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Jun 04

get personal with your lessons

Published by Scott Fraser

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In a previous blog, I talked about the importance of preparation in your lesson plans and specifically, having a structure that’s easy to follow.  This helps you, your fellow trainers and more importantly your audience but it won’t entirely be enough for you to deliver the very best sessions and here’s why:

One of the stand out things I see on our PTT Train the Trainer courses is when the delegates prepare to deliver their sessions, they will prepare their lesson plans and notes in a way they think works for them.  Quite often though, (and this is common in many trainers) they will write these notes in a way that’s perceived to be right rather than what works best for them.  That perception is usually that there has to be either reams and reams of scripted pages or to the other extreme, very little detail in bulleted form.  This way of working becomes even more evident when we need to engage more in sessions, so more suitable preparation is required to help guide and prompt.  It’s best practice to have an agreed structure, with all the lesson elements included that can be followed easily but that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t put that personal “stamp” on it.  When I deliver the PTT Train the Trainer, I have the standardised structured notes that we all have which compliments the lessons but if you were to look at them closely, you’d see lots of personally written notes that help guide and prompt me. Here are some of the types of things I always recommend when personalising on your notes:

Write your Questions – Especially when getting to grips with using questions, I always recommend having them written down for each learning point.  I include the question (appropriately phrased) and the answer.  This means then that if the mind goes blank, you have it right in front of you to have a quick glance at rather than the question and engagement opportunity getting missed.  I’ll also always have more than one question just in case!

Note your Experiences / Stories – Give yourself an opportunity to bring out the memorable parts of the learning points where people will get the benefit of engagement through personal experiences you might have.  If you have these written down, you give yourself the best chance of remembering them every time.

Note any Acronyms / Hints & Tips – When you start to engage fully, in the heat of the moment, it’s very easy to forget including all of the things that will aid learning.  Having these written down and how to form them will act as a great guide for you to follow and include.

Remember that your lesson plan and notes need to be structured and written to match lessons, but also personalised in a way that works for you to bring out the best in your sessions.  Giving your audience the best of you complimenting your lesson content will give the best chance of that all-important learning to take place.

Scott Fraser is a Master Trainer at Target Training and delivers our PTT Train the Trainer courses and our Advanced PTT Train the Trainer courses.  You can read more about him here.

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