Photo by: Instaphotos via Canva
When I deliver a workshop on instructional design, I always stress the importance of knowing your audience. Once you know important characteristics about your group, you can customize the course to best fit them. There are many things to consider when analyzing a group. For example, you can see what people already know, what level of education they have, and what their present job and/or work environment is like.
When a company contacts Langevin to request an in-person on-site workshop or an exclusive virtual workshop, we ask them a few basic questions to understand the needs of their group. My job as an instructor is to take those needs and, in some cases, customize our workshop content to best accommodate the client.
I have conducted many on-site and exclusive workshops over the years. Some good and some not so good! I’d like to share with you one success story when facilitating our Instructional Techniques for New Instructors course for a group of sales executives. When I was given the assignment, I immediately thought the following: shorten the course from three days to two (per request), minimize lecture time and allow more hands-on work, and make the training as relevant to their specific training duties as possible. These sales reps weren’t full-time trainers. They were asked to provide periodic training services to their clients. So, keeping these factors in mind, I made some slight modifications to the course to better fit their requirements, and headed off to teach the course!
Fortunately, everything worked as planned, everyone participated fully in the training, and everyone had fun! The best part of the day occurred when a participant approached me after class and said she wasn’t thrilled initially at the prospect of giving up two days in the field to sit in training, however, in the end, she felt her time away from work was well spent and she was grateful for the opportunity! She also shared her surprise about what it takes to design and build a course, as well as what it takes to deliver it. Ah, if only everyone outside the field of training could come to this realization! I’ve always known the importance of making training relevant for your audience and this example reaffirmed my beliefs.
Here are five key takeaways about training in general I’d like to pass on to you:
1. Incorporate fun into your training so people learn and retain the content better.
2. Make the content the star of the show, rather than yourself.
3. Ensure people are active and highly engaged in your training.
4. Make sure you can implement design changes during the course, if necessary, to deal with the unexpected.
5. Care about each one of your learners. It shows in your performance!
When you book Langevin for an exclusive workshop for your team, we’ll take all these steps to ensure a successful training session that’s enjoyable, engaging, relevant, and addresses your specific needs.