Managers as trainers – a trainer 101

As times change more and more managers need to take responsibility for the design and delivery of training for their team.

Shortly the RapidBI team will be running a series on skills for managers to cover this, in the mean time here are some of the key points that should be done before running a session for another division or part of the organisation:Assumption that the following preliminaries have been completed:

  • Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
  • Audience Analysis
  • Objectives/Outcomes
  • Course Materials
  • Participants contacted
  • Travel arrangements made
  • Very familiar with content

Preparation overview:

  • Be Prepared
  • Be early
  • Check lists, check lists, check lists…
  • Check and recheck everything

Preparation – check spelling within all communications with participants

  • Letters, e-mails, web pages
  • Course materials
  • Training manuals
  • Presentation material
  • Feedback/ evaluation forms
  • Name badges, plates or tags

Preparation – your contacts

  • Venue coordinator (+ map?)
  • Client contact
  • Maintenance/security staff
  • Hotel (+ map?)
  • Transport

Preparation – the training environment

  • Available 1 hour before/after
  • Suitable size for people, materials, and equipment
  • Visibility of screens, whiteboards, flip-charts
  • Disability access?
  • Lighting, temperature, ventilation
  • Noise?

Preparation of venue – environment, layout etc

  • Discussion: square, circular, U-shape
  • Chairs/tables ergonomically suitable
  • Sufficient space to write
  • You can move around easily
  • Location of external facilities
  • Restrooms
  • Beverages
  • Public phones
  • Emergency exits
  • Safety and security issues

Preparation – Equipment and resources

  • Cords and cables
  • Projector(s), spare lamp (backup solution?)
  • Computer/ network Login IDs and passwords
  • Software installed and working
  • Desktop icons and files on projection computer
  • Extra copies and backup CD of all materials
  • Screens, whiteboards, flip-charts
  • Markers and eraser
  • Size and style of writing
  • Batteries charged
  • Laptop
  • Mobile Phone/ broadband dongle/ Wifi connection
  • Other bits and pieces… and toys!

Preparation – You – are you ready?

  • Food/drink supplies
  • Water pitcher and glass
  • Wheeled luggage and carry-ons
  • Be aware of nervous symptoms

Preparation – practice – have you done enough

  • Out loud, mirror, friends
  • Timing and pace (know what can be skipped/skimmed)
  • Ask to be told about habits and quirks -be prepared to be surprised!

On the day – meet and greet your learners

  • Name and course title on whiteboard
  • Wear name tag
  • Find out about participants
  • Meet and greet -use names
  • First impressions DO count…

First Impressions
Dress –

  • Professional, comfortable, suitable for group
  • Avoid anything too tight (belts, shoes, underwear, clothes),or too loose (underwear!)
  • Watch for excessive jewellery
  • Clean, matching shoes
  • Attitude
  • Upbeat, positive

The day – the first few minutes

  • Start ON TIME!
  • Turn off mobile phones (yours too)
  • Briefly introduce yourself and course
  • Housekeeping details
  • Restrooms, beverage facilities, public phones
  • Breaks (synch. watches),meal arrangements
  • Safety and ergonomic issues
  • Rules of the room

Establish your credibility (knowledgeable but not ‘elite’

  • Individual introductions (~30 seconds)
  • Who, why, what
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Thank them
  • Preview the day
  • Course outline
  • Activities
  • Question time

During the training – Smile -and have fun!

  • Short anecdotes
  • Eye contact -but don’t stare
  • Use names
  • Move around the room
  • Check progress
  • Help where needed
  • Vary activities and instructional style
  • Ask questions to ascertain learning
  • Remember, you know more than they do about the content!
  • Focus on the audience, not the visuals
  • Provide a mid-afternoon snack

Delivery – your style, voice and tone:
Natural style

  • Avoid being overbearing
  • Speak slowly (esp. if you have an accent)
  • Slow down/pause at important points
  • Avoid monotones
  • Speak loudly enough to be heard
  • Don’t read the course materials!

Time is money… stick to the schedule

  • 10-15 min break every 60-90 minutes
  • Give actual start time (Not: ‘Be back in 10 minutes’)
  • First break reminder: locations of restrooms, beverage facilities, phones
  • Start on time after a break (switch off mobile phones)

Dealing with your learners

  • Be aware of why they may be there -and that they bring baggage!
  • Difficult types (non-participants, hecklers, challengers, sleepers/drifters/dozers, monopolisers/know-it-alls, class clowns, talkers/chatterers)
  • It’s OK to say “I don’t know”, don’t bluff; always follow up later

Delivery methods
Main Types:

  • Lecture (avoid as much as possible)
  • Exercises and Activities (60%+ of time)
  • Discussion (you have facilitator role ONLY)
  • Others:
  • Demonstration
  • Drill
  • Role play
  • Simulation
  • Why, what, how, when, where, who
  • Recap/reinforce – vital – need to do this on a regular basis
  • Use graphics
  • Use metaphors/analogies – real, made up and elicited from the group
  • Use as many senses as possible
  • Encourage self-learning (e.g. on-line help, Wiki, web 2.0 etc)

Closing the training session
Important for you and participant

  • Formal (evaluation sheets)
  • Informal (questions, body language)
  • You can’t please everybody all the time, so don’t take criticism to heart

Allow 15 minutes for wrap-up

  • Review outcomes achieved
  • Invite questions (specific then general; remain behind to answer other questions)
  • Give contact details
  • Collect feedback sheets, name tag holders
  • Thank participants for attending
  • Clean up the room
  • Return all borrowed items, security passes

Management and Leadership development are importent to you and of course to the team here at RapidBI. We hope you find this information valuable, if you do please tweet or facebook like this page. Thanks

Check Out Mike Morrison's Book on Organizational Development – Theory and Practice, for tools and tips on developing organizations, managers and leaders on Amazon and Kindle

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