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5 Tips for Handling Surprises in Training

Posted by Lynne Koltookian on 10/12/15 4:00 AM
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“Expect the unexpected.” Have you ever heard this expression? Or how about Murphy’s Law, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong?” A good trainer should heed these expressions as they apply to us all the time when we deliver training. There are many things that can throw us off our game. For example, a participant can say or do something unexpected, our projector bulb can blow out, a video may not play properly, or unexpected events can happen near or outside of our training room.

 

What should we do? How can we remain composed and stay focused when these things occur? In this blog I will give you some tips to help you stay calm when unexpected things happen so you can keep training effectively.

Here are five tips/guidelines to follow:

  1. Practice, practice, practice. I know you’ve heard this one before but the more you practice your craft, the less likely you are to be affected by little disturbances.
  2. Know your content inside and out. Again, the more confident you are in knowing your course content, the less rattled you will get if a participant says or does something unexpected.
  3. Always have a backup plan. Before you teach a course, imagine all the possible things that can go wrong and plan for them. You can have hard copies of slides in case the bulb blows out, or, if some activities do not run as planned, you can switch gears on the fly and do something else.
  4. Never let them see you sweat. If you make a mistake when you teach, do not draw attention to it or yourself. Do not apologize for your mistake. Just keep on teaching as if nothing happened.
  5. Do not take yourself too seriously. You are human and so are your learners. Mistakes happen. Try not to let the small things knock you off your game. Stay positive and remember that training and learning should be fun. Your learners are pulling for you and they are not out to harm you. Relax and enjoy your job!

If you follow these guidelines and make them standard operating procedure, nothing will rattle you when you work. Your learners will be impressed and you can end each class with a big smile on your face!



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

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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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