6 proven techniques for conducting an engaging training session

You’ve spent weeks preparing for your upcoming training session—the training goals have been identified, the agenda is set, all of your materials are finalized and your training schedule is complete. You may think you’re ready to give an effective training session. But, are you?

You made sure all of the necessary logistics were taken care of, but did you also ensure your training was designed to be engaging? Many people forget this step, and as a result, their hard work and preparation goes to waste. While their content is spot on, their delivery is dry, which leads to the attendees zoning out and not absorbing the material.

So this doesn’t happen to you, consider using these tips when conducting a training session.

Set the stage

Before your training class, do everything you can to minimize distractions and disruptions. Failing to do so will lead to you and the class getting off track. Before the training begins, you should set up your room and technology, share break times and other important housekeeping items and remind participants to turn their cellphones off.

Use visual aids

Studies have shown that using effective visual aids can increase the chances of someone grasping and retaining your message. As a bonus, using a variety of visuals will help make your training more unique, fun and memorable. To take advantage of these benefits, incorporate a combination of whiteboards, flip charts, videos, PowerPoints and handouts to your training program.

Make it interactive

People acquire knowledge best when they have the opportunity to discover things for themselves. To foster a hands-on learning environment, you should encourage brainstorming, assign small group activities, do role-playing exercises and set up training computers when applicable.

Invite a guest

Offering attendees the chance to hear from multiple subject matter experts is a sure-fire way to keep them engaged. Depending how long your session is, it may make sense to have a guest speaker or subject matter expert deliver a portion of your training program. This could be your boss coming in to deliver a kick-off message, a co-worker talking about a new system change or another trainer showing the class how to use a function in the new software.

Stick to the schedule

You will immediately lose the interest of your participants if breaks are running late. You will also frustrate people if you have to cut or shorten a part of the program because you spent too long on another section. To ensure you effectively adhere to your schedule, conduct a dry run of your session before the actual training and utilize a time-keeper or alarm during the actual session.

Have fun

Fun is contagious. If you’re having a good time, your attendees will have a good time. Don’t be afraid to tell stories, share a few a few jokes and play educational games such as trivia or jeopardy.

Photo credit: Barney Moss/Flickr

Danielle Clark is a human resources manager with more than 10 years of HR and customer service experience in healthcare and retail organizations. Her work with Fortune 500 companies, in addition to a diverse professional and academic background, has trained Clark to be results-driven, people-focused and a thought-provoking leader. Her goal is to educate and inspire professionals to change their way of thinking. She is also an adjunct professor, active community volunteer, wife, mother and passionate lifelong learner.

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