We’ve all been in a mind-numbingly boring training presentation. You’re there to learn, but you find yourself spending more time in your own head, clock watching or fighting the urge to glance at your phone. When boredom takes over, there are usually two culprits: the trainer’s shortcomings or the training material.
Training a group of businesspeople requires a tough blend of skills, but if you’re running a training workshop, there’ll be no mercy from the people who’ve paid to learn from you. If the audience isn’t learning, you, as a training practitioner, haven’t done your job right.
So, how do you do it right? How do you curate a training presentation that incites interest, drives engagement and shares valuable insight? We’ve got some guidelines that will help you really connect with your audience and concentrate on their needs. From content to design, we’ll cover every checkpoint, so you can make sure your audience gets the most out of their training experience.
How do training presentations differ from sales presentations?
It’s worth highlighting that the focus of training presentations is to teach, whereas sales presentations concentrate their efforts on pitching. As a trainer, you’re there to impart your knowledge, instil new skills and help the participants. You’re not there to persuade anyone of anything, which is the key differentiator between the two types of presentations.
Sales presentations try to influence and cajole people into taking a specific action. Training presentations are educational and instructional, with every idea making clear, logical sense to maximise the ease of learning.
What’s the most effective way to get my point across?
Outline a roadmap from the off
Somewhere near the start of your training presentation, outline what the audience is going to learn today. Highlight the subject areas, map out some learning objectives and make sure the audience knows what’s coming.
By making the audience aware of the different stages on their training experience, you’ll make them feel more comfortable as you’ll build familiarity with the learning path they’re on.
Keep it simple
Effective training goes hand in hand with simplicity. Simple points, made in simple terms. But that’s not to say you should dumb down your ideas, only that the wording of your ideas and the busyness of your slides matters. Prepare to explain your ideas as best as you can. Your goal is to train, not perplex.
Put yourself in your participants' shoes. Imagine being confronted with slide after slide of long bulleted lists, garish images and obtrusive animations. You don’t want to overwhelm them with content, you need to give them room to breathe and absorb each idea at a steady pace.
Be selective with your terminology
No matter the complexity of your subject matter, you have to communicate in straightforward terminology. Strip it right back: one key idea or one principal theme per slide. You don’t want to bombard your trainees with copious amounts of text to read, so stick to as few words as possible, only displaying the key terms.
Every word has to serve an important purpose; if it’s not teaching something valuable to the audience, get rid. If jargon is a necessary component of your messaging, take the time to explain each concept, or whack all the definitions in a glossary and send the training presentation out to the participants afterwards.
Design to enhance and break down your ideas
Design matters to your audience. Before you’ve even started speaking, you’ll be judged on the aesthetic of your slides. Have you ever sat in a presentation where the slides look like they’ve been developed in the 90s? Ugly, rudimentary borders. Cramped, overpopulated slides. Copious bullet points. Zero free space. Distracting animations. This is the recipe for death by PowerPoint that you’ll want to avoid cooking up yourself.
Think of design as a visual aid. Every diagram included should illustrate or enhance the points you’re making. If you’re talking about some complex data analysis, break down the information in the form of graphs or charts.
Transform your training presentation into an eLearning
Once you’ve got your training presentation down, transforming it into an eLearning is relatively straightforward (if you’ve got an eLearning developer in your contacts list.) eLearning creates a different kind of learning experience: it’s interactive, self-directed and empowers learner’s to go at their own pace.
After you’ve talked through your ideas in a face-to-face training workshop scenario, you can adapt your content into a follow-up eLearning that will assess their long-term knowledge retention. It’s an awesome way to deepen the learning experience and really test the effectiveness of your training.
Conducting successful corporate training sessions for professionals isn’t easy. But by tapping into each of these ideas, you can make sure your training presentation is on track to deliver a valuable learning experience that nurtures the skills of your attendees.