For anyone who has conducted a training session before, you would know that it takes hard work to deliver an information-packed session that not only meets the expectations of the attendees but also helps accelerate their goals and vision.
Simply understood, a training session is an event that provides educational value to attendees. Whether you’re planning an orientation training, product training, team skill training or a certification class, training sessions can include anything from lectures and evaluations to discussions and demonstrations. These seven tips for planning a training session will help maximize the training experience to be both effective and valuable for both your attendees and yourself.
7 Tips for Effective Training Sessions
- Establish Learning Objectives
- Be Thoughtful About Structure
- Deliver a Clear, Digestible Presentation
- Incorporate Engaging Activities
- Time Management
- Pick a Conducive Event Venue
- Evaluate Experiences
1. Establish Learning Objectives
Start by determining what is the desired outcome you want for your attendees. Think about what type of change you want your training to make. This helps you in identifying a clear objective and designing an even better training structure. By establishing and clearly stating the learning objectives at the beginning of the training session, you can help set the right tone. Introduce your session with a brief overview of the training subject’s main points.
A clear objective can sound like:
“After completing the three-day marketing training, the learner will be able to create social media content for their business.”
“After completing the 4-hour training, the learner will be able to understand the sales and reporting process within the company. “
2. Be Thoughtful About Structure
A structured training program has a clearly detailed schedule, time frame, outline of activities, and assignment of responsibilities. Having a structured training program typically leads to more success than an informal or unstructured one.
As you work on your presentation, consider the current skillset & knowledge level of the attendees to ensure the absorption of your content will be seamless. If there is a sub-set of your attendees who may not match the skill set of the rest of the class, you can add relevant resources to provide them to bring them up to speed beforehand or after the class.
It’s also important to ensure smooth connectivity of any AV system including computers and/or software. Arrive early and test everything to avoid any “technical difficulty” and ensure compatibility ahead of time with the venue.
3. Deliver a Clear, Digestible Presentation
While detail is key, when it comes to training presentation outline planning, a concise to-the-point presentation will keep your audience engaged. Use simple language, when possible, on your slides along with relevant images. Unique, relevant and current news & memes to deliver a punch, can be very effective as well.
A good presentation should have an impressive start, information in the middle, a resources and a recap at the end. Ever heard of the 1-6-6 rule? This could be your perfect guideline in establishing an effective presentation – 1 idea per slide, a maximum of 6 points per page, and no more than 6 words for every point.
4. Incorporate Engaging Activities
It’s 2022 and the keyword is ‘Interactive’. Wherever you start, be mindful of the content of your session. A well-planned out session includes several interactive segments and touchpoints, which allows an enhanced learning environment.
Let your attendees know ahead of time about Q & A and also ask questions so folks are engaged and attentive. Start with an icebreaker, and have some breakout exercises and opportunities for attendees to collaborate
5. Time Management
Time management is key, which includes an on-schedule delivery of material and staying on course with your lesson plans. Making sure that there is ample time for feedback and questions is important but there are times when participants can take over or monopolize your time. When you introduce your training program, ask the participants to respect their time and your time and to stick to the topics at hand.
- Review lesson plan and identify gaps
- Learn how to politely “Move on” during training
- Keep Notes for Follow-up & respond to them at the end of the training
Setting guidelines is a good way to keep everyone on board with training, and it keeps things running smoothly.
6. Pick a Conducive Event Venue
Your venue has to be congruent with the type of event you are running. The venue you choose can be vital to the learning experience, especially if you need those attending to leave with a good understanding of the subject delivered and inspired to take that information forward. Even the most gifted of training providers can be let down by a poor indoor environment. And so, the Greater Toronto Executive Centre has put together a list of a few important things you need to look for in a training environment to ensure training event success.
- Access to Transit and Car Parking
- Cost & a clear pricing policy
- Modular style furniture
- Built-in amenities such as coffee, tea and water, sanitizing stations etc.
- Access to technology and internet speed & connectivity
- Room size & access to breakout rooms
- Hybrid event – Equipment and Support
- Overall feel of the place
- Catering options around the place
- Trust & Credibility
7. Evaluate Experiences
Finally, do send a thank you and feedback form, including future topics to all your attendees. It’s always good to know what’s working and what’s not. You can include questions about the venue or platform, format, trainer, whether the training met their expectations etc. Make sure the feedback email is coming from another generic-sounding email versus from you so you can get honest feedback from your attendees.
While these seven steps serve as a great checklist for your upcoming training session but the most important tip is a simple one. SMILE. And smile often. A friendly attitude and an inclusive approach make everyone feel at ease and more receptive to what you have to present. So smile, don’t fret if you made a mistake and stay confident. You got this!