Ten Tips to Designing Training

Developing training on specific processes or procedures in your
company? The following points will help you design a fun and effective

1. Keep it ‘lean and mean.’

You want your training to be just long enough to teach the
participants what they need to know, no longer or shorter than that. Figure out
exactly what that information is and build your training course around that.

2. Choose the best format to deliver the training.

Can a simple 1-hour lecture do the job? Or do you need to record
the class on videotape? Does it need to be 1-on-1 training or classroom
training? For every different subject there’s going to be a different need, so
consider them all before choosing one.

3. Remember different people learn different ways.

Some people learn better by simply reading, others need to hear
the information, many need visual examples, and most people need a
variety of all of these in order to retain the information. As you create
your class, figure out how to provide the same information in these
different ways so that more people will get it.

4. Make it interactive.

The straight lecture-only type classes will rarely get the job
done these days. The old pedagogical “I talk, you listen” style of
teaching doesn’t result in a lot of knowledge gain by the student. Work on
exercises, drills, and role-plays that get the student involved in the class and
help them learn by doing.

5. Keep it light.

In a classroom environment, humor almost always helps. People
retain more and learn more if they are relaxed and having fun. Even the most
serious training programs benefit from a good dose of humor. Just make sure
it’s appropriate.

6. Hold the training in the proper environment.

It’s hard to learn if you’re uncomfortable, regardless of how
good a course may be. Find the perfect place to conduct the training. That
should be someplace with adequate lighting, seating, heating/air
conditioning and minimal distractions (preferably none at all).

7. The content expert may NOT be the person to teach the class.

Any trainer can tell you, just knowing the information of a
course doesn’t mean you can teach it. Find someone who knows the information
and can present it in an interesting and entertaining way. If there’s
nobody like that, hire a professional trainer or speaker to come in and be
the “MC” of your training and to help liven up the event.

8. Create an environment of “academic freedom.”

Let the students know that the purpose of the training is to
give them information they need to do their jobs. Let them know that it’s
okay if they ask questions, challenge (within boundaries) the instructors
and material, don’t grasp everything right. What’s important is that
everyone in the class gets the opportunity to get the information.

9. Provide them with all the information already written down.

Make it easy for the students to focus on the information being
given, not on trying to take notes. Have all of the information written down
and give it to them. Some students will always take notes no matter what
you do, the rest will appreciate being able to sit back, relax, and

10. Follow up… but not too soon.

Get feedback from the students on all aspects of the training.
Ask what they liked and didn’t like. But don’t make it the last activity
of the training itself. Wait a day or two and send them a questionnaire.
Make it possible for them to submit their comments completely anonymously.
Some students just can’t bring themselves to saying something negative if
they know that you know who said it. Take all the pressure off of them,
but get their input.