Whether you are delivering high level presentations, facilitating a workshop, speaking at a meeting or even working with online courses the majority of the challenges are the same. What is the best way to encourage learning and how do we pass on information in way that our participants want.
Whilst the fundamental role of a trainer is to impart information to assist learners in increasing their knowledge, develop skills and/or change attitudes a trainer must also keep participants engaged. Numerous studies (and I’m sure you’re own experience) have shown that if you are not engaged the rate of learning declines heavily. If you have been to University, or even relate to some of your school teachers you may recall experiences where you were just talked to- information was thrown at you (often in a sleep inducing monotone) and your goal was to catch all the words and some how lock them in your head ready to pass some exam at the end of the year.
There are many ways of engaging participants to increase the effectiveness of learning that takes place. Conventional methods such as mixing up the delivery using visual aids, activities etc. and also some more contemporary techniques such as project based learning, action learning and even creating challenges and competition between groups. There is no one correct method as what works well for one person may be a poor experience for another.
Imagine a lecturer who repeats jokes over each of his sessions expecting each group to laugh at the same rate; whilst some are going to think its hilarious, it may actually offend another group. I think it was Einstein who said it best; (or at least is controversially quoted with saying) the definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results. Well whoever said it (it sounds cooler with the Einstein reference), they were not talking about training. As you will find that by doing the same thing- for example following a sessions plan to a tee will, in different groups yield different results. I guess in conclusion; as trainers perhaps that makes us insane!
Consider the training sessions which you have been a part of, or even led and discuss the things you believe work really well in engaging learners. This could include activities you have used, facilitation methods or even the style of the person delivering.