How much a learner gets out of training has a lot to do with how
much a trainer puts into it. In addition, learners tend to
appreciate training more when they feel what they are learning is
valuable to them in some way. So before you begin a training
session, consider what you can do to make it a valuable learning
experience for your learners, then incorporate those ideas into
It's always good to put yourself in learners' shoes. If you were
going to attend the same training being taught by someone else,
what would you hope to get out of it? With that in mind, you can
tailor your training to focus more on the learner and not just the
material. Of course, people are different and learn differently;
many will undoubtedly differ in what is considered valuable.
Nevertheless, the key for you as a new trainer is to be cognizant
of learners' differences and find various ways to effectively reach
and teach others. Tips on how you can do this are to set goals to
ADD VALUE to your training.
A = Association--Establish it
Connect or link training to what is familiar to the learner or to
what he already knows. Learning is often enhanced when the learner
can somehow make a connection to the information being received.
You can establish an association through the use of familiar
phrases, analogies, illustrations, examples, or even metaphoric
expressions. However, before you try to make an association be sure
it is positive and appropriate for your training audience. For
instance, if you are teaching older adults who are having
difficulty learning something, it is neither wise nor recommended
to say "They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks." The goal
is to enhance learning, not to create potential barriers.
D = Dedication--Give it
Your level of dedication can indirectly add value. You will have
occasions when someone requires more assistance or time beyond the
actual training periods. Sometimes that extra attention may be
needed or requested during lunch breaks or after training has
ended. This is when your level of dedication can be an integral
turning point to the learner. Spending extra time with someone may
be what triggers a meaningful learning experience for the learner.
D = Debrief--Discuss it
A debrief is a group discussion that gives learners a chance to
communicate, share opinions, or ask and answer questions on what
they learned or experienced. Here they can tell you if the training
experience went well or not, if improvements should be made, or
what could be changed.
V = Variation--Include it
What works for one person won't necessarily work for another.
Variations in your training approach allow you to address learning
differences. Include different training techniques that attract a
variety of learners and learning styles. Some people may learn well
just from hearing you talk, others may be more visual and need to
see what you're talking about, and some may learn best by doing.
Your training will be valued more if you blend various methods that
appeal to these differences.
A = Application--Allow it
It is important to give student the opportunity to apply what they
learn. It is often more effective for learners to do something
themselves, particularly if the training involves performing tasks.
To ensure that optimal learning takes place, allow time for
relevant practice, activities, and exercises to give learners a
chance to apply new skills in class.
L = Learn--Continue it
Most people who are experts in their fields invest significant time
and effort in improving their craft. There is an abundance of
information available for training practitioners on training
techniques, learning styles, theories, and principles. If you
really want to add value to your training then take the time to
learn more than just the training material--learn about training
itself. The more you continue to learn, the more valuable
your training sessions will be.
U = Usefulness--Convey it
Talk with your learners early on and throughout the training about
how the learning may be useful. To do this, try to give relevant
examples of how specific training content can be beneficial to them
or ask if anyone could share an example of how they see value in
what they have already learned. Helping learners answer the
question, What's in it for me?, will open their eyes to
your training session's value and encourage them to stay engaged.
E = Engage--Do it
To stimulate learning, actively engage your learners. Training
shouldn't consist of you standing up lecturing to an audience. If
you only lecture and do not allow learners a chance to participate,
then actual learning may be minimal and the course will be boring
for some. You can engage the learners with group activities like
games and roles plays, or with individual exercises and questions.
There's no doubt that your learning audiences will vary with every
training session. But to make your training an effective and
valuable experience for you and your learners, remember to always
strive to ADD VALUE to your training.