Langevin's Train-the-Trainer Blog
“Agenda” is a Latin word meaning “things to be done.” Every training session should include one. It is an invaluable tool that can help start, manage, and end a course. Here are six ways to get the most out of your training agendas:
1. Show an overview
We’re very contextual when we’re learning something new. We like to see the big picture before getting into the details. As you start the course, the agenda can show your learners just how much you plan to cover in that session, and how it’s organized.
2. Segment a long course
On courses that last multiple sessions, the content can be harder to remember. People often confuse things that were learned over many days. Keeping the agendas for each session visible helps learners recall and relate prior content for maximum retention.
3. Transition between lessons
When you’re ready to wrap up a lesson and move on to the next one, the agenda makes a perfect transitioning tool. Refer to it and point out what was just covered. Check if any questions remain, and then introduce your new lesson.
4. Reposition content
People’s work is often interrelated. Very few job tasks stand entirely alone. During training, this can muddy up the waters. If the course starts getting off track as a result, return to the agenda to refocus everyone. Use it to remind people which part of the job to focus upon.
5. Defer questions
Every trainer has received a question that should be put off until a more relevant part of the course. Deferring these questions can make learners feel dismissed at times. If you go to the agenda and point out the part of the course where the question is most relevant, you assure your learners that you aren’t just avoiding their question.
6. Summarize the course
All trainers want their learners to feel good at the end of a course. We want them to feel like they’ve accomplished something worthwhile. Showing the agenda(s) can provide that sense of progress. It can also be part of the summary, involving an activity where learners recall key points from each agenda item.
Whether you deliver training in a classroom or over the web, an agenda is a powerful tool that can make your job much easier. Use it to keep things organized, timely, and structured. With these benefits, you’ll have more mind space to focus on your learners, rather than the logistics of your course.
Alan has been a course leader with Langevin since 1996. He studied business administration at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. Alan’s philosophy on training is that it can be fun, engaging, and active, but that’s just what’s on the surface. Training must also be practical, realistic, and applicable. Alan is a computer geek at heart and enjoys programming and gaming in his spare time. He’s also a great fan of the outdoors during the summer months, and when the winter moves in, you’ll find him reading, or recording and playing music.
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