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3 Things that will kill your training program or event

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I have been designing training programs and events for over two decades. In all this time, I have learned by trial and error critical things to avoid.

3 Things That Will Kill Your Training Program or Event

  1. Focusing on what you want to teach, not what your audience needs to learn
    It is easy to get so excited about your knowledge of marketing or coding or writing that you jam pack your session with tons of information that may not be useful, relevant, or digestible to your audience. The first thing most people do when creating a new program is brainstorm everything they want to share. This usually creates confusion and overwhelm in the minds of the audience, since they never will be able to understand or absorb the depth of knowledge on a subject that you have studied or practiced for years.

    Solution: Define learning objectives that lay out exactly what you want your audience to learn. Base it on research you do to determine what they need to know, where they are stuck, and how they will apply the information immediately so that they retain it. Then select only the content that directly relates to meeting these learning objectives. You can always follow up with additional resources, links or references after class for anyone who wants a lot more detail.

  2. Yacking too much, without engaging the audience

    One principle of adult learning is that adults constantly need to create context for the information they receive. If you are the only one talking, you miss the opportunity to engage the audience by asking questions, obtaining examples from their own life, and ensuring that the information applies to their current situation.

    Solution: Follow the 1/3 to 2/3 Rule:  For any given hour or day, you should talk one third of the time, and the audience should interact with/process/discuss or apply the information the other two thirds. You can do this with small group discussion, exercises or break outs.

    Exception: If you are leading a webinar or teleclass, you will obviously need to spend more time talking. But you can still work in questions, interaction and feedback, using technology tools. When I teach my bi-monthly Power Boost Marketing webinars, I use the Question function on GotoWebinar to gather feedback and questions. I also unmute participants who volunteer to work a specific example in a class so we can discuss it live. This keeps people engaged in the content, and not distracted by Facebook. :)

  3. Failing to explain the WHY.Information without purpose is just noise. You must remind your audience why this information is relevant and useful to their lives, and how learning it will bring them great results, and avoid unnecessary pain. The more specific you are in outlining the purpose and benefits of learning this information, the more engaged your audience will be.

    Solution: In the set up of the class, and sprinkled throughout, address the question of why learning the thing you are teaching is important. If someone is learning how to use WordPress, remind them that by mastering the tool, they can get their message in the hands of people who need it through their blog. They can create sales letters easily that will bring in income to their business. They won’t have to pay an expensive web designer every time they want to make a change to the copy on their website.If you are showing examples of WordPress sites your past students designed, be sure to say what great things happened as a result of them applying your teaching.

If you avoid these three mistakes, you will be miles ahead of the average instructor.

Happy students mean repeat business, more referrals and most importantly, people who benefit from your experience and expertise.

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14 Responses to “3 Things that will kill your training program or event”

  1. Megan says:

    Very good points here Pam. In addition to what Julie and Dayna said, I’ve found in our business, it’s very important to help people apply what you’re teaching them in their own businesses. While we can teach theory, work on exercises, and share examples in class, the biggest difference we’ve seen is helping them look at their own work problems an learn how to choose the right tool and how to apply it in their environment. That’s when it all clicks for them.

  2. [...] “yourself” and not another character, whatever you do up on that stage should be a gift to your audience. It’s all about them – not about [...]

  3. [...] 25. Donna Maria explains what to look for in a business coach. Pamela Slim says three things will kill your training program or event. Workplace stress doubles the risk of diabetes for women. A boy finds a piece of [...]

  4. [...] 25. Donna Maria explains what to look for ina business coach. Pamela Slim says three things will kill your training program or event. Workplace stress doubles the risk of diabetes for women. A boy finds a piece [...]

  5. [...] 25. Donna Maria explains what to look for in a business coach. Pamela Slim says three things will kill your training program or event. Workplace stress doubles the risk of diabetes for women. A boy finds a piece of [...]

  6. [...] 25. Donna Maria explains what to look for in a business coach. Pamela Slim says three things will kill your training program or event. Workplace stress doubles the risk of diabetes for women. A boy finds a piece of [...]

  7. [...] 25. Donna Maria explains what to look for in a business coach. Pamela Slim says three things will kill your training program or event. Workplace stress doubles the risk of diabetes for women. A boy finds a piece of [...]

  8. [...] 25. Donna Maria explains what to look for in a business coach. Pamela Slim says three things will kill your training program or event. Workplace stress doubles the risk of diabetes for women. A boy finds a piece of [...]

  9. [...] 25. Donna Maria explains what to look for in a business coach. Pamela Slim says three things will kill your training program or event. Workplace stress doubles the risk of diabetes for women. A boy finds a piece of [...]

  10. Cheng Joon says:

    I really enjoyed reading about Internet Marketing. I will be back to view more of your posts!

  11. Dayna says:

    I couldn’t agree more! In 10 years as an Instructional Designer I cannot tell you how many times I uttered these words, “People don’t care about what you want them to know. They want you to tell them what to do to get the job done.” Sometimes subject matter experts get so caught up in their own heads that they forget about why they are there. To help their audience perform better. Great article!

  12. Julie says:

    Great points. I would also add to the “why”, the reason they should listen to you. What are your credentials and why are you the perfect person to teach them this info.

  13. [...] on more clear objectives within my courses, I found this great web article for teachers on the web: http://www.escapefromcubiclenation.com/2012/08/29/3-things-that-will-kill-your-training-program-or-e…  (Slim, Pamela, August 2012) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  14. faisal says:

    If only university professors read through this post ;p

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