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Langevin's Train-the-Trainer Blog

Alan Magnan

Alan has been a course leader with Langevin since 1996. He studied business administration at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. Alan’s philosophy on training is that it can be fun, engaging, and active, but that’s just what’s on the surface. Training must also be practical, realistic, and applicable. Alan is a computer geek at heart and enjoys programming and gaming in his spare time. He’s also a great fan of the outdoors during the summer months, and when the winter moves in, you’ll find him reading, or recording and playing music.

Recent Posts

4 Instructional Design Tips for On-the-Job Training

Posted by Alan Magnan on 11/16/15 3:00 AM

There are many reasons to conduct on-the-job training: a very small number of people need training, the work cannot be simulated effectively, or the skills don’t lend themselves to other forms of instruction. Sadly, a lot of on-the-job training is ineffective. It’s often called “sit with Nellie.” An employee spends time with one of the top performers, with no plan or goal laid out. Somehow that person is expected to learn the skills in question through something akin to osmosis.

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Tags: instructional design

6 Ways to Use an Agenda in Training

Posted by Alan Magnan on 10/19/15 4:00 AM

“Agenda” is a Latin word meaning “things to be done.” Every training session should include one. It is an invaluable tool that can help start, manage, and end a course. Here are six ways to get the most out of your training agendas:

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Tags: instructional techniques, virtual classroom

Chatting with Learners before Training

Posted by Alan Magnan on 8/31/15 4:00 AM


Photo by: Rawpixel via Unsplash

Some learners like to show up early for training. I’ve had people walk in the room 30 minutes before the course starts. In the time between the first arrival and the start of the course you have a chance to set the tone. If you haven’t prepared for it, this time can end up with “dead air,” that dreaded silence that can make people uncomfortable. That’s not how you want your learners to feel before the training has started.

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Tags: instructional techniques, virtual trainer

4 Instructional Techniques to End a Course with Impact

Posted by Alan Magnan on 7/6/15 4:00 AM

In training, most courses end with a slide titled, "Summary,” and a few bullet points. The instructor talks about what's on the screen (yet again) and considers the course done. Not a very powerful ending to something that was intended to improve employee job performance. Here are four instructional techniques (each in the form of a summary or review) that can make a bigger impact and increase the chances that people actually use the skills they learned.

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Tags: instructional techniques

4 Ways to Use Polling in Virtual Classroom Training

Posted by Alan Magnan on 12/8/14 3:00 AM


Photo by: Christin Hume via Unsplash

After reviewing many virtual classroom sessions, I’ve noticed that polls are one of the most underused features available. They’re mostly used as a kind of “check-in” feature, asking learners if objectives were met, or if the pace is okay. Here are four other ways you can use the polling feature to liven up your virtual classroom training.

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Tags: virtual trainer, virtual classroom

6 Tips for Avoiding Errors in Your Training Materials

Posted by Alan Magnan on 6/30/14 4:00 AM

There’s nothing worse than reading materials you wrote months before and finding a bunch of writing errors in them. You were sure they were fine at the time. Now you see them the way your learners do: flawed and awkward. Here are six things to keep in your writing skills toolkit to reduce the chances of it happening again.

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Tags: instructional design, writing skills for trainers

How to Increase Your Training’s Impact

Posted by Alan Magnan on 5/12/14 4:00 AM

Wrapping up a course seems like a no-brainer: you revisit the objectives, ask if there are any final questions, and hand out (or link to) the course evaluation form. What else could you possibly need to do? Here are four other activities that can increase the impact your training has on the job.

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Tags: instructional techniques, instructor-led training, tips-for-trainers

5 Common Mistakes Trainers Make

Posted by Alan Magnan on 4/7/14 4:00 AM


Photo by: Steve Buissinne via Pixabay 

No one’s perfect. That doesn’t mean we should stop striving to improve. Even the most seasoned, confident trainer can make mistakes in the classroom. After coaching thousands of trainers, I have found there are five common mistakes that instructors make. Here they are, with tips on using a variety of instructional techniques to avoid them:

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Tags: instructional techniques, tips-for-trainers

4 Ways to Improve PowerPoint Slides

Posted by Alan Magnan on 3/20/14 4:00 AM

It’s a popular term in the training world: “Death by PowerPoint.” If you haven’t experienced such a session, you’ve most likely heard someone else complain about one. The slides just keep coming. They’re crammed with bullet points in a font too small to read easily. Not that it matters, because the trainer is simply narrating them to the audience anyway. 

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Tags: presentation skills, tips-for-trainers

How to Save Time by Applying Iterative Design to ADDIE

Posted by Alan Magnan on 2/24/14 3:00 AM

ADDIE is a simple and effective approach to instructional design. Each letter is a phase we go through to meet a training need.

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Tags: tips-for-trainers, instructional design

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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