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Survival tips for training


I'm quite new to training and I would love any hints tips on how to survive in any training situation.

I would appreciate any advice on basic skills or essentials that I should concentrate on to ensure that I keep my head above water.

If you have a list of things that you have used, I can then utilise them to develop my own skills.
Bill Ashe

5 Responses

  1. First of all Enjoy Yourself!
    Welcome to the world of training Bill. I think one of the first things you may want to try, is to stop thinking in terms of surviving and start thinking in terms of enjoying.
    I’m not sure your situation – i.e. do you work in a company with other trainers? You should find it beneficial to sit in on sessions of other trainers to get a good feel for what to do and what not to do.
    The CIPD’s Foundation Course for Trainers is a great course that will really give you a good start on some tools, tips and tricks.
    Good luck – and have fun!

  2. Keep your students active

    Can I just backup Trish’s comment. The reason I teach is because it’s fun. But it can be very hard work if you approach it the wrong way.

    In my view a good teacher “facilitates” learning. A teacher cannot make a person learn, only provide the right environment and conditions. Learning is an active process, that is, it needs energy. The students when they arrive in the class have energy levels at around zero. The teacher has to supply all the energy initially until he/she can generate energy in the students. Once the students are using their own energy, are being “active” then they will learn. A good teacher will harness and direct this energy, keeping the students alert and interested, and learning. (I find that many good teachers are unaware that they do this but realise it when you ask them about how it felt in the classroom.)

    If the students have no energy then the teacher has to supply it all and it will be very, very hard work! And, what is worse, the students will learn very little.

    So you must get your students active as soon as possible. First get them to introduce themselves. There are lots of fun ways of doing this. Next do activities or exercises, as many as you can. Whatever you teach there are always ways of turning learning into an exercise.

    If you have to go through a presentation of lots of stuff then break it up. Ask people questions about what you have told them or organise a debate about the issues raised. Keep them active, participating, keep their energy levels up. If their energy levels drop, you will have boredom and disinterest. If you see a student at the back of the class struggling to keep their eyes open then this is an EMERGENCY! Energy is at a dangerous low. You must have an emergency strategy for this. Another exercise, how about a quiz? (Split the class into two teams. Each team must create four questions for the other team on material covered in the course.)

    Teaching IS fun. Do not make it into hard work. Get the students to provide the energy!

    P.S. See also my comments on “?Interested in Strategy learning?” 20-Jan-2002

  3. Have you ever thought of going on the stage?
    If I knew what it was that was so good about the way I teach I’d bottle it and sell it.

    One of the greatest compliments I’ve had from a student was after a training session when she said “Have you ever thought of going on the stage? I really enjoyed that.” I’d just ‘locked’ her in a room and got her to fight a fire.

    People remember things when they enjoy them and if I have to look stupid for them to enjoy it and remember a really serious point then it’s worth it.

    To a certain extent it is about survival, in my case making sure that I don’t enjoy myself too much and I do get the points across that I’m there to be imparting.

    Tip 1: Know your subject; upside down, inside out. This will give you the abilty to handle it confidently.

    Tip 2: Be enthusiastic about your subject; if you’re not enthused how are your students going to be.

    Tip 3: Know your students; what do they know now, what interests them.

    Tip 4: You’ve got to have a hook; there must be something about your subject that they can latch on to, you’ve got to decide what it is, but it will change for each audience. However, presumably they’re there because they need what you’ve got.

    Tip 5: Remember you’re a bit like the swan swimming upstream; to the students you look serene and in control, under the surface you’re paddling like heck. Also remember that your students are not likely to be aware of your panic, especially if you keep them occupied. If you’re not panicking throughout a lesson I would almost say your not working hard enough.

    Teaching is an art form and 90% of it is psychology.

    Get out there, be enthusiatic and enjoy it.

    Oh, and if you haven’t got a training qualifiction get one, it will improve your confidence no end.

  4. Preparation !!
    I agree with what has already been said, but add to that the vital ingrediants.

    Preparation which is a must !!

    knowledge !! you must have
    at least the basic underpinning knowledge of the subjects you are teaching, the more you know the better so find out or ask other trainers.

    do sit in and watch other trainers at work you can learn a lot,a good trainer will display lots of enthusiasm, which will “rub off” on you and help build your
    confidence no end.

    when you get chance “reherse” your lessons on your own or get another trainer to listen and advise.
    Rest assured that nerve,s
    are a good “thing” it,s what keeps you sharp and alert, the day you lose them is the time to hang up your badge !! I have been training for some 12 years and always get that nervous feeling prior to any course, but it soon goes once your in full flow! ask any trainer worth their salt and they will tell you the same.
    Above all you must enjoy what you do, it should be a great sense of avheievment for both you and the course students at the end.
    I have been applauded on a number of occasions after a 4-5 day course, this gives you a buzz and is my ” payment” for the work /effort and preparation that you put in.Remeber you are on the “stage” so be confident, enjoy it and learn and evaluate after each course which will help you improve on your skills and methods.

    I have trained many trainers, and would be happy to help and advise you if required.

    [email protected]

  5. A few more suggestions
    Hi Bill,
    No doubt you’ve had some practice and you’re feeling more confident now. The best piece of advice I was given when I started was to look at things from the participants’ perspective. Remember that they are more likely to be thinking about how they’re doing in the training environment, and will assume that you feel fine and know what you are doing! Concentrate on making sure the participants feel comfortable and are getting the best out of the training, rather than worrying about what they think about you.

    The previous people are right, you do have to enjoy yourself to be successful, but I can easily identify with that feeling of just wanting to keep your head above water while you settle into the role!

    Good luck


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