Keep Attendees Interested During Training Courses: 8 practical ways
As part of Fistral’s 21st anniversary year, we’ve asked the Directors to share their thoughts and experiences on a variety of business-related issues. In the tenth of the series, we asked how they keep attendees’ attention and ensure they are engaged during courses.
“How do you keep attendees interested during training courses?”
Eight practical tips our Directors gave were:
- Be passionate about your subject and don’t be afraid to show it – This will shine through in both the content and delivery of courses and makes it come alive for attendees.
- Know your subject inside out and don’t get complacent – Keep learning and reading about your subject and ensure you are up to date with the latest developments: use this for personal development and for course improvement.
- Have good, applicable material – You might have all the theory in the world but unless attendees can see how it is useful to them immediately there’s no point.
- Have practical, first-hand experience of what you’re talking about – Use examples from your experience to illustrate your points. Humour and anecdotes can help participants remember or reinforce points (although humour can have varying degrees of success!).
- Take an interest in the participants – And allow them to take an interest in you by opening yourself up to them about your family, interests and achievements. You can learn from them, and the dialogue will make the whole experience more enjoyable for everyone.
- Manage the classroom very well – Do not allow bad behaviour which will disrupt the class: this allows everyone to feel comfortable and to focus on the content and not get annoyed with one another.
- Tackle difficult attendees as early as possible in a professional and non-confrontational way – By taking charge and agreeing boundaries you allow everyone to relax.
- Don’t talk baloney, don’t try to impress, and don’t avoid questions – Make sure you listen to what’s being asked and why; and not what you want to hear/give the easy or standard answer. If you don’t know an answer, admit it and say you’ll find out and come back to the attendee later (but make sure you do go back!). Attendees are extremely good lie detectors…