Ten Great Ways to Make Your Training - 'EnterTraining'
How many of us have attended a training program where the material was dryer than the Sahara Desert? Where the instructor droned on and on? Where you left feeling the life and energy was completely sucked out of you? Okay, it may not have been that bad but we've all been in programs that have been downright boring. And, as training professionals, we all know that the learning is significantly impacted during those types of programs.
As Trainers we know that we must keep our audience engaged and attentive for the program to have any chance of success, hence the concept of EnterTraining...a combination of entertainment and training. Now, some of you may be thinking the focus of training is not to entertain but to facilitate learning, disseminate information, etc. My premise, in today's environment, is that this is more difficult if the program is not also entertaining. In addition, they are not mutually exclusive concepts. Some of the most memorable and effective programs I've attended were very entertaining. Most Accelerated Learning principles incorporate this philosophy as well.
So, what can you do to make your training more entertaining and, in effect, enhance the effectiveness of the training? Consider the following ideas:
- Use stories to bring key points to life
We all love a good story and one that incorporates a key point in the training can assist with application and retention.
- Facilitate vs. Teach
There's a subtle distinction between facilitating and teaching. Considering yourself, as the trainer, a catalyst for learning. A facilitator can allow learning to come from many places...participants, prepared materials, experiences, other experts, etc. rather than just from the Teacher to the pupil.
- Involve the participants
Most adults learn best when they are true participants in the learning so make sure you do just that...create opportunities for group or individual activities, sharing experiences and knowledge, etc.
- Conduct 'real life' role-plays
The more the training applies to the participant's day-to-day activities the more interested they will be. In addition, adults tend to like to learn by doing. Allowing them the opportunity to practice new skills in a safe, learning environment will help with the transfer of the learning to the job.
- Conduct Demonstrations
Adults also learn from watching others model the new skill. Following the demonstration, give the participants an opportunity to debrief what they saw.
- Use Humor
Jokes, cartoons, funny stories, exaggerations, etc. all add to a more jovial and creative atmosphere, which can enhance learning. Even the driest of topics can have humor interjected.
- Utilize Analogies & Metaphors
Examples of key points stated in the form of a metaphor or analogy can often relate more closely to the participant and, like a story, give the training variety.
- Use pop culture
Incorporate TV shows, movies or popular objects/toys, popular comics, etc. into the program, i.e. using a movie clip to demonstrate a leadership competency.
- Incorporate Games & Competition
Utilizing games to review key program points or creating competition between individuals or teams can interject a lot of energy into the program and a sense of fun.
Add music into the program during breaks, during individual or group exercises, etc. Appropriate choices for the time will make it most effective.
Many of the concepts above are not necessarily new, and you may be incorporating many of the actions.