Fail to prepare - prepare to fail
Think of the most professional delivery of a training session you have had personally and ask yourself why? There could be many reasons you think that way but the most common factor will be because the Trainer was exceptionally well prepared and organised!
I once remember arriving at a training session where we were sent to the wrong room, and then when we arrived, the trainer wasn’t even there. When the Trainer eventually came, they were in a complete panic about everything; then when the session started, it was rushed and ineffective because the audience had disengaged entirely. So did I go away having learnt what I was supposed to? Absolutely not, because all I remember is how badly disorganised it was. So how can you ensure you are fully prepared and organised?
Here are some top tips:
When delivering online, understand the system. Whatever platform is being used, ensure you know how it works, and also ensure your delegates know what to do to get on the platform. If you are using waiting rooms, which are a great feature, make sure these are well prepared in advance.
Ensure you are fully prepared with all of your learning materials written and practised. Even if you have delivered the material before, always make sure you have a run through in your mind before delivery.
Ensure the venue is booked well in advance and make sure you know what equipment you have and the way the room is set-up and large enough for the number of people you are delivering to. If possible, check out the venue in advance, and it ticks all the boxes for any special requirements. If catering is involved, ensure that it is booked and that you have checked in advance for any dietary requirements.
Make sure everyone knows well in advance where they are going and what time to arrive. Let them know what they need to bring with them and an idea of anything you need them to know or learn before the training. If possible, make sure on the day that the venue is signposted or someone is there who can help direct people to the venue.
Know who you are delivering to! Who are the people in your audience, and what are their needs? Are there people in the audience who can add to the training with knowledge and expertise?
Arrive early and find out about the domestic arrangements such as fire exits, alarms, toilets, tea/coffee. This then also lets you set the room up to ensure that all of your delegates can see all visual aids such as PowerPoint and Flip Chart, the room temperature is right and that you have distributed any handouts or pack-ups on each desk neatly.
Welcome each person into the room, ensuring that engagement starts from the first second they arrive; make them feel as comfortable as possible because there is a high likelihood they are arriving with nerves. Offer them any tea/coffee/water and encourage conversation between themselves while you wait for the others to arrive.
Remember, fantastic trainers, ensure their sessions are organised and prepared weeks before the day of delivery, so their delegates go away remembering the session for the right reasons!
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.