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Choosing Methods that Fit!

Posted by Lynne Koltookian on 6/17/10 4:48 AM
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Training_Methods_That_Fit.jpgSource: Pixabay 

Choosing the right presentation and application (aka teaching and learner practice) methods is like choosing the right clothing to wear based on the weather…it needs to make sense. I live in New England where we enjoy all of the four seasons. Consequently, I have lots of different types of clothing to match the varying temperature fluctuations and weather conditions. As trainers and designers, we can use the same thought process when choosing presentation and application methods.

We have to ask ourselves, “
Does the method fit our audience, time frame, and content? Does the method make sense?”  

For example, if I
trained sales reps, then I might choose game playing for that audience. This method makes sense because sales reps are competitive people and competition is an integral part of their job.

If I
trained managers who have little time to give me, then I would choose a lecture method that permits transferring large amounts of information in less time but I would lecture in an interactive way to keep them engaged.

If I taught
skill-based content, then I would choose demonstration method to appeal to all three learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). I would also need to consider my audience, time frame, and content for choosing the most appropriate learner practice methods.

In several of our workshops we share up to
50 presentation and application methods that can be used during training sessions! This is the cool thing about training that I’m always telling my learners. In our world of instruction and design there is always more than one way to do just about everything! While this fact might be overwhelming for some, for others it is very exciting!

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed about what makes sense when choosing methods, give the following suggestions a try – keeping the key considerations of audience, time frame, and content in mind:

If you teach “hands on” skill-based content:

Presentation Methods:
  • Demonstrations
  • Short Lectures
  • Discussions
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Field Trips

    Application Methods:
  • Practice Sessions
  • Simulations
  • Drills
  • Games
  • Laboratory Settings

If you teach business skills like leadership, communication and customer service:

Presentation Methods:

  • Behavior modeling
  • Brainstorming
  • Discussions
  • Mock Interviews
  • Graphic Association

Application Methods:

  • Action Maze
  • Case Studies
  • Games
  • Role Plays
  • Quizzes

In summary, there are many methods to choose from when your design your training programs. The method you choose depends on many variables but the main ones are time, audience, and content. The choice you make will either help or hinder the learning process so make this decision with great consideration.

Remember my analogy of comparing clothing with methods. Just make your choices fit your training conditions and you will be fine!


Lynne has been a course leader with Langevin since 2007. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Penn State University and a Master’s degree in Education from Boston University. After working many years in human resources and sales, Lynne transitioned into training, her true passion, where she’s been facilitating since 1994. Her training philosophy is simple—learning should be fun! The essence of a good instructor is someone who can make complex things easy to understand and fun to learn. In her free time, you’ll find Lynne cycling, hiking, downhill skiing, and scuba diving.

Topics: tips-for-trainers, instructional design

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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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