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iManage, Issue #39 - 3 Steps to Inspire Your Learners
June 17, 2013


iManage, Issue #39 - 3 Steps to Inspire Your Learners

If you are a learner, you may have experienced training sessions that seem to drag on for ever.

You are watching the clock waiting for the break. Or the trainer asks you a question and you realised you just haven't been listening. Or worse still, you leave the session not having learned very much.

If you are a trainer, you may be unsure of why this is happening and what you need to do. You know you need to create an environment where your learners enjoy your sessions and leave looking forward to the next one, but how?

Here are 3 steps to get you on the right track.

Step 1: Be Passionate

If you are enthusiastic about what you are teaching, that passion is infectious. It's in the air. Your learners will be interested in why you feel this subject is important.

So if you find yourself teaching a subject that you have little interest in, or worse still, you are sceptical about it, then it will be hard to enthuse others. You may need to reflect on this - can you change your approach? or should you be teaching it at all?

Step 2: Be Interactive

If you want to help people learn, it is important to engage with them in the classroom. You need to find out if they are following you.

Asking "do you understand?" often does not give you the real answer - people don't want to look stupid in front of others. Use probing questions to get them to open up and engage in a discussion.

Being a facilitator rather than a lecturer is a skill that can be learned. If you ask the group for key points, instead of telling them, you may be surprised at the result.

Step 3: Watch Your Pace

Delivering a training session is like driving a car. Sometimes you need to go slowly so that the group picks up what you are trying to teach. There will be other times when you may need to move more swiftly to keep the energy up in the room.

Learn to read the body language. Are individuals switching off and not listening to you? Then that is a signal to change direction or your pace.

Driving a car is a skill; so is pacing a training session - you will get better with practice. The key is to read your audience. If someone is looking perplexed, confused or bored.. they probably are!

A good trainer is never complacent. There is learning not only for the audience but also for the trainer in every session.

At the end of the day, if you have helped others to grow in confidence, knowledge and skills - and they have enjoyed the process - that makes it all worthwhile.

For a comprehensive guide to managing people and yourself in the workplace download our How To Train Others EBook

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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