Running A Training Session Soon? Here Is My Top Tip..

Author: Mike Haines   Date Posted:14 March 2018 

Running A Training Session Soon? Here Is My Top Tip.. main image Running A Training Session Soon? Here Is My Top Tip.. image

At some stage in our lives most of us take on the job of a trainer of one sort or another. Teaching the kids to drive, helping with homework and showing someone how to use the dishwasher at home are all examples of times when you will be called upon to train someone.

In the workplace things tend to get a little more formal of course and mistakes can be dangerous and costly. Here is one of my all time favourite quotes…..

“Experience is the best form of education, but the fees are high”  Anon

If you’ve past your teen years I’m guessing you’ll be able to drop yourself neatly right into the middle of that quote somehow. Hopefully without too much pain. 

This is a quote I came up with and I use it often…

“You don’t have to learn by your own mistakes if you are prepared to listen to someone that has” 

I used to use it in my email signatures when I worked for the corporates - until the Logo Police nabbed me that is!

So – here is my first tip and 1 and only that will hopefully help you deliver memorable presentations and training sessions.

Make It Interesting

“Logic will be get you from A to B, imagination will get you everywhere” 
Albert Einstein (I'll come back to this quote shortly)


Scenario 1 – how can I get fired?

A large 10,000+ employee Australian company introduced an employee induction program for all of their new hires. Feedback was poor and the costs associated with a whole day off the job started to materialise into an influential, negative voice.

The trainer was taking people on a thoroughly boring journey from A to B. The first 2 hours were spent reading the company policies and then taking a test. The rest of the day was not quite as bad but wow it really needed a shake up. The trainer had been plucked from a crowd at the last minute and he wasn’t cut out for it.

So we worked with him and started to sprinkle a little imagination into the mix – this is what we came up with.

We split the room into small groups and gave each group the same polices to read. When they returned to the main room each group, based on their findings had to pose 5 questions to the room about the policies they had all studied, and then had to assess the answers they received from members of the other groups.

At the end of this initial feedback session each group presented at least 3 actions an employee could take to get themselves fired and we are talking summarily dismissal from the Company. On the spot – no questions asked. Nasty!

Suddenly their boring journey from A to B started to shoot off in all sorts of different and diverse directions, their eyes lifted, their faces smiled and debate flourished. The break out rooms had a buzz about them and even the quieter personalities naturally started to engage with the task at hand. It was great. The poor trainer spent 90% less time talking and 90% more time challenging and asking those open style questions trainers are best at. His role had switched from Trainer to Facilitator – which was a fancy term we trainers used in the 90s along with this sentence – “Leading people on a journey of self discovery" and all that other flim flam trainer stuff :-)

Anyway - back to the training session where feedback flipped overnight from lukewarm to genuine praise and positive vibes.

Essentially they were learning. It was engaging, lots of serious fun but most of all memorable for good reasons. We had unfrozen their minds, poured in lots of knowledge and experience and then blast frozen that knowledge in place via a summary at the end of the day.

So take a deep breath and ask yourself – do your presentations and training sessions simply take people from A to B on a lukewarm journey? If so how can you apply this thinking to your training/presenting events?

Is there anything you can relate to in this story or snippets you can add to enhance it’s message. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 

Regards - Mike.


Mike worked as a Senior Technical Trainer at The Oracle Corporation in the UK for 2 years. He then worked as a Corporate Training Manager at TNT Express for 7 years based locally in Brisbane. He was able to bring about significant changes in Operational Procedures and managed a team of 17 trainers scattered throughout Australia in 40+ different locations.

Mike's passion for training has rolled through Top Nosh and has helped implement simple and effective operating procedures that have positive outcomes for service delivery and the quality of the product we are able to produce at Top Nosh Meals.


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