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Sep 04

why I always KISS my training

Published by Scott Fraser

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Getting to meet so many great people in the UK is one of the real bonuses of my job while I deliver Train the Trainer courses.  With so much diverse experience on every course from people that are new to training and people that have experience, one of the problems they all tell us about training in their workplace is that often it’s just too complicated and doesn’t work.  Things like too much content, too many words, complex technical language, too much PowerPoint!  So, what can we do to change this?  Simple, just KISS it:

On our Train the Trainer courses, I often then see delegates demonstrate the same in their first sessions because there is that perception of training that makes people over complicate it unnecessarily.  With me, I like the simple things in life and out of the many differing training theories out there, one of them that I was told very early in my training career was KISS.  When told I needed to KISS my training I rightly said, “What do you mean?” to which I was told:  Keep It Simple Stupid - The “KISS” principle; developed in military training by the US Navy and in layman's terms just means don’t over complicate things.  “Ah yes,” I said, that I could understand and relate to because all the bad training experiences I had in the past where I was demotivated were due to the fact the training was over complicated and didn’t engage me.

So how can you use it as a trainer?  Here’s how I apply the principle in all my preparation and sessions with three simple points:

1. Constantly challenge yourself with this question– “Is this really the best way of delivering this training or is there a better way?” so you never fall into the trap of “Because we’ve always done it that way”.  Don’t be frightened to experiment and don’t forget that getting feedback from your delegates in the training room and the workplace, is an essential part of the learning success.

2. Keep to a basic structure – Don’t over-complicate by having sessions that end up all over the place; keep it like books which always have a beginning, middle and an end.  We all like to be able to follow a logical flow and having this simple structure will help your delegates, you and your fellow trainers.

3. Keeping it “Real” – Remember that when we design training we can sometimes fall into a trap of delivering complex words or technical jargon as it can be what we perceive is important; it can be easy to go into “Tell” mode where we throw heaps of information out at our audience which they are likely to bin from their brain very quickly if indeed they even learn it in the first place.  Remember engagement is essential to questioning, activities, real life stories and experience.

If you regularly see disengagement and boredom in your sessions, maybe one of the first things you need to think is KISS!


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