5 Effective Training Tips and Tricks
Vol. 1, No. 3 * 16 February 2009By JCI Sen. MENNEN M. ARACID, ITF Trainer and Developmental Consultant
Allow me to talk about training for some few more articles. For this blog, Iʼve decided to share some tips and tricks that have worked for me for quite some time.
Iʼve relied on these five simple tenets to allow me to connect with my audience better. What Iʼm going to share with you is not exclusive to training alone. In fact, Iʼve also used these in my coaching and consulting practice.
Yes, these tips can earn you extra on the side
TRAINING TIP NO. 1: Make people feel at ease.
People respond better if they feel positive about you. Generally, it would be best to come to your training venue early and mingle with the participants before the start of your function. People are not enthusiastic about returning to a training session when there is very little opportunity to interact.
If you are the trainer, create that space for people to make friends with one another. At the start of the session, you can actually create official downtime for people to exchange business cards.
Try fewer ice breakers this time. The more authentic your conversation settings, the faster your audience will warm up to you.
TRAINING TIP NO. 2: Use simple words.
One thing I learned about vocabulary early on was to use difficult words I have in my stock. In training and in writing, I personally did not benefit from difficult words. Yes, it showed the audience that I had deep vocabulary. But I also alienated myself from them.
So here is my little tip. If the thesaurus is your favorite ally in speech and in writing. Use it the opposite way. If your are looking for a synonym, opt for the simpler word and not the more difficult one. The best word I opt for is the one with one or two syllables. When you use words that have three or four syllables (excluding technical terms), you will sound more detached to your audience.
Donʼt worry if the words are common. That is what conversation is about.
TRAINING TIP NO. 3: Be clear about your outcomes.
Participants will always look for take-aways. If people had to bring something home from your workshop, what is it? It might be one of three: knowledge, skill, or attitude (a new way of looking at their situation).
Learning happens in three places. Head learning is cognitive. When you promise cognitive learning, it is all about creating opportunities for people to display that they are learning something. It might be rephrasing, defining, sorting out, or evaluating information.
Learning also happens in the hands. These are skill related outcomes. When your participants can perform a skill after they have attended your workshop, then that is one take-away that they can get.
Learning also happens in the heart. Emotions are a powerful source of insight and learning. Some trainers do not want to approach this real because they themselves are uncomfortable about expressing emotions in their seminars.
Allow people to be happy. Allow them to be sad. Yes, being sorry and angry count too. So many workshops are about talk. Very few will allow conversation, feeling, and empathy.
TRAINING TIP NO. 4: Give adults problems.
Adults love to solve problems. So look for cases and situations where you can solicit their opinions and solutions. Adults will stay if they feel their ideas and inputs are welcome in the class.
So generally, lecturing the whole day is a guaranteed solution for your participantʼs insomnia. Try lecturing after lunch or dinner. You will find someone literally bobbing his head or falling off his seat in less than ten minutes. In general, people are just tired of lectures.
Where do I get cases? If you are serious about training, try Harvard Business Online or Emerald Insight. If you find the pricing a bit too steep, create problems out of your own personal dilemmas and experiences.
I have submitted a course in JCI that lists down all the problems Iʼve encountered during my years as a JCI member. I described the situation and I asked for the participants to solve the problems Iʼve encountered. I always go away humbled about the brilliance that collective effort brings into the problem solving process.
If you do it this way, you and your participants are equally responsible for your learning contracts.
TRAINING TIP NO. 5: Inspire others.
The internet is such a precious mine for training resources. Even email forwards are not totally worthless. In the heap of user-generated content, you will find some good videos, stories, and quotes: disturbing, funny, warm, and inspiring. Use these materials whenever you find a good moment to do so.
These resources are very useful if you want to inspire people. Make them realize that while they may not be happy where they are now, there are others that may not be as lucky as they are.
Make your learning experience about gratitude instead of need; about hope instead of fear; about moving forward especially after they have seen their past.
These are the 5 tips I can share with you. And oh, one more thing before I end. I also suggest that you start investing in your own tools: a good pair of shoes, a laptop, a sound system, an LCD projector, a wireless presenter device, a USB drive, business cards, your own remote internet connection device, extension cords, a trolley, and worldwide electrical plug converters. The moment you see yourself addressing a huge crowd, then perhaps it is time to get your own wireless microphone.
It is still best to rely on your own resources and not on equipment at the venue. In my experience, I have wasted countless hours configuring someone elseʼs gadget so I can make my presentation work. In the end, the stress is not worth it. So save up and build your armory. You wonʼt regret it.
Leave a comment below and ask me a question about what I wrote down. Iʼd be happy to answer them. Perhaps, now is the best time to start a conversation.