9 Delivery Tips for Impactful Training Sessions
Planning is done, and preparation is taken care of. You know the needs, the objectives, you have prepared your material. The time has finally come – training day is here! Time for you to run your session, engage the learners, meet the objectives and, why not? Enjoy the process!
Think about successful training sessions you have delivered (or attended!) beforе. What do they have in common?
There are many things you can do as a training facilitator that will lead to valuable, memorable, and effective training sessions. Today we are very happy to share our top 9 delivery tricks that we’ve tested.
Let’s crack it!
Table of Contents:
Tip #1. Connect with your content
Find a strong connection with what you will be teaching. You need to believe in the content of your session. Even if it’s a topic that you are not ‘in love’ with, you must find a connection to it through your experience, your stories, and your research. You must ‘buy into’ your training session before other people decide to trust and engage in what you will be sharing.
Tip #2. Know your audience
Take time to learn about your audience. This background knowledge is vital to tailor your presentation to their needs and motivators. Your audience will play a major role in your presentation. Who are they? Why do they need this training? Any relevant changes this group of learners is undergoing (a merger, a process change, etc.)? Any previous training they’ve attended? With this information you will be able to define your tone, the delivery style, and the use of humor (or not!), so take time to consider your audience.
Tip #3. Set expectations
Make sure you always share the agenda and the objectives of the session. For offline sessions, explain the flow and the purpose, and tell them what’s in it for them. For online sessions, we also need to define if cameras need to be on or off, if chat is enabled, if participants can come off mute and any other ‘housekeeping’ guidelines. Also, explain what technological features you will be using and do not assume everyone knows how to use them. Some people may be new to online platforms and may need a quick tutorial to the use of these elements.
Tip #4. Add variety to your content
It is very likely that we will continue to use PowerPoint or Keynote for most of our presentations and that’s ok! As long as we jazz it up with a variety of learning content to engage your audience. Add short videos, online polling, charts, and games. Add engaging images and use animations in your presentation to help you tell a better story. But make sure to stay balanced - too much of any of these elements and the focus shifts from you to the annoying animation or constant interruptions.
Tip #5. Prepare and review your material
Know your material by heart. Prepare your sessions with enough time, review them, do dry runs with people that you can trust to provide accurate feedback. Where possible, find a colleague that can serve as technical support during the session. This person should be familiarized with the session and the delivery platform, so they can step in and solve any issues while you keep your focus on the content and the participants.
Also, both of you should arrive at the session at least 30 min before to test all material that will be shared (your presentation, sound, animation, videos, polls, other platforms, etc.).
Tip #6. Encourage collaboration
Look for opportunities in your session where you can encourage learners to collaborate and learn from one another. Try an exercise that uses a whiteboard, chat or a discussion feature; ask probing questions, and invite them to provide their insights. This has a triple benefit: participants will learn from one another, you create an environment of cooperation, and as a trainer, you will hear new insights on the topic and that may help your session tremendously, as you can learn more of your audience!
Tip #7. Can we please have a break?
Our brains need to pause to synthesize and retain new information. It is very important to share with participants your agenda with the scheduled beaks. However, be flexible. If you think the audience may need an extra comfort pause, go for it.
Tip #8. Be ready for questions
You can usually anticipate what questions you may get asked in the session. Prepare for those to the best of your ability. If you get a question that you don’t know how to answer, no worries! Be transparent and commit to getting back to the person with some answers after the training. It is also important to lay out at the start of the session how will questions be managed (at the end, at any time, before breaks, via chat, Sli.do or other).
Tip #9. Take care of yourself!
This is a forgotten trick for your training delivery. Make sure you have a rested night before your presentation day, don’t skip breakfast (or any meal) prior to the session, and make sure you always have water available. Take the time to do some relaxing or breathing exercises or anything that gets you in the correct mood to facilitate this learning experience.
As training facilitators, we are given the wonderful chance to support people in their learning journey. We should honor this amazing opportunity by giving our best every single time we deliver training. So, go out there, be yourself, and have fun!
Happy learning to all!