Last week in Tuesday Training we spoke about ‘fixes’ from the Trainers Toolkit – things that trainers have ready to go when things go wrong.
But this week, let’s consider tools that trainers have to make things go right!
First up, of course, we should look at tools to actually make sure you are providing the training you have been asked to present.
Either your client’s run a training needs analysis for staff, or you have to.
If you do have to perform a needs analysis, thebalancecareers.com has a quick and simple TNA checklist.
They suggest getting the trainees together (physically or via an online document) and asking for their 10 most important training needs (but ask them to be specific).
Then they suggest seeing which needs come up consistently, and brainstorm with participants what they actually want to achieve from a session.
At that point, then you have what you need to create a tailored training program.
Another tool that you need in your trainer’s toolkit is timing!
Trainingmag.com makes the point that training sessions almost always take longer to deliver than you envisioned.
In fact, the magazine argues that you should only plan 45 minutes worth of material for each hour of presentation – but should also have extra, non-essential material just in case.
Other suggestions include giving participants short time-frames to achieve goals such as “list 10 ideas to deal with this problem in six minutes.” That keeps them focused and ‘buzzing.’
They also stress that you should schedule a break every 60 minutes (if theater style) or 75 minutes (if classroom style) – but never more than 90 minutes.
Good trainers have something for each learner – and props really help.
I recently came across a ‘listicle’ at businessballs.com that had some great ideas – such as using kitchen implements, paper planes and superhero masks to make training allegories that will stick with trainees.
You know the argument about primacy-and-recency? That trainees remember the things we say first and last – but only remember the stuff in the middle if it’s referenced by the beginning or end?
Well, they will also remember your use of props long after your session – and they will also remember the lessons associated with those props.
And above all else, keep light-bulbs in your toolkit!
As a teacher or trainer, there is nothing I enjoy more than what I call the ‘light bulb’ moment – that occasion when I can almost see the light-bulb going on above the trainee’s head, as they grasp an idea I’ve been explaining.
Sometimes, it is early in the process; sometimes it comes later; and sometimes, all too sadly, I never see it ignite.
But it is the love of the light-bulb that keeps me going. And that love is something that every trainer needs.
Oh, sure, it’s nice to be paid to train – and (other than my voluntary Toastmasters involvement) I don’t do this for love.
Well, not entirely for love.
But that passion for getting an idea from my head into the head of my trainees? That’s a tool that I think every trainer needs.
So – that’s just a few tools for the Trainer’s Toolkit.
I’ve asked some of my colleagues for their ideas, and I hope to include them in Part III next week. But if you have tools you’d like to share, please add them to the comments below!