As trainers, we often worry about how to make our training engaging—and let’s face it, not everyone is fortunate enough to work for Langevin! I’m sure there is one training course you deliver where you literally start yawning whenever you hear the title. If you feel that way, chances are your participants might, too. But, why is that?
There could be a few reasons. Maybe the course goes on too long without a break, or too much content needs to be covered in a short amount of time. Perhaps the course format jumps from subject to subject without a chance for some “real world” application. If the training is being conducted over multiple days, it can feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over again. Sounds horrible, right? You may feel your audience is disengaging and that you’re not connecting with them the way you’d like to.
Here are some valuable tips to help when you feel your learners might be getting bored:
1. Do a temperature check: Ask the learners if they need a break. Make sure to ask open-ended questions to check their understanding of the content before moving on to the next point.
2. Avoid presenting lengthy content at low points of the day, e.g. after lunch, and an hour or two before the end of the day. Try these techniques to increase your participant’s interaction at those times.
3. Practice makes perfect: Effective training sessions should include Presentation, Application, and Feedback (PAF). After presenting a chunk of content, give the group a chance to apply what they’ve learned. Make sure the practice is relevant to the job and that you give the participants feedback on what they’ve done.
4. Switch up the agenda: If your course spans across multiple days, keep things fresh. Utilize multiple presentation and application methods as often as possible.
5. Get them Involved: Break the group up and encourage participation by having your learners brainstorm ideas about the next topic and then present what they come up with in their small groups.
Using these tips will help your learners better absorb the content and keep them engaged in the session. For more great techniques to make your training interactive and engaging, check out our Instructional Techniques for New Instructors workshop!
Have any tips you’d like to share? I look forward to reading them in the comments below!