It is a process, not an event.
There are multiple people involved in getting results.The most significant are the participant’s manager, the participant, and the trainer involved in designing, delivering & follow-up.
Don’t try to impress participants
The purpose is for people to leave impressed with themselves, not intimidated by the presenter/instructor.They should leave excited about what they can now do that they couldn’t do before ; and with more confidence in themselves, their knowledge and their skills.
All too often instructors seem to be in competition with their participants. Sometimes one will feel a need to “hold back” the information to have an edge over participants.It is an opportunity to find out where I am right now in my knowledge, skills and attitudes…compared to where I can be.
Participant Centred Training
Each person has a “best” way to learn, whether they know it or not. They have learning styles – Visual, Auditory, Data or Kinaesthetic. . The more the training is focused on how the participant learns best, the faster the training can be delivered, the retention will be higher, and the on-job application will be better.
Review & Reinforcement
According to Albert Mehrabian
- If people are exposed to an idea one time they retain less than 10% at the end of thirty days.
- if they are exposed to the same idea, with interval reinforcement , six times over thirty days, retention is greater than 90%.
- You can’t apply it , if you can’t remember it. This means content must be reviewed, revisited and reinforced 6 times for it to anchor in our long term memory. However there must be an interval in between each review/ reinforcement.
One great example of creative training techniques is Window -Paning. It transforms a list of information into framed pictures that are easier to remember.
Structuring the training session.
- I will tell them, What I will do
- I will do.
- I will tell them what I did
- I will ask them what I did
- They will tell me what I did
Groups and Facilitation
- Whenever possible, subdivide your class into groups of 5-7 people. Using small groups allows for more interaction.
- Many people feel more comfortable voicing opinions to their smaller group than to a larger one.
- Use group leaders in the small groups. By appointing group leaders , you give people an opportunity to lead for a short period of time.This helps them to get comfortable with the leadership role and also builds confidence. Rotate the group leadership.
- Build in time for people to reflect and record what they learn.
- Periodically, Give people a short period of time to think about possible applications after the class is finished.
- Provide time for people to share what they learn in the small group.
- Provide an opportunity for the small group to share at least a part of their group master idealist with the larger group.
- Encourage participants to provide each other with recognition.
Reinforcement of behaviour (Operant Conditioning by Skinner) can be done by rewarding them :-
Trainers can carry candies, chocolates or any other small gifts.
William James, the Harvard psychologist, said the greatest need of every human being is the need for appreciation. However, if we reinforce everything our participants do, we connect the activity with reward or reinforcement. When they leave the training and go back to the real world it is very unlikely that the same kind and amount of reinforcement will be waiting for them .So remove, the reward, the behaviour participant will become more operative
Start with end in mind.
- Know your audience as well as possible : Are they students or professionals.
- ◦Who is the audience ? – What is the age group? what is the gender ? What are the qualifications ? Are they professionals or students. This information is very important. You can choose your methodology accordingly, also the relevant examples accordingly.
- What is the purpose of the event ? Is it for motivation or is it a technical session or a behaviour session . This will help you structure the content.
- ◦Why were you asked to speak? Why were you chosen ? Are you from industry and the organisers want you to share your field experience or is it because you are good with theories and concepts, you have been chosen. Once you answer this question, you know the direction in which the session should move.
- ◦Where is it ? Is there a training room or an auditorium or a classroom. Will you have cluster sitting or a theatre sitting or proscenium. Also keep track of the resources that will be available to you i.e. projector, flip-chart, board etc
- ◦When is it ? Are you invited after lunch hours or your session is the last session of the day. You have to be more careful and you need to put in something extra to win the hearts. Always make sure not to stretch the session too much. Finish a minute or two before the actual closing time.
Delivering the session
- Working with Humour : Make them laugh .Power of humour is becoming increasingly valued in the business world, and there is a growing trend towards trainers and facilitators.
- Working with movement : Take care of your body language.The most important aspect is the non-verbal communication between the trainer and the trainees. What most trainers fail to focus on during their sessions is their awareness of their own signs and signals of body language.
- Working with voice and speech :Experiment with speaking softly and also amplifying your voice to create an audible impact—without yelling. Once you resort to yelling, you’re in danger of losing your leadership power. Use your voice to display assertiveness, not aggression.
- Working with delivery : An effective training programs is a combination of cognitive and behaviour methods. A training program should be a good permutation and combination of Lecture methods, Discussions, Role Plays , Audio Visuals, Case Studies, Business Games etc
- Packaging & Polishing : The packaging should be interesting to arouse the curiosity amongst the participants and the participant should get their WIIFM (what is in it for me).
Evaluate early & often
- Do not wait to evaluate the session in the end. Keep evaluating it during the session. The more early you evaluate, the more chances you have to improve it by the sessions ends.
- Give people a chance to evaluate everything that impacts the training.
- We use four items at-least : The instructor, the content , the environment and the participants.
- Likert Scales 1-5 ; Pacing TF (too fast) TS ( Too Slow) JAR ( Just about right) ;Level ( Too Basic), Too Advanced JAR ( Just about right) are some methods of evaluating training sessions.