Over the past few months, I’ve done a lot of training with different groups. Most of the sessions are in a computer lab environment where students can go hands-on with the software that I’m training on. While a hands on experience is helpful, especially for Kinesthetic learners, it’s not usually the best way to start a session.
What I’ve found that seems to work best for me is a three step approach, using three common words. I like to arrange the session in the following order.
1. Why: Asking the question why, at the beginning of the training is helpful, not only for the students, but also the trainer as well. The idea is to find out why people are there and to learn what they hope to get out of the session.This helps me as a trainer, to direct the session in the proper direction, and it’s also helpful for students to see what background other members of the class have. The power of why makes your audience think.
2. What: Once we know the why, it’s nice to cover the “what.” I usually give an overview of the class, what we will cover, and a basic overview of the software. In many subject areas, it’s nice to include a synopsis of the class, with the theory or step by step process examined. When students what we will be covering, the class flows much better.
3. How: With the first two items covered, I now try to give an overview of the “How.” This may include an animation or a video of the actual how-to process. Knowing how a piece of software works and the process behind it, has really been useful in helping students go off on their own and explore different ways of interacting with the software.
Overall: Leading off a training with these three steps, before we go hands-on, has really been helpful in giving students the “big picture,” and a much greater understanding of the process.
Question: If you are a trainer, what tips do you have for getting a session off to a good start?