The days of a trainer standing at the front of a classroom lecturing are waning. A successful training program requires extra care to keep students interested and engaged in the course, training materials, and instructor. Keeping up with the changing ways you can engage with your students can help increase productivity. Multimedia, active participation and increased engagement are three ways to make this happen.
To create a bond with your students, share your experience and background that ties in with the subject matter. If you are new to the content, be truthful to garner credibility. Students respond to those that can show a truthfulness regarding their level of expertise and proficiency of the topic being taught.
If you know the students or they are all new; icebreakers are a great way to show your personality to the group, allow them to get to know each other, and sets the overall tone of the training. Icebreakers can be topical to the training material or random. Is the class first thing in the morning? Have them get up, walk around, meet everyone in the class. This short burst of movement also acts like a stimulant if they are still waiting for the caffeine to hit.
Technology, especially related to social media, has changed the way we think. The smaller bursts of information over multiple platforms means that staring at a stagnant presentation for multiple hours on end will result in lost interest. To avoid the boredom, look to incorporate multiple mediums into the presentation.
Topical video and audio clips added into presentations break up the monotony. You can also add jokes, memes, industry references, gifs, or emojis. These simple additions not only show an extra level of care, but it also supplies a built-in indicator if the class is still engaged. Did they react to these elements? If so, they are still paying attention.
If you are hosting a webinar, incorporate live video. Live video has started to replace pre-recorded content. With live video, you can increase interaction by using visual aids or creating an open conversation during the training. For those in remote locations, the addition of live video makes learning a more valuable experience.
Engagement Is Key
Engagement is the key to successful training seminars. Engagement is possible through a variety of ways. Focus on the material and create engagement by incorporating games, hands-on projects, breakout sessions, and audience participation.
For each of these tasks, take the time to fully listen to the conversations and questions to see how you can relate to the training topic. Being an active participant in the conversation will also show the attendees that you are engaged.
Whether you are training in-person or online, taking the time to add in elements of engagement will make the training a success. While using all of the approaches listed above enhance your training, be sure that the main focus is the training content. Space the engagement components throughout so they fit in, but don’t overtake the presentation.