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
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