Train The Trainer Best Practices
September 16, 2021
Why Train Trainers?
Does your business need to train internal team members on how to do something, but you lack anyone with the ability to properly run the training? Do you have a subject matter expert in the content you wish to teach, but they lack the skills to be able to train effectively? This is where the concept of Train the Trainer comes into play.
Train the Trainer is the process of having an expert teach team members both the material and how to teach it. That way this new generation of trainers can then teach other teams the same information effectively.
While there are very successful training organizations out there that focus specifically on helping businesses by training their team members how to train (through methods such as in-person sessions, online meetings, etc) this isn’t always a viable option for all businesses.
Sometimes your organization may not want to allocate their resources to hire an external team, or maybe one isn’t available that meets their needs. In that case you’ll want to find a way to train your own trainers internally.
Train the Trainer Best Practices
Training trainers is not exactly the same as training learners. There are added factors to consider. Prospective trainers not only need to understand the material, they also need to know how to present that material effectively while handling questions and managing the room. This is not an easy task.
So with that in mind, we’ve provide our 10 best practices when training a trainer.
Determine the requirements of your trainees
The first, and possibly most important, part of creating a train the trainer course is understanding exactly what your team members will need in order to become effective trainers. This will take some research and consultation with your team to understand their needs and the desired outcome of the course.
As mentioned previously, communication and presentation skills are very important.
Establish ground rules
When conducting a train the trainer session, you want to explain the ground rules to participants early so that everyone is on the same page.
Common ground rules include turning cell phones off, waiting until breaks to leave the room, and raising your hand if you have a question.
Repeat important segments
People tend to remember things better when they see/hear them multiple times. This is why we recommend repeating important points several times to help improve the chances it sinks into trainees’ minds. We also recommend repeating points verbally and visually/kinesthetically (if it makes sense) in order to trigger learners of different learning types more effectively.
Summarize and wrap up each segment
Because training sessions can often be long and contain a lot of information, we recommend summarizing each segment of the training after you’ve finished it in order to help people keep the most important points in mind before moving on to the next segment. Keep the summaries short and to the point.
We recommend following the “rule of 3,” which is where you summarize the 3 most important points in a simple, easy to remember way.
Take regular breaks
As mentioned previously, people’s minds can only hold so much information in a short period of time before they start to tune things out. So it’s important to take regular breaks to give people time to digest the information before moving on.
A one hour training segment followed by a 5-10 minute break is common practice.
One trainer speaking for a long period of time (even with a slideshow accompaniment), can become boring. We recommend spicing up your train the trainer sessions with activities to break up the monotony and encourage social interaction between your participants.
Group activities such as brainstorming sessions, debates, or small group presentations can help your learners process content and keep the course interesting.
Provide take away resources
It’s unlikely that people are going to remember everything you present in the training. So we recommend creating some resources that participants can take away with them and can refer back to in order to remember key points of the training.
Takeaways could come in the form of a document, book, or website link to access more information.
Be enthusiastic and approachable
Most people remember having a teacher in their school days that was dry, boring and squeezed all the joy out of the subject they were teaching. Don’t be that person.
Find ways to show enthusiasm for what you’re training, even if it’s not the most exciting topic. It’s also important to be approachable, which means staying around after the class is over, mingling with participants during breaks, and encouraging people to ask questions. This can help demonstrate the importance of presentation and communication skills to your future trainers.
There are few things more compelling than a well-told story. As we discussed previously, stories are a powerful way to attract and keep someone’s attention. Find ways to incorporate stories about what you’re training on, and encourage your participants to tell stories as well when they start their training.
Telling the story well is arguably as important as the content of the story itself. As we mentioned in the previous point, be engaging and exciting when telling your story to get people interested and show how powerful this training tool can be.
We can’t overstate how important answering questions is to helping people understand the material being taught. Even if you don’t have the perfect answer to every question, taking the time to provide feedback shows that you value your learners and want to help them understand the material.
Sometimes these Q&A periods can inspire new ways to think about the topic, which creates opportunities for growth. Your future trainers can follow that example in their own trainings.
Positive Results™ is a training development and cloud solutions company that works with organizations to identify gaps in their business processes and solve them through implementing the right training and tools.
We often encounter businesses that have a strong team, great ideas, and useful tools, but lack the right people to bridge the knowledge/skill gap through training. This is where investing the resources to train your trainers can have a profound impact on your business. By developing your trainers internally, you can enhance the skillset of your team and more efficiently reach your goals.
If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:
Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions