Structuring your training session: it can be difficult to know where to start when you are designing your session. What goes first? How much background information (if any) do you give? How much detail do you provide? How long should you session be?
This is one of the reasons that it’s so important to do your analysis first and work out what it is that people need to learn. When you are really clear on what it is that people need/want to know, it makes structuring training so much more straightforward as there will be a natural starting point and a logical flow of information.
In it’s simplest terms, the best way to structure the content of your session is to:
Tell them what you are going to tell them.
Tell them what you have told them.
I was recently at a training session for a voluntary role that I do, about 5 minutes into the first presentation I realised I had no idea at all what I was there to learn about. What was being spoken about didn’t seem to match up with the information we’d been provided with before the event. By the 10 minute mark I was really confused. The presentation seemed to jump about and I wasn’t sure how (even though I knew it did in some way!) the information being provided was linked to my role or what I needed to do with it. Then, before I had really a chance to figure it all out, the presentation was over and I was left feeling more confused than before but now with a lot more information!
One of the most frustrating things about this session was that what was being spoken about was important and interesting. And I was keen to hear about it and understand how it impacted my role. Sadly I spent most of the presentation trying to figure out how it all fitted together.
If the speaker/trainer had followed the structure set out above, this confusions would have been avoided. They would have clearly stated their objectives at the start, perhaps using a slide to reinforce the key points to be covered. Then they would have given me the meat of information and gone into more detail and finally they would have summarised and reiterated the key points before taking questions from the group.
The material would have been no different but this simple change to the structure would have meant people would have more easily taken in the key messages and been able to apply them to their current knowledge of the subject, leading to better questions at the end and a change in performance back in role (which is ultimately what you are looking for!).
Until next time, enjoy!