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3 Strategies to Spice Up Boring Training Sessions

Posted by James Summers on 4/17/17 8:00 AM
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What do you do when you’re preparing to facilitate a training session and the materials you’ve been given by the instructional designers feel a bit dull and boring? Here are three strategies to spice things up and deliver an engaging and interactive learning experience!


1.  You can tell a person anything and they may or may not remember it, but if you tell them WHY it benefits them, it will resonate more. People relate to the cause and effect of “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM). Not only do they want to know what they’ll be doing, they also want to know what’s in it for them in doing it YOUR way.


Simply telling your learners what the benefits are can be boring—don’t be afraid to get creative! Find different ways to convey the WIIFM through facts and statistics, a personal experience, real world examples, or maybe sharing an expert opinion. Remember, conveying the WIIFM increases your learner’s investment in the training. Finding creative and engaging ways to get the point across is an effective way to make your content more relevant for them. 


2. Break up the flow of the presentation. There are many ways to facilitate a course and present material without standing in front of the participants and speaking to PowerPoint slides and flip charts. One instructional technique you may want to try is to conduct an interview with the participants and encourage them to question you about the subject-matter. Role plays and skits are other options to add to your toolkit. While people sometimes shy away from role plays, you can make them less threatening by pairing your learners or using small groups to promote participation.


You can also present course content with games and activities, full class discussions, and table talks. Remember, your main goal is to deliver the content to the learners and ensure they “get it.” Spicing up your delivery methods and using variety will keep you and your learners energized.


3. Give your class and content a little sparkle by letting your personality shine through! A class full of new learners can make even the most experienced course leader nervous. The key is to relax and convey confidence—just be yourself and it will carry you a long way. People innately connect with who you are and are more likely to listen and engage with you in a training session when you relate to them on a personal level. If you pretend to be someone you’re not, they will pick up on it immediately. Just be yourself—there is no better version of you, than YOU!


So, the next time you have materials you consider “dull and boring,” remember these training strategies and remind yourself you have the power to spice up your training! Let me know what spice you use in your training sessions in the comments below.


Check out our Certified Instructor/Facilitator workshop to learn more ways to enhance your facilitation and presentation skills!


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Hello! My name is James Summers. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas but in my mind, I’m Floridian! I studied communications and journalism at Florida A&M University and I absolutely loved it there. When it comes to my career, I have two passions, one is training and facilitating and the other is fashion, which we will get to a little later. Prior to joining Langevin, I started my career as a communications specialist in the Florida State University Law Center. Once I moved back to Dallas I began my role as a trainer working with adults, helping them to achieve their GED. In this role, I discovered my love for training and working with adults. From there, I migrated into the corporate world training customer service representatives, creating instructional content, and making sure staff received the most effective, efficient training materials. Next, I went to work with an e-commerce distribution center, training associates handling product ordered via e-commerce outlets, which included many facets like shipping, receiving, picking and packing, and more. My responsibilities included orientation and training for new hires, refresher courses, new roll-outs for different departments, as well as training upwards of 3200 associates over the course of 6 weeks every holiday season for 4 years. Whewww!!! Talk about breaking a sweat! I also, worked with executives on leadership training. I advised them on the most effective ways to supervise their teams and handle coaching sessions and write ups; which included hard conversations. What I most enjoy about training is when my students have that “a ha” moment. When the light bulb comes on and they can see a new way of doing things or a way to enhance their current method, it lets me know I’ve done my job.

About this Blog

Our very own world-class course leaders share their experiences, tips, best practices, and expertise on virtual training, instructional design, needs analysis, e-learning, delivery, evaluation, presentation skills, facilitation, and much more!

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