One of my all-time favourite films is Forest Gump and I absolutely love the quote he used “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get” because it’s so true; it works in so many circumstances including delivering training in different places.

When you are regularly delivering training in different cities and venues, it can be quite daunting as it’s rarely the same from place to place unless of course, you are always delivering in designated specialist meeting/training areas in Hotels etc. One of the greatest challenges is though when you visit different business and deliver in their premises; I’ve had lots of conversations with my fellow trainers about this, but we always have one thing in common – we adapt to the situation and just get on with the resources and facilities to hand.  When I get a “box of chocolates” type scenario, I have some simple principles I use when delivering in different locations I’d like to share:

1. Get some local help – First and foremost, ask your local contact for help if there is anything you need as often, they will be able to help or will know someone else who can.

2. Make sure everyone has a seat – There’s nothing worse than turning up for training and there’s nowhere to sit; in your personal organisation, make sure you know how many are coming to your session and give them each a chair.

3. Are they going to be taking notes? – If so, then they will need desks or tables unless they have clipboards etc.  Remember that some people will like taking notes as its one of their preferred learning styles.

4. You don’t need a projector screen – If using a projector, you don’t necessarily need a screen; a whiteboard, a wall will do nicely; a piece of a flip chart or disposable whiteboard will work well as a temporary measure.  Also, make sure that everyone is positioned in a place where they can see the screen clearly.  If all else fails, remember that Flip is a great visual aid!

5. Make the area clear as clear from distractions as possible – This can be challenging when delivering next to busy work areas.  If there are such areas where I’m training, I will go in and explain what we are doing and that I will respect their working environment.  I’ve found when I do this that often the favour is reciprocated letting everyone know and sometimes even providing me with signs on doors that say “Training in progress” or words to that effect.

Like everything in life the more we are prepared the better we are going to be. Personally, I like having differences.  Like in a box of chocolates, if there weren't differences it could be quite boring.

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.