When planning a program of live training for employees, many companies hire a great trainer . . . and then think that effective training is bound to happen as a result.
Make no mistake, a skilled and energetic trainer is an important key to good live training. But there are other steps to take too, many of them quite simple.
Let’s take a closer look.
Present Your Training in a Room with Good Natural Light
People remain more energized and attentive in rooms with a lot of windows that allow light to come in from the outside. In contrast, trainees tend to lose energy when they are in rooms that are lit only by overhead fluorescent fixtures. So the message is, pick a room with bright natural lighting that comes from outside.
Don’t Overload Trainees with Too Much Information
Cordell Riley, the President of Tortal Training, likes to say that trying to teach people too much information is like trying to get them to “drink from a firehose.” His point is that the best training teaches only a small number of concepts or skills: the most important skills that you want your trainees to learn, not the maximum number you can squeeze into a day of training. So identify a small number of truly important concepts and teach them.
Pay Attention to Circadian Rhythms
“Circadian Rhythm” is a scientific way of saying that people experience energy highs and lows a different times of the day, according to their internal, biological clocks. If you have noticed that your energy tends to sag immediately after lunch, for example, you have noticed circadian rhythm at work.
In general, it is best to schedule “high learning” sessions at the start of the day, or just before lunch. After lunch, schedule interactive activities that allow people to tap into each other’s energy. At the end of the afternoon, schedule tests and evaluations that let people show what they have learned. A good training designer can help you design a day of learning that taps into natural circadian rhythm, and dramatically improve the quality of your training.
Pick the Right Seating Arrangement
Unless you have a large group of trainees – say, 75 or more – resist the temptation to seat them in rows that all face the front of the room. That configuration allows some trainees to retreat or even “hide” from taking full part in your training.
A horseshoe or circle seating arrangement usually results in better training. Why? Because when people face each other, they remain more engaged and involved.
Mix It Up and Provide a Variety of Activities
An interesting day of training can contain a variety of modules that can include a motivational talk, videos, breaking into small groups for exercises and discussions, as well as the opportunity to take quizzes or tests. The more variety you can provide, the more your trainees will learn.
Make Sure to Use Fresh, Top-Quality Training Materials and Videos
Some companies think, “Well, we paid a lot of money for this training video five years ago, and we are just going to keep on using it.” The reality is that using old or outmoded videos and training materials really doesn’t save money in most cases. What is the point of spending money to assemble a training class and then using materials that you know will not work?
Investing a little time and money to review and update materials as needed is a better use of your training dollars.
Provide Water, Fruit and Non-Sugary Snacks
With this last tip, we return to the issue of providing a training setting where learners can feel energized. So skip sugary snacks, even at breakfast. In addition to coffee and tea, provide fruit and bottles of water through the day. If you follow this advice, you will notice that your trainees will have more energy and focus throughout the day. And trainees who have energy learn better.
Have questions about your training design?
Why not talk to Tortal Training today?