipcharts etc are made well in time before the training session.

How important are the energizers?

Energizers are important to keep the brain awake and involve the participants in training. Try to do something different to change the pattern of the training session. It can be a puzzle, game, role play etc.  Changing seating plan of the participants also helps. Taking a short break every after every 30 minutes can also serve as a good energizer.

As trainer one should be clear on why, how, and when to use the energizers. Caution is required when using them so that the participants remain in your control and do not lose the objective of training.

How to make people remember & implement the subject matter of the training?

Relate the subject matter of training to their work and use real life examples. Sell the benefits of the subject matter to the participants. Role- plays are one of the most effective tools in any training. Remember, people learn and remember best from doing, so what better way than role-plays. Role- plays provide a great opportunity to practice skills, knowledge and techniques. Role-plays are realistic, and bring the real world to your training workshop. It will help making your training “an affair to remember”. Moreover, follow up; if possible, get feedback from people a few days after the training.

How to measure ROI on trainings?

The best way is to get feedback on job performance from immediate supervisors of the participants involved in training. Measurable milestones should be set where possible. Also obtain feedback / comments from the participants in order to know the areas where you can bring improvement in the training process.

This article was published in ‘Impressions’, the in-house magazine of PwC Pakistan.

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