It was the worst training session she had ever sat through, for two hours there was material on slides, long words, jargon and the intense desire to throttle somebody or fall asleep.  Have you ever sat through a training session like that?

Is your training like this meal? Inedible!

Interestingly as she told me about it, I realised I knew the trainer concerned (didn’t say that though). It was a trainer who’s been around for ages, knows everything, can help everybody and the answers to everything were on her website. The problem is, that didn’t help the delegates become any better off.

How much training do you do? OK, maybe not large classroom stuff, but small group of clients, one to one with a client or even when selling (aren’t selling and training just about influencing?)

What’s the point of training?

You might be reading this saying to yourself

  • All training is rubbish and a waste of money, let alone time. A conclusion I’d refute, but let’s put that to one side.
  • The person being trained was stupid. That’s quite possible, although I can confirm it isn’t true.
  • The trainer is no good. This seems the best conclusion, even though I can confirm that the trainer had vast amounts of knowledge and life experiences the message wasn’t getting across

How to improve a training session.

Would you like to eat a plate so full of food it would barely balance on the plate, where some of it was poorly cooked, some overcooked, and some almost indigestible? Perhaps one of these ever so well presented plates with very little, incredibly well cooked food would be better for you? In terms of nutrition (the reason most of us eat), you are probably going to be better off with the smaller meal.

Improving the training session described needed the trainer to:

  • provide less information
  • ensure it can all be understood (less acronyms, and jargon)
  • realise that one or two actions that get taken are far better than lots of information that doesn’t get used (however good the information).

You are the trainer!

How many times are you sitting with clients, or presenting to a small group? You may not have trainer in your title, but you are providing training. The one purpose of your training is probably to get them to do something! It’s no good just knowing something, the value is what gets done with the information.

If you strip back the purpose of you speaking to a client, most of them are about moving somebody to action – however small that action.

How much less information would you provide if that were your only aim? Is that what you should provide?

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees Click here for immediate access

Photo used under creative commons licence. For more information, click here.