Corporate training is a part of many employee’s careers. As a trainer, standing in front of a group of learners to train them may be intimidating. However, ensuring that you are delivering effective training workshops is crucial to promoting change and improvements in an organization. Finding ways to connect with your trainees and increase their engagement can help you deliver interactive workshops. Making your training fun can make the content you are teaching more memorable, making your sessions worthwhile to you and your learners.
1. Know Your Audience
What does “know your audience” mean in the context of delivering a training workshop you might ask? Taking some time as part of your preparation to gauge your audience’s needs and wants as they go into the training will ensure that everyone benefits from the session.
As part of your training preparation ask yourself these questions:
- What are my trainee’s expectations of my workshop?
- What interests and values excite my trainees and align with my training topics?
- What is the current relationship between your trainees (do they know each other, or is this their first time interacting with one another)?
- What can I predict about my trainees learning preferences and how can I accommodate that into my training?
Understanding what your trainees are needing from your will help you determine what your session should cover to keep their attention and stay relevant. A needs analysis is a great way to map this out. A needs analysis is the process of identifying and evaluating the specific needs of your learners. As a trainer, this helps you determine how to cater your workshop to your participants. By determining the desired outcomes of the training and finding gaps in the trainee's knowledge, you can determine the best solutions and implement them into your workshops.
2. Implement Gamification
A newer trend that has been prevalent in the training industry is gamification. TrainingIndustry.com defines gamification as “The process of applying gaming designs and concepts to learning or training scenarios in order to make them more engaging and entertaining for the learner. In game-based learning events, learners compete directly against one or more individuals or participate individually in an interactive experience that rewards learning performance in some way.” Finding ways to make learning feel like a game or be in some sort of competitive context can make it more fun. These types of elements in your training can increase the energy in your training sessions and cultivate a positive, playful atmosphere conducive to effective learning. A few examples of forms of gamification are:
Ice Breakers– Use ice breakers as a warm up and to build trust and comfortability within your group of participants. Ice breakers are typically presented as games or exercises that can be done to help gain a better understanding of the topics being discussed, or simply to give your participants an opportunity to get to know each other better. This can help promote collaboration throughout your workshop and increased engagement.
Quizzes– using an online platform to initiate fun and interactive quizzes can increase participants interest in the content and can allow a trainer to gauge their participants understanding of the training. Creating some friendly competition through team-based quizzes can provide a more motivating environment for your participants.
3. Personalize with stories/anecdotes
Countless studies have shown that humans are intrinsically wired to want to connect with others. Finding ways to relate your training to things that resonate with your learners. This could be through case studies, or even your own expertise and experience. Personalizing your training with anecdotes gives your training a storytelling feel that people are naturally drawn to. By telling compelling stories that reflect your training content, you will deliver training that is truly memorable to your learners.
4. Include Visual Aids
It is rare these days to see someone teach on any topic without incorporating some sort of slideshow with it. This is because including visuals in your training workshops help the flow of your presentation and better capture your audience’s attention. Furthermore, incorporating attention grabbing infographics or images into your workshops provides additional content that is contextual to your training, helping your participants better their understanding.
When using visuals, make sure they are concise and only have the most important parts of your presentation. Your visual aids should not be directly read off of in your presentation, but rather serve as a complementary component that adds to your presentation.
Providing visuals with a consistent format and colors that will show up well on-screen allows the learner to take information in with more ease, making for an enjoyable learning experience.
5. Incorporate Groupwork
Allowing time for your trainees to engage with each other can give opportunities for them to learn from each other and share relevant experiences that complement your training.
An effective way to do this is to set breakout sessions. To do this, set up your training room to be in tables or use a number system to establish groups. Then, when there are moments where it is relevant, leave your trainees with a prompt or question to discuss with the group. After about 5-10 minutes, give groups the opportunity to share with the entire class what the concluded.
Keep in mind, the goal with group discussions isn’t necessarily for each group to come up with a “correct” answer, but to serve as an opportunity to discuss the content and spark engagement.
6. Consider Learning Preferences
Whether it be through visuals, audio, reading, hands-on approaches, or a combination of these, we all have ways in which we prefer to take in information.
To make your training workshops as enjoyable as possible, consider providing a variety of different mediums to deliver your training. This could be through videos, infographics, slides, and references to other resources.
Furthermore, consider the format of your overall delivery, whether it be lectures, presentations, and discussions. Making efforts to accommodate a balanced learning experience allows for your trainees to feel more comfortable, making them more likely to enjoy the session.
7. Use Humor (if relevant)
No matter what training topic you are covering about, the way you interact and engage with your learners sets the tone for how they perceive information. Be strategic about how pull your learners in, so they more likely to hold on to your key messages.
This can look different depending on your personal preference and the context of your training. If it is appropriate, implementing humor into your training can create a lighter environment where people feel more comfortable to engage and ask questions. If this doesn’t feel like a good fit, another path to take could simply be to show plenty of enthusiasm and passion about your training topics, and allowing that energy to rub off onto your trainees.
8. Conduct Evaluations and Seek Out Feedback
Feedback for your training can take place both during and after your workshop, and can serve as a great way to gauge the way it made your trainees feel. Asking your participants for feedback throughout your workshop ensures everyone is on the same page and getting the most out of your training.
It can also be useful to provide an opportunity to ask for feedback after your workshop, so you can make changes for future participants. Giving out a survey or comment card to your trainees gives them an opportunity to communicate their feedback in a less direct way – which some may be more comfortable with. Keep forms short and simple in length and tone. Use both positive and negative feedback to adjust your content and delivery to make future workshops more fun and enjoyable.
9. Be Prepared with Well-Organized Training Materials
By having organized and carefully prepared content, you can ensure your workshop will run smoothly. To achieve this, make sure you are preparing the bulk of your training content beforehand, so you can put more focus into making your training fun with personal touches.
Having this baseline gives you the ability ensure your participants get the most out of their training. It also takes away any unnecessary distractions that could crop up simply due to lack of preparation. By being prepared, you maintain a consistent momentum throughout your training that will prevent any lagging or boredom, making it more enjoyable and easier to follow for the learner.
Looking to boost your efficiently with your training materials organization? Learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your corporate training materials in our previous blog post.
As a trainer, that last thing you want to see is ineffective training due to a lack of engagement or enjoyment from your participants. The reality is, many corporate training workshops are mandatory, and some participants may feel indifferent to going to them. However, by being prepared and having the tools you need to make your training fun, you can engage your audience and deliver memorable lessons that they can take with them to benefit their organization and professional development.
Posted by Katelyn Roy on