Holding your trainees’ attention can be the biggest challenge you face. You have important information to present; you need to make sure everyone gets it. But when you look at your audience after 15 minutes or so of speaking, you see day-dreaming faces, heads bent over cell phones, even a snoozer or two. How do you keep everyone engaged throughout the training?
Here are some tips from experienced trainers in a recent discussion on the LinkedIn “Effective and Fun Training Techniques” group.
- Switch it up. Break up the lecture with frequent brief breaks, maybe some stretching in place. Ask questions and facilitate discussion. Have trainees change seats at regular intervals. Try anything that stops your talking and starts them moving, acting, thinking.
- Have trainees set goals at the beginning of the session and ask them to share. Then you can connect your points to their needs and keep them listening.
- Start the training with an exercise or problem designed to let them fail or discover. This drives home the importance of what you’re about to teach them.
- Trade places with trainees and let them take turns teaching the group. If they know they can be called on at any time to direct a quick review, for instance, they’ll be sure to stay focused on what you are saying.