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iManage, Issue #28-- 3 Steps to Pain-free Group Training
November 21, 2011


Do you make your learners suffer? 3 Steps to Pain-free Group Training

Too often, trainers make the mistake of presenting, rather than training. And when faced with bored expressions from their audience, they speak louder or faster to try and make an impact.

Group training should not be a painful experience for the trainer or the audience. Even a subject that is perceived as boring can be brought to life with the right approach.

Here are 3 steps to making your group training sessions fun, enjoyable and providing the results you need.

Step 1: Chunk It

Think of your training session in bite sized chunks. For a day's training, what do you hope to get done in each half hour? People switch off after 20 minutes so you need to be changing your approach frequently.

Build in lots of activity, such as work in pairs, small groups - even getting them to present back to the audience if you have time. People learn in different ways.

Some need thoughtful discussion, others lots of practical applications. So use a variety of training methods such as case studies, role play, written questionnaires and so on.

Step 2: Ask, Don't Tell

OK, so you are an expert (well, you wouldn't be standing in front of the group if you didn't know your subject, would you?) Resist the temptation to talk about all you know, without a break.

Your job is to train, not present. So turn those key points into well thought out questions. You will be surprised at the extent of knowledge in a group. Interacting with an audience is also a great way of checking understanding.

The more involvement, the more successful your training sessions are likely to be.

Step 3: Review and Reflect

Learners are sometimes reluctant to admit they did not grasp a learning point. If their concerns are shared with others, they are more likely to speak up.

At the end of a session, put your group into pairs to see if there are any areas they are not clear about. Emphasise that you are doing this to check that you have explained the material correctly.

If there are issues raised, consider how you could approach it differently the next time, to make the material more easily understood.

Watch out for our next free webinar, where we will explore effective group training in more depth.

For detailed advice on employee training and development, download our How to Train Others E Book for a comprehensive, step by step approach with lots of practical tips.

Best wishes

Ann Halloran

Practical Management Skills

Practical management skills advice for business owners and managers. Get best practice tips on a personal development and people management skills such as time management, leadership, communication, managing change and more.

Content based on 30 years management/consultancy experience gained in a wide range of business sectors.

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