Reflection and Evaluation are Key
It’s not enough to deliver the same training session repeatedly; you should always be working on improvements. In order to do so, you need to reflect and evaluate how the activities are being received.
By polling participants and monitoring whether they use the instructions you’ve given, you’ll understand what they’ve gotten out of the training process. If the results are less than spectacular, then it’s time to fact find and improve.
Perhaps the training was too long, the concepts too high level or not enough time was dedicated to a tricky subject. By evaluating the outcomes, you can improve these areas to improve the efficacy of the training.
Be Open When You Don’t Know the Answer
When you’re running a training session, you may feel an expectation for you to know the answer to all possible questions. While this is a stressful view to hold, it’s also nigh on impossible to achieve!
The real skill isn’t in knowing what will be asked, but rather in how to handle questions that you don’t know the answer to. The worst thing you can do is pretend to know the answer and talk your way around the question, potentially giving misleading information.
To be more effective you can acknowledge and take note of the question, before researching and coming back with the answer at a later date.
Alternatively, you can put the question out to the audience. If a group of employees is training with their manager and they ask a question you’re unsure of, you can pass it to the manager if appropriate to get their take. They may have a wider breadth of knowledge to draw upon or have a preference as to how the task is completed.
Mistakes are Part of the Role
You’ve practised your delivery in front of the mirror, you know exactly what you’re going to say, your polished PowerPoint is primed - but when you get in front of your audience you flub your words. Naturally, this feels like the end of the world.
But it’s not all bad; you can pick yourself up and pull off the rest of the training perfectly. It’s a well-known fact that we all make mistakes, and the same is true for L&D trainers. Don’t focus too much on the fact that you made a slip, as your audience will have forgotten this in a matter of moments.
You might answer a question incorrectly, make a mistake with a statistic or make a logistical error – but none of these are all that damning. Mistakes are part of every role and great L&D practitioners learn from them.
Some mistakes can be avoided in future, but others are simply part and parcel of being human. Think about a time a colleague messed up in a presentation; you were most likely forgiving and then settled back into the rest of the content. Extend this thinking to yourself and don’t let your day, week or month be defined by a simple mistake.