Over the years delivering training I’ve made more mistakes than I can count. I’ve always gone with the philosophy that these mistakes make me a better trainer in the end- if you learn from them!  It might be a rationalization, but it has kept me in the business of training which I hope is a good thing! I would like to share with you my top 10 training tips in hopes that it can help you to not make the mistakes I made.

  1. Always shake hands with each participant and introduce yourself as they come into the classroom. This breaks the ice and sets the type of friendly atmosphere that is conducive to learning.
  2. Always practice before the big day, even if you have delivered the course beforehand.
  3. Bring extra activities with you, such as a list of children’s games that is adjusted for adults.
  4. Always have a backup plan! For example, if you plan to use PowerPoint slides, make sure you have a copy of the Instructor Guide, which includes the information to be covered.
  5. It is a good idea to print your instructor guide and place it in a three-ring binder, including any customized information. Also, during the workshop make notes about what worked and what didn’t. This will be a resource that you can build on in the future too!
  6. Things will go wrong during your workshop. If you are well prepared and confident, you should be able to resolve most situations quickly and easily. Try not to let participants see you stressed!
  7. Involve participants as much as you can. Have them help you set the agenda, guide activities (by passing out or collecting forms, for example), lead discussions, and improve the course. The more participants put into it, the more they will get out of it.
  8. Be ready to learn. Often, workshop instructors learn something during the sessions. Challenge yourself!
  9. Tie everything back to the workplace. It’s no good knowing information unless participants know how to use it.
  10. And finally… do not be afraid to have fun! Bring a few fuzzy toys and use them as a speaking hat during discussions – whoever is speaking has the toy. Plus, it sparks creativity and keeps participants interested.

Ben Jodrey is a content strategist at Velsoft Training Materials.