Originally posted by Community Host and Trainer Jane Brown
1) Keep lecture to a minimum.
You have prepared a two hour agenda but when you arrive to train, you are told that you will have 60 minutes. What to do? Trim your lecture, not your learning activities.
2) Introduce a few topics well.
Most instruction can be dramatically improved by reducing the amount of content! Give your participants the skills to be able to continue learning on their own, rather than trying to cover too much.
3) Be prepared to manage multiple skill and knowledge levels.
- Find out about your participants' skills before your training or during introductions.
- Acknowledge different levels to set the stage for more advanced participants to act as mentors to the others less skilled.
- Have multiple versions of activities prepared so advanced participants aren't bored waiting for others to finish.
- Work hard to get everyone to complete an activity. Allow sufficient time. For slower participants, prepare graduated hints.
4) Do group exercises whenever possible.There is a huge social component to learning.
- Set up groups of three to five so everyone feels obligated to participate.
- When you begin an activity, have each person start working individually and then get them active in their groups.
- Listen in to group discussions and comment as needed.
- Use an online timer so participants know when to wrap up.
- Report out to the whole group. Someone act as recorder. Someone be spokesperson.
5) Design activities. The best activities include an element of surprise. The worst exercises are those where you spend 30 minutes explaining something, and then have participants duplicate everything you just said. Yes, that provides practice, but it's weak.
- Paper and pencil exercises are great.
- Try a jigsaw activity to cover multiple topics in a short amount of time. Small groups teach the whole group what they have discovered.
- Game-show activities can still be fun.
- Activities should feel relevant. It's up to you to either create an activity where the point is obvious, or that you can make a case for doing.
6) Leave your ego at the door. This is not about you.
You lose credibility by talking about how great you are; it's far more important that you care about what your participants know and will know, thanks to what they learn in your training. The best way to let participants know your expertise is to do it in the context of questions asked. If you don't know an answer, say so, but let them know you will get back to them by email with an answer, and do it.
7) Have a Quick Start and a Big Finish.
WOW them in the first 10 minutes. The faster they're engaged, the better.
End your training on a high. Summarize the training by asking participants to tell something they found helpful and are excited about learning.
8) Try never to talk more than 10-15 minutes without doing something interactive. And saying, "Any questions?" does not count as interaction.
Get them doing rather than listening.
9) Don't assume that just because you said it, they got it. And don't assume that just because you said it 5 minutes ago they remember it.
Dare to be redundant. Great trainers know how to slip in redundancy in an almost stealth way... where the topic is looked at again but from a different angle. It's up to you to keep it interesting.
10) Be passionate about your participants' learning experience.
Your passion is infectious. However, passion for Verizon Thinkfinity and motivating educators to use the individual resources you are introducing are completely different.
Don't think of yourself as a trainer... since that puts the focus on you. Think of yourself as "a person who creates learning experiences... a person who helps others learn."
What other training tips have worked for you? Share them in the.