How to conduct an effective training session
What is a training session?
Training sessions are events that offer educational enrichment to the attendees. For training sessions to be effective, they have to provide valuable insights and meaningful lessons. Organizing an effective training program for your employees will boost their performance and help them hit important targets. Training sessions can feature discussions, evaluations, demonstrations and even traditional lectures. You can foster a culture of learning through training sessions.
Best online training materials for employees
Online training materials are easily accessible and your employees will be able to go through them at leisure even when they are not at work.
Visual learning is an effective way of consuming knowledge in a limited period. As it happens, 65% of the population identify as visual learners. When information is conveyed in an easy-to-understand and comprehensive manner through visual means, learners are more likely to remain engaged. You can use platforms like Bites to record short, educational videos on any of the topics of the training session and distribute them among your employees.
· Audio clips and podcasts
Your audience will also have audio learners who will benefit from hearing the lessons. Around 30% of people are audio learners and you can use audio clips and podcasts to train them. Podcasting has emerged as a powerful tool for upskilling in the modern era because learners see them as a flexible learning option.
· Webinar recordings
Webinars and meetings allow employees to communicate amongst themselves and express their thoughts. If you do not have the time to organize a webinar, you can share the recordings of past webinars or live seminars that will offer valuable insights to the learners. They will be able to observe the discussions and learn from senior professionals.
How to prepare for an effective training session?
If you want to organize a successful training session, it is wise to prepare ahead of time. One way to ensure that your training session is successful is to distribute training materials beforehand. Attendees who are already familiar with the basics of the subject will be more responsive and attentive.
· Create a plan
Make a checklist and follow your plan as closely as possible on the training day to eliminate any room for error. You have to establish the learning objectives of the session. Make sure that these objectives are measurable so that you can understand whether the attendees are benefitting from the session. When delivering the lecture, follow a fixed structure so that you do not go off-topic and can cover all the topics within the allotted time.
· Prepare the materials
If you want the attendees to come to the session well-prepared, prepare the training materials a week before the session and share with them. Provide guidelines as to what the employees expected to know and how they are to behave during the session. You can also suggest some background readings they can complete before the session.
· Organize tech support
Online training sessions benefit from having a tech support team that can attend to any hardware or transmission problems at the last minute. Tech help ensures a smooth training session devoid of lags and other technical issues.
· Use multimedia
You can incorporate multimedia elements in the session to keep the learners engaged. Multimedia helps create an atmosphere of immersive learning. Explain to the learners why you are using the multimedia so that they know what to focus on and how to interpret what they are seeing.
· Interactive approach
Training sessions have to be interactive in nature for them to be effective. Silent, non-participating trainees will most likely not benefit from the session properly. Ask the learners to share their experiences and opinions about the training topic. Encourage them to speak up and collaborate amongst themselves so that the learning can go beyond just your lecture points. Include periodic interaction breaks in your session structure.
Techniques to make an online training session effective
If you are looking to improve your online training session, the following effective techniques will be helpful.
· Encourage active participation
A lively and interactive training session will hold the attention of the learners for a longer period. Being charismatic and involving the employees in discussions will allow for effective communication even though the session is virtual. Encourage everyone to switch on their webcams and talk amongst themselves to discuss the topics being taught.
· Set clear goals and expectations
An online training session does not mean that you have to be lenient. You can still lay down a few strict rules at the beginning of the session so that participants follow the code of conduct. Remind everyone to shut down all other programs so they can pay attention to the session exclusively. List the objectives of the session so that they are clear about the learning goals and expectations.
· Create polls and surveys
Polls and surveys offer passive ways for employees to participate in the session. You can use polls to quiz participants and assess their understanding of the topic so far. Polls will also help you find out whether the learners are involved because they can give feedback in real time. You can use surveys to find out how the session is faring and then use the feedback to make improvements.
· Use a whiteboard
A virtual whiteboard is a flexible tool as it allows everyone in the chat to type, write, or draw upon with the help of the annotation tools on the program. This will allow the employees to brainstorm together and create visual flowcharts. You can also use the whiteboard to illustrate or demonstrate ideas in real time.
· Virtual roundtable discussions in groups
Divide the participants into groups and assign a discussion topic to each. You can also give them a list of guiding questions so that the participants have a sense of purpose as they engage in a quick roundtable discussion.
· Use icebreakers
When running virtual training sessions, it is important to get the event going with an icebreaker to get everyone communicating. It can be difficult to form human connections only through a virtual session which is why an icebreaker like trivia games can be helpful. You can also ask them to talk about their favorite movies or books to start the conversation.
· Blended learning experience
With the help of blended learning techniques, you do not have to restrict the learning process just to your session. You can share training content and test your employees through quizzes through learning platforms like Bites. As a result, the participants will be more likely to come prepared to the session and pay attention.
Tips on how to improve training effectiveness
You can use the following tips and suggestions to improve training effectiveness:
- Keep your sessions short and well-structured so that participants remain attentive. If you want longer sessions, arrange for frequent breaks.
- Adapt your content along the way as you figure out which training techniques are working better for the group.
- Arrange for an anonymous survey at the end of the session to get feedback as to how you can improve the session in the future.
- Keep the slides minimal and simple. Do not make them text-heavy.
- Instead of reading the material to the audience, try conveying it in a fun and energetic manner. You can also inject some humor here and there,
- It can be tempting to maintain strict control over the session, but you have to let go and let the participants converse frequently so they can digest what they are learning.
With Bites, you will never have to stress about setting up online training sessions again. You can share video training modules through Bites will all your employees and encourage them to discuss what they have learned in the forum even before the session. You will get to know the learning patterns of the participants, which will help you perfect your training script. The learners will also have the opportunity to know each other prior to the session which will lead to better communication and collaboration. You can follow up after the session with quizzes and assessments.