All training can be useful and applicable if the trainer keeps some simple tips in mind when developing and applying training. We all learn differently, but there are some truths about learning that can be applicable to most groups and can be tweaked to fit any training session.

Velsoft’s softskills course — Making Training Stick — presents five strategies for making training stick. Trainers should expand upon each point, using examples from their own experience and allow learners to bring their own experiences into the discussion as well. Many of us instinctively know what strategies help us to learn and retain information, and the point is to use these natural strategies when trying to teach others.

1) Simple

  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Bullet points and short phrases are easier to assimilate than lectures.
  • Speak to the learners’ needs; having an idea of what they are familiar with will help to shape your lesson.
  • Jargon and acronyms can be important, but don’t go overboard and alienate a learner who is unfamiliar with these terms.

2) Movement

  • Allow for frequent discussions in small groups or pairs.
  • Any time that learners can be out of their seats is good, this helps for better focus.
  • People learn in different ways, so changing up between slides, lectures, stories, discussions, etc. keeps it fresh and ensures that all learners can take something away from it.

3) Steady

  • Be knowledgeable about the subject matter, use of stories or citing where information came from makes learning clearer for many.
  • Have available a list of materials that could be used as follow-up.
  • Use other sources that can be cited to help make points more concrete.

4) Stories (emotion)

  • Personal stories are a great device for sticky learning, it helps a learner to identify with material.
  • Having the audience participate by sharing stories or anecdotes that relate is another great way to make learning stick.
  • Build time for these relatable moments into your lesson, they are invaluable.

5) Staying With It (follow-up)

  • Always reiterate important points, preferably in point form, at the end of a session.
  • Have learners do a reflection or follow up in the days that follow.
  • Periodically check in with learners to see that the learning stuck and hasn’t become blurred in the time since learning.

This is adapted from an excerpt of Velsoft’s softskills course: Making Training Stick