My main job is to write training courses. Like many training professionals, I can write a pretty course relatively quickly and easily.
Recently, I was writing a personal effectiveness workshop for a client. At the end of the day, the session plan was done. No slides, workbooks or other supporting material, but the ‘core’ of the programme was there. It was good in that it:
- Contained good, useful information and theories
- Flowed well
- Was planned at a good pace
- Followed Accelerated Learning principles
- Had a good balance of trainer input and group work
- Made links to previous training to reinforce key points
- Had a specific call to action at the end
But I wasn’t happy with it.
I thought it was boring. True, I had included lots of activities but they were all quite similar. So I put myself in the position of a delegate. Would I find these activities useful? – Yes. Would I find them interesting? Would they stick in my mind? – No.
So, I researched and found more interesting and ‘active’ exercises to replace some of the content to make it more impactful.
Good. Now my delegates would enjoy the course as well as finding it useful.
But I still wasn’t happy.
I pride myself on creating BESPOKE courses. The more it feels like an internal workshop, the more delegates will feel comfortable with it, ‘believe’ it, engage with it and (most importantly) APPLY what they learn.
Although the topic was quite generic, I decided to look at it again. This time through the eyes of my commissioning client. Where were the links to the business objective? Where were the links to the company values? Were the examples straight off THEIR shop floor, or were they just a bit too generic? So, I went back to my research: to the visits I’d made, to the job descriptions and company literature, to their employee survey, to their Values and to the ‘peripheral’ information I’d picked up.
Another re-write resulted in a training course that satisfied:
- Me as a trainer: It had good, relevant content, followed accelerated learning principles and focussed on application of learning.
- Those who would attend: It was active, interesting, relevant and practical
- Those paying for the work: It was directly relevant to their business and linked with a rangeof specific issues and business priorities.
So, when designing training, remember, it’s not just about you. Look at it from the perspective of the person sitting in the room AND the business objectives that it needs to support. Then, you can make a good course better and hopefully, the best!