As I work more and more with corporate trainers I become aware of their need for time to plan and prepare.Clients I have worked with admit they will often give their training session a thought about a week before the event to check they have the resources they need, slides, attendee names, learner books printed as well as the usual marker pens, post-its and flipcharts. What became apparent this week for a group I worked with is that planning and preparation as a trainer/facilitator consists of more than just the above elements.
Here are 5 areas we identified:
Planning starts at a higher level than just the learning event.The learning event needs tolink to the overall business plan, skills and behaviours being learnt support business growth………….how do you make that happen?
There are key stakeholders to engage prior to the learning event – business sponsor, line managers, HR business partners.Tailor your message to each person and don’t be afraid to manage upwards.
When planning for your learning event avoid Plug & Play.Plug & Play is when you do what you have always done, no review of the outcomes, looking to see how you can do an exercise differently, comparing notes with someone for a different perspective.
If you rely on slides ask yourself what you would do if you had a technical failure?How would you bring the learning to life using flipcharts, posters, story-telling, a game?Challenge yourself to find another way to bring the learning to life.
Creating engagement with learners is more than talking with them in the session.It requires thinking about the materials and resources that will be used and how they will be used.For example there is no point having a learner book/work sheet/aha page if you never refer to it. Ensure you weave your resources and materials into your learning sessions, don’t assume the learners will think to use them.Be directive, give learners time for self-reflection and clearly signal when to use the materials & resources.