Training 101: Learn How to Train

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Information about Training 101: Learn How to Train

Published on May 29, 2008

Author: rbracey



Rhonda Bracey's presentation slides for a paper presented at the 49th Annual STC Conference in Nashville, May 2002, entitled "Training 101: Learn how to train". The audience for the paper was for those who know their subject matter well; the scenario was that they have suddenly been asked to present a computer training course in another city because the regular trainer has been taken ill and they've never trained before. Supporting materials available from:

Training 101: Learn How to Train Rhonda Bracey

Rhonda Bracey: Background • 18 years secondary school teaching • 6 years with software companies (help desk, training, installations, documentation, web). • Delivered 100+ software training courses to adult users. • Nearly 3 years in own business (tech writing, editing, training)

Assumptions • Preliminaries completed: • Training Needs Analysis (TNA) • Audience Analysis • Objectives/Outcomes • Course Materials • Participants contacted • Travel arrangements made • Very familiar with content

Preparation: Overview • ‘Be Prepared’ • Be early • Checklists, checklists, checklists… • Check and recheck everything

Preparation: Spelling etc. • All communications with participants (letters, e-mails, web pages) • Course materials • Training manuals • Presentation slides • Feedback sheets • Name tags

Preparation: Contacts • Venue coordinator (+ map?) • Client contact • Maintenance/security staff • Hotel (+ map?) • Airline • Own office technician

Preparation: Training Room • Available 1 hour before/after • Suitable size for people, materials, and equipment • Visibility of screens, whiteboards, flipcharts • Disability access? • Lighting, temperature, ventilation • Noise?

Preparation: Furniture • Discussion: square, circular, U-shape • Chairs/tables ergonomically suitable • Sufficient space to write • You can move around easily

Preparation: Venue - Other • Location of external facilities • Restrooms • Beverages • Public phones • Emergency exits • Safety and security issues

Preparation: Equipment (1) • Cords and cables • Projector(s), spare lamp • Login IDs and passwords • Software installed and working • Desktop icons and files on projection computer • Extra copies and backup CD of all materials

Preparation: Equipment (2) • Screens, whiteboards, flipcharts • Markers and eraser • Size and style of writing • Batteries charged • Laptop • Cell phone • Other bits and pieces… and toys!

Preparation: You • Food/drink supplies • Water pitcher and glass • Wheeled luggage and carry-ons • Be aware of nervous symptoms

Preparation: Practice • Out loud, mirror, friends • Timing and pace (know what can be skipped/skimmed) • Ask to be told about habits and quirks – be prepared to be surprised!

The Day: Meet and greet • Name and course title on whiteboard • Wear name tag • Find out about participants • Meet and greet – use names • First impressions DO count…

The Day: First Impressions • Dress • Professional, comfortable, suitable for group • Avoid anything too tight (belts, shoes, underwear, clothes), or too loose (underwear!) • Watch for excessive jewelry • Clean, matching shoes • Attitude • Upbeat, positive

The Day: First Minutes • Start ON TIME! • Turn off cell phones (yours too) • Briefly introduce yourself and course • Housekeeping details • Restrooms, beverage facilities, public phones • Breaks (synch. watches), meal arrangements • Safety and ergonomic issues • Rules of the room

The Day: Introductions • Establish your credibility • Individual introductions (~30 seconds) • Who, why, what • Maintain eye contact • Thank them • Preview the day • Course outline • Activities • Question time

The Day: During the Training (1) • Smile - and have fun! • Short anecdotes • Eye contact – but don’t stare • Use names • Move around the room • Check progress • Help where needed

The Day: During the Training (2) • Vary activities and instructional styles • Ask questions to ascertain learning • Remember, you know more than they do about the content! • Focus on the audience, not the visuals • Provide a mid-afternoon snack

The Day: Voice and Tone • Natural style • Not overbearing • Speak slowly (esp. if you have an accent) • Slow down/pause at important points • Avoid monotones • Speak loudly enough to be heard • Don’t read the course materials!

The Day: Breaks • Time is money… stick to the schedule • 10-15 min break every 60-90 minutes • Give actual start time (Not: ’Be back in 10 minutes’) • First break reminder: locations of restrooms, beverage facilities, phones • Start on time after a break (switch off cell phones)

The Day: Dealing with People • Be aware of why they may be there – and that they bring baggage! • Difficult types (non-participants, hecklers, challengers, sleepers/drifters/dozers, monopolizers/know-it-alls, class clowns, talkers/chatterers) • It’s OK to say “I don’t know” – don’t bluff; follow up later

The Day: Delivery Methods (1) • Main Types: • Lecture • Exercises and Activities (60%+ of time) • Discussion (you have facilitator role ONLY) • Others: • Demonstration • Drill • Role play • Simulation

The Day: Delivery Methods (2) • Why, what, how, when, where, who • Recap/reinforce • Use graphics • Use metaphors/analogies • Use as many senses as possible • Encourage self-learning (e.g. online help)

The End: Feedback • Important for you and participant • Formal (evaluation sheets) • Informal (questions, body language) • You can’t please everybody all the time, so don’t take criticism to heart

The End: Wrap-up • Allow 15 minutes for wrap-up • Review outcomes achieved • Invite questions (specific then general; remain behind to answer other questions) • Give contact details • Collect feedback sheets, name tag holders • Thank participants for attending • Clean up the room • Return all borrowed items, security passes

The End! Really! • With good preparation, you don’t need ‘good luck’! • Contact: Rhonda Bracey

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