Why Your Training Should Be Sexy
First of all, what exactly do I mean by “sexy” you ask? I mean dynamic, exciting, prolific, just-in-time, easy to get access to, and… Yes, fun. Training, of any kind, can be all the aforementioned and more it really only depends on three things:
Your Tools Utilized
If you nail those the you can have a pretty outstanding course. So how do you do all of this? It’s easy, start at the beginning… With your prep.
To begin any course you need to ask yourself a few questions. This is really going to be the beginning of your vision and scope.
- What are the goals of the course?
- How will you measure the success of the course?
- How long is the course going to be?
- What methods of delivery are going to be employed? (i.e. Video, Live, PowerPoint, Online or eLearning, or a combination)
- Who is the audience going to be?
- And… the sexiest of all… How can you make it memorable yet professional?
If you begin to answer these questions then you are well on your way to creating a superb project. Knowing the goals of the course allows you laser-focused direction and how you will test it which then ties into how you might begin to measure the success of the course. Maybe you have a test at the end or maybe you have a participant portion to allow the learners to show you exactly what they took away from the class. How long it is depends on how much time the company or department gives you and, more importantly, the amount of time you actually NEED to get your message across. Never take longer than you need to but don’t cut it too short just because you only have a small amount of time.
The tools you will be using are really the fun part. Using ONLY PowerPoint is a serious death sentence in presentations today that are overused, abused, and downright tired, just ask my LinkedIn buddy Don McMillan. Try and use some tools that help you make your training compelling. There are a ton out there that are fast becoming the norm for the industry like Camtasia Studio, Adobe Captivate, eLearning, and yes even PowerPoint (Yep, still, but not the lame way used in MOST cases). Seek these out, get funding for them if you can, take a class on how to effectively use them and then… use them. If you aren’t able to buy these there are still quite a few tools at your disposal that are free or close to it. Video capture tools like QuickTime come on most Macs. Xtranormal allows you to make simple videos for free that can be used as an addition to your training material. There are even add-ons and tools out there for the old standby, PowerPoint that will allow you to beef up your presentation. Regardless of what you chose consider the audience, the amount of time you have, and how BEST to make all come together. In my opinion it is best to combine a few methods if you have the bandwidth so you can help the learners with different learning styles choose the one that works best for them. This is great too if you have a limited amount of time, can only present so much, and want to follow-up with a portion that is a video or web-based.
I may be old-school but I still like to be in front of a class of humans speaking to them, interacting with them, and challenging them in real-time. And, Yes, I still use the big PP (PowerPoint) to keep the audience attention and to build framework for many of my training sessions. However, I LOVE to embrace social media by using Twitter during remote learning sessions to continue and expand conversations. I like to add Web-Based conferencing to my presentations to allow remote learners to join in if they aren’t able to attend in person. The key to delivery is to make sure you know what your material, you know your tools (how and when to use them), you are EXCITED, you prepare in advance for any technical issues that may arise during your training (because they will), and you eat a lot of protein the night before – You will need the energy.
If you follow these steps you should be well on your way to not only creating a fantastic training course (making it memorable) but you have also put together a strong class that is professional and, most of all, usable to your learners. If you need any help, advice, or samples please contact me here. Otherwise, have FUN most of all and put your soul into everything you do.