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Seb Anthony

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To what extent do you motivate during training?


I've recently found myself in situations working with clients who want the training to include lots of games and be very upbeat, buzzy and incredibly interactive. Frequently I have to deliver knowledge and sometimes for reasons of expediency one has simply to 'present'. I often find that clients think that only buzzy interactive training works for their project, personally I find that some delegates (particularly the more mature ones) are switched off by this and find it patronising. I am curious to find out how others respond to clients who believe training is all about buzz and hype rather than maximising each delegate's individual learning.
Mark Starling

4 Responses

  1. Selling the product!
    I bet your clients who want buzz and hype are sales people?! Interesting topic that I hope others will respond to. I don’t use buzz and hype (training IT) but I do “sell” the products. If I don’t believe in them, if I don’t have why, where and when I use certain features, I can hardly expect my attendees to want to use it. Perhaps they are mistaking buzz for enthusiasm from the trainer??
    Good luck!

  2. Buzzy Training
    Hi Mark

    “Motivation In Training” for me has nothing at all to do with buzzy games, toys or novel ideas of exercises. These things only play a very small part and appeal to a minimal audience, a particular audience (as my fellow commenteer has mentioned).

    There is so much overkill of ‘novel’ these days… I find many trainers hide behind ‘novelty’ because:

    > They don’t know how else to motivate people,

    > They are not confident in their delivery, or bored by what they are delivering,

    > They have seen other people use them (properly and successfully) and think it’s an easy job to replicate,

    > It’s the fashionable thing to do (like buying the latest heels – everyone else has got them… but never considering they can cripple you or look downright ridiculous because they just DON’T suit you)

    I always ask myself if my client organisation warrants that kind of delivery – it’d scare the pants off my current employer and cause motivation mayhem because they just ain’t ready for ‘buzzy’ (although I love it!) – and then seek to explain alternative solutions based on the outcomes.

    For me, it is the *Trainer’s* responsibility to be the primary motivator; the extras come second to stimulate different learning and sensory styles and diversify the session. It should not form the basis of a training session but should merely be a timely and well-considered activity with a key learning message, considerate of the audience, the material being delivered and their background.

    You can educate your audience on the training techniques available (as a specialist and solution-provider), spend some time with your client to assess their culture and get them to see the different styles of delivery in terms of appropriation for their trainees. Give them a number of non-buzzy solutions, selling their merits and let them have a choice.

    You can put ‘buzzy’ into training anything, without ‘buzzy’ peripherals – give me a shout and I’ll share what knowledge I have. Mail me your details and I’ll get in touch. My email address is [email protected]

    Hope this helps…
    Kate ūüôā

  3. Must be fit for purpose!
    Could be that they have experienced interventions using accelerated learning. The latest evidence suggests that deep learning does not aid transference, though. As with all things, training has to be appropriate to its purpose – my warning is that some training methods I have seen leave the methodology ringing in the minds of the recipients long after they have forgotten the message. That isn’t professional.

  4. Motivation is vital
    You and your clients seem to equate learner motivation with hype and buzz. Yet for adult learners process is as important (perhaps more important) than content. And process encompasses cognitive and affective development (motivation). Adult learners like control of the learning process (interactivity) and retention statisitics show that learners remember these sessions better. So, although a “presentation” may be expedient as only about 5% of it is remembered it is not efficient. Also, one has to consider learning styles and this demands a mix of processes and approaches. When I design learning activities I take into account three aspects cognitive development, how the learners are motivated over time and how hard they have to work. From time to time “buzz” may be appropriate – for instance on a project management programme that I am currently developing the project may delayed by a Hornets nest and here, quite literally a buzz is designed to stimulate discussion and thought!


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