How To “Activate” Your Training

It’s an everyday ritual;  I search for articles and read blogs from “thought leaders” to find ideas and tips that I can share.  I’m looking for ways to help my readers or others in their organization become better safety trainers, leaders and communicators.

One of the blog feeds that I read is from Chris Brogan.   He had a recent post titled, “Go The Distance” that focused on helping writers become more effective at conveying information.  What struck me was that Chris’ ideas for writers paralleled what I think good trainers can do to become more effective at training. 

Story Telling 101

I think most of us have learned along the way that a good story teller understands that every story has a beginning, middle and an end.  When you prepare your training presentation how will you begin and frame the training session?  Try thinking like a story teller.

First, introduce and frame the topic.  Framing is where you define the topic and expain its importance to your learners and the organization.  This sets the stage for the beginning of the “story” where you present the important information.  This might include the “setting”, like a situation where there was an incident or injury that relates to the topic,  how it happened, what went wrong.

The middle part of the story, or training is where you cover the necessary precautions, help provide better understanding for their use, and provide your perspective on why this is important.  This is a great place to have a discussion, interject fun with a game idea, share thoughts, review like situations to the one you presented at the beginning, and work through any barriers that the group thinks might get in the way. 

Call to Action

The ending is the time to gain agreement on the value of the training information and provide a call to action.  This is where you wrap it up and “activate” the group by asking, “How will you take what you’ve learned today and do something with it?”   One of the best ways to end a training session, after you’ve made sure everyone understands, is with something definitive for your group to do.

So let’s review:

  • Think like a story teller and create training with a beginning, middle and end.
  • Share ideas and perspective on the topic.
  • Help them see “What’s the take-away?”  How does it apply to them?
  • What is the Call to Action?  Okay, let’s agree to do it.

Try this formula next time and see how it works for you.  You might like it enough that you’ll use it in helping others, like your supervisors, be more effective trainers too.