Training for Zombies

We’ve all been there, the trainer stands up in-front of the room of eager to learn trainee’s and proceeds to turn them into Zombies by the end of day, brain-dead and learning nothing. By the time you reach the afternoon session you certainly wish you were one of the living dead so you could go ahead and eat your trainers brains and make the pain stop.

So what are the causes of those terrible zombie training sessions and how can you avoid delivering one yourself?

Information Overload

Trainers that proceed to brain-dump all their worldly knowledge into a single slide appear to believe there is some kind of mind-merge process in place. Whereby their subjects can simply ingest this information in a single showing and remember it all.

Instead trainers should use methods such as chunking to break what needs to be learnt into smaller chunks. Your trainees will thank you for it in the end.

Top 3 Tips

Break it down – Instead of spending 5 minutes on one slide with 20 bullet points, break it down into 10 slides, spending 30 seconds on each and only a few pieces of information on each.

Visual Aid – Use tools such as power-point only for visual aids and not to display all the information ever written on the topic. That can be supplied later through follow-up documentation or on-line blended learning techniques such as blog-posts and e-learning follow-ups.

Recall – Ensuring you have regular recall sections where trainees are asked to recall specific parts of the training ensures they are forming those synapses in their brain that will allow them to have long term memory of the material.

 

Body Language

Remember many people won’t be looking at your power-point, more likely they will be watching your body language.

How you as a trainer come across in your session will determine in large part how much your trainee’s remember of the subject matter. If you are seen to be passionate and speaking with authority on the subject at hand.

Top 3 Tips

Know your material – If you don’t you will probably spend more time reading the powerpoint than your trainee’s.

Know your audience – Your delivery has to relate to your audience, the tone and body language you use must be relative to them so understand who you are training, is it CXO level? do they have prior knowledge of the topic?

Move – Were not saying do a song and dance, but sitting like the teacher up the front of the class rather than moving round ……

Emotion

Good training excites, it sparks different emotions and keeps the brain wanting to learn.

It doesn’t have to be all about memes and animated gifs. It’s about conveying why what you are training is important, useful and ultimately relevant both to the trainee and the world they are living & working in.

Emotion doesn’t have to be done through any kind of prop, indeed at it’s most basic the passion you hold for the subject you are delivering training for is your biggest asset you have.

Stories

People remember stories more than they do heavily laden power-point slides, use of good old story-telling techniques can prove an invaluable tool in the trainers arsenal.

Those stories may be in the format of carefully crafted case-studies, showing real world examples of the topic you are training on.