When you are delivering a training session, do you prepare and set expectations in advance?
I have delivered hundreds of training sessions, and most recently over in Beirut for AUST (American University of Science and Technology). The reason why I was inspired to write this piece of content is because of delivering 4 hour training sessions each day, for five days and the amount of preparation I needed to do ahead of time.
The importance of being prepared, and setting expectations before the training is paramount to receiving successful feedback from the attendees in the room. The AUST asked its students to rate my training sessions, of which I received a 91% success rate of my sessions being ranked between very good, and excellent.
Below is what I delivered, written by AUST on their website which you can view here.
“The course was primarily practical and lectures were based on real-world situations that were used to anchor class interaction. Throughout the course, Warren invoked real-life case studies and actionable tasks that extended concepts learnt in class, and reinforced these concepts with homework and assignments. Finally, students built an online business (in groups), by launching a website, writing a blog, building social networks, and implementing a digital marketing strategy focused on their target customers.
By the end of the course, students gained a solid understanding of digital marketing topics, and the knowledge to navigate (and “cut through the hyperbole” in) this yet-evolving industry. They also learned to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate marketing impact. Many of the learnings were applicable beyond digital marketing.”
Because of the success (91% said it was exceptional) I had in Beirut, I am going to share with you my top 7 tips for setting training room expectations, allowing you to prepare, and deliver above and beyond what your client is looking for.
1. Get a brief
Before the training had begun, I had various virtual meetings, and followed up with emails but your work starts when you receive the brief of what your client is looking for. Always make sure that before you do this, you have asked (and had answers) to questions. Here are 7 things to consider;
- What would your client like to achieve?
- If they aren’t clear in their brief, ask for examples to help you understand
- Find out what times you are needed, and arrive 30 minutes prior to that time
- If equipment is needed for your session, make sure they can provide this
- WHO you are going to be working with, and have they had any previous training in what you are going to deliver
- The environment: Does the training room have the right amount of space for the attendees?
- How do you measure the success of the training session?
2. Send An Email Breaking Down The Expectations
Once you have the brief of what is to be delivered and your questions have been answered, you then need to set expectations of what your training session can deliver. Always be honest, truthful, clear about what is being taught and the practical outcomes expected.
3. Work Together To Deliver The Perfect Training
Even though I was the sole person delivering the training, I found the sessions went a lot more smoother by working with the school and directly those who had hired me to deliver the training sessions. Build a relationship with your client so that you have a good foundation for future projects.
4. Be Ready For A Potential Setback
Whilst I was extremely prepared when I arrived in Beirut for the 5 days worth of training sessions, I sat down with the school, and we made quite a few amendments to the session plan. Expect this to happen and know that it’s OK if it does.
5. Allow For More Time In Between Activities
As we all know, training sessions can run over in time, especially if a lot of questions are asked during the session. Before it even gets to this point, set the training room expectations ahead of time around the management of the schedule, and the potential for running under, or over the allocated time.
6. Keep It Fun, But Challenging
Having fun but being challenged for me, is an important part of growth. My training was extremely practical and based on real life experience so I challenged my room to create a business from the ground up, defining that business in 140 characters, having them learn all of the digital marketing tools needed for online success which created a fun atmosphere, whilst also making sure the training they were receiving could be applied outside the training room.
7. Give Added Value
Give them an added value bonus to take away so they can take immediate action that would keep them moving forward. I gave away my 7 day Social Media template so they could take action the next day and get started with sharing content online, as well as my SEO template to help them find the right keywords for their business.
My time in Beirut was both amazing, and challenging. I hope that my above tips for setting training room expectations will help you get prepared, and deliver a successful session for your next client.
What do you do to prepare a training session for a client?