This blog is the third of a four-part blog series on training approaches. Our previous blog was on the pros and cons of face-to-face training courses. Now, we are discussing what can make a face-to-face training workshop good quality.
We all have had different experiences of attending external training. However, I think we can all agree that the training we have been on tends to vary in quality. Below I discuss three key aspects which I think can make for a good quality training workshop:
It goes without saying that the trainer should have experience in training others. Experienced trainers may be better placed to use facilitation skills when interacting with the training delegates. For example, they may use Socratic Questioning to challenge certain assumptions or perceptions.
From my experience, it is most beneficial for the trainer to be currently working in the field of practice. This is because they will often train others in the methods that they use in practice themselves. Moreover, it is more likely that they will be using current research and guidance to inform their training workshop.
Most importantly, it is a more fluent training delivery if the trainer has developed and delivered the training workshop themselves. This is because they will understand the content and topic better than others. Additionally, they will have a specific way to deliver the training that others may not. For example, not everyone works in the same way, so what works for you won’t necessarily work for me.
Training exercises should be as interactive as possible. They can be a more effective way of delivering training content as sometimes it can be hard to explain content verbally. It might be quicker and clearer to provide workshop content in a group exercise. For example, some people learn by doing and therefore it can be a great way of absorbing information. You have got to think:
Will the training delegates remember this key point if it is just described by the trainer?
In my opinion, a good training workshop will involve thought-provoking and engaging exercises. These should be spread out across the training to ensure that the trainer is not speaking/presenting too much. This is to aid our attention in training and to help us process information.
Real life or near to real life scenarios can really help the delegates to apply the workshop content to their work roles. Exercises that involve scenario-based information or role-play can help the delegate to consolidate learning. Although, not everyone likes role-play, it can help to practice skills learnt in the training.
Nobody likes boring presentation slides that are full of bullet-pointed text on a white background. Good training PowerPoint slides are often colourful and use images (where appropriate). Images are a useful way of presenting. This is because a picture can sometimes help the trainer to describe something better than a line or paragraph of text. Therefore, delegates can make better sense of the information they are processing.
A good diagram can also help the trainer to summarise information to make it more understandable and easier to read for the delegates. Further, using animations can add to the visual appearance of the presentation slides. This may aid us to remain engaged with the workshop content.
PowerPoint slides should not include all the information that the trainer is going to present. Reading from the slides is not a great way of engaging an audience. Workshops that are good quality usually provide the bare bones of key information on the slide. This keeps the slides simple and easy to understand. Then, trainers will often explain their points further, giving the delegates new information as opposed to what is already on their slides.
Check out our next blog in the series on: Identifying Training Needs