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3 Cues to Watch for in Training

Posted by Lynne Koltookian on 6/15/15 4:00 AM
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I was thinking about social media the other day and how sites like Facebook and Twitter give people the opportunity to share every detail of their lives with friends and family. Sometimes these details might be quite significant such as photographs of a recent trip, wedding, graduation, or family reunion. Sometimes people share less significant details such as what they are doing, what they are wearing, what they are thinking, and what they are eating! We can choose to respond to these details or ignore them. What does this have to do with training? Let me tell you!

Unlike Facebook where we can decide whether the content is worth our consideration, as trainers we need to pay attention to every small detail that may be going on in our classrooms. We need to notice both the verbal and the non-verbal cues our learners may be giving us so we can act appropriately. Everything we notice, and subsequently act on, must facilitate the learning process.

Here are three examples of learner cues that need our attention.

  1. If people in your class are nodding off or shifting in their seats, it’s time for a break. A break allows our learners the physical and mental time to rest, and the opportunity to re-focus so they can continue to learn.
  2. If your learners are looking perplexed and asking many questions, you are probably confusing them with what or how you are teaching. If this happens, draw pictures, explain points in different ways, or use analogies or examples to clarify your content.
  3. If a couple of learners are having sidebar conversations in the back of the room, check in with them. At the next available break ask them how things are going. Gently remind them that their talking may be disrupting the learning process for others around them.

When you are a new instructor it is normal to miss these details. Once you become more comfortable teaching, you will develop the ability to notice even the smallest details. You will be more in tune with your learners and will do the right thing to facilitate and prevent disruption of the learning process.

What additional cues do you think we should pay attention to in class?

Dealing with Difficult Participants



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: instructional techniques, tips-for-trainers

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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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