Training is most effective when it is clear, concise, and engaging to the target audience.
Training is Clear
The objective of any training should strive to be clear and action focused. This is especially true when targeting adult learners.
Action Mapping is a process created by Instructional Designer and training guru, Cathy Moore. Through answering the simple, yet immensely effective questions at the core of the Action Mapping philosophy, we can deliver clear and direct training experiences to our target audiences.
- Identifying the need for the training: Why isn’t X happening?
- Defining how we know it will be solved: When we’ve achieved Y
- What should people do (not just what should they know) that they are not doing currently? Why are they not doing it?
- How can we help them to practice and simulate what they need to do?
- What information do they need to complete the practice activity?
Training is Concise (with resources for more)
We live in a fast-paced world of GIFs, memes, YouTube clips, 24-hour news cycles, and Facebook posts. The demand for our audience’s attention is constant, but we need to ensure the message and purpose for the training gets across.
A training session should have one core message, idea, or outcome at the conclusion that is crystal clear to the audience. All content should supplement and reinforce that core concept. If there are multiple messages, ideas, or outcomes, create separate training.
We want to leave them knowing and focused on the core concept, but well aware of where they can and should go to for more. The ideal learners will leave knowing the big idea down pat, and curious to learn more.
A few of my favorite resources on these topics include:
- Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
- Brain Rules by John Medina
- Slideology by Nancy Duarte
- Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun
- Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
- The TED Commandments
Training is Engaging
How do you best spark the aforementioned desire to learn and know more? By engaging your audience and sparking their creativity, their curiosity, and getting the synapses firing in their heads.
Anyone who has seen the classic movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” will recall the scene with sleeping students receiving a lecture from their teacher (played by Ben Stein) about Voodoo Economics. We’ve likely all had one or more of those teachers or presenters during our academic or professional careers who sought to complete an “information dump” or highlight the details they find fascinating.
Learning and training experiences work best when the user can connect, relate, and immerse themselves. This can be well-crafted stories to explain or connect concepts, excellent visuals or props, or ideally engage through physical interaction or discussion.
Just a tiny few of my favorite examples and resources are:
- Hans Gosling and The Magic Washing Machine (TED Talk)
- The Gamification of Learning and Instruction by Karl Kapp
- Allen Interactions eLearning Leadership Blog
- Action Mapping (Cathy Moore)
What Doesn’t Work