How to Create Effective Training
Determining the Need
A Consultant Mindset
MYTH: Stakeholders know what they need.
Stakeholders may come to you with a specific request - complete with learning objectives and an outline. However, this doesn’t mean that they know what they need.
It is important to step back and ensure that:
- We are tackling the “right” problem.
- We have clear outcomes.
- The methodology we employ will meet the desired outcome.
Watch this video to see how it works: Do you really need training?
Useful questions to help confirm the need include:
- Can you give me some background?
- What do you need associates to do that they can’t do today?
- What information, skills are required to achieve the desired outcome?
- How will you measure success?
If you want to learn more about carrying out a Needs Assessment, take the Needs Assessment course on Lynda.com (1hour, 25 min). The course is split into short 5 - 10 minutes segments so that you can fit the segments in as you have time. The system also tracks your progress so you can pick up where you left off!
It is key to develop a deep understanding of the end user - what they need to "get the job done" and what motivates them to do their best. Strive to understand the point of view of the target audience as well as their managers and others who rely on their work.
|As you watch this video, consider how to avoid blind spots and truly understand the problem from the other person’s perspective.|
We often fall into the trap of thinking that we understand the other persons situation. We need to avoid making assumptions and thinking that we know the answer!
The best way to avoid this trap is to simply ask!
We can't build great solutions without talking to people about what they need and why they need it.
Create solutions that truly focus on learners:
- Focus only on the information they need to address the specific issue at hand. Cathy Moore L&D Manifesto
- Consider how they want to consume information - usually as quickly and easily as possible
- Set training in the context of their specific job - great examples have huge impact!
Have a Point of View
Once you have confirmed the need by asking relevant questions, actively listening to your stakeholder and understanding the end user perspective, you can develop and share your point of view.
Outcomes and Root Cause
Action Mapping starts with business outcomes!
When designing the structure and flow of training, it is key to identify the desired business outcomes. Action Mapping is a useful technique to use. Click here to learn more.
Root Cause Analysis
Colleagues may ask you to create training believing that they understand the problem, and know the solution. These tools can help you uncover the root cause without causing offense.
Keep it Simple
Why is it easier to create 3 hours of classroom training versus creating a 10 minute video that will deliver the same impact?
TED has proven (over and over) that you can convey complex topics in a meaningful way in 18 min or less.
Brilliant 3 min TED Talks. Yet months of effort goes into making these presentations short and simple.
Solutions can be elegantly simple, but that doesn’t mean they will be easy to create. But they will be worth it! More and more it is simple, bite size content that learners are seeking.
Sometimes a simple checklist can be all that is needed. Read about our Checklist Hero in action.
|And sometimes you may not even need to explain or tell. This TED Talk may change the way you think about how people learn. You don't have to tell learners everything, people will pursue knowledge about things that interest them.|
Gathering and Condensing Content
If you need to interview Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to gather content, find out everything you can on your own first, then ask the SME to verify and fill in the blanks. Click here for a suggested question list, and remember to end your interview by asking ‘Who else should I talk to?'
Once you have gathered content, you will need to synthesize and condense it. This means internalizing the content, determining which information is MOST relevant, then putting it together in a structure that makes sense, remembering to keep it simple so that others can quickly understand it.
And this graphic illustrates the need to be simple, but still deliver something that works each step of the way to the end result. For example, in creating your learning solution you may first deliver a job aid, then a video, and then an elearning that includes all of the pieces and more.
Think about incorporating stories to connect your content back to your end-user needs. This helps brings things to life for your audience. And remember to follow the Nielsen Voice guidelines on NielsenNOW.
Writing Your Script
The script is where ideas come to life and begin to take shape.
A script is the term we use to cover writing down the contents of your planned training. The best path to solving problems and making them easier to understand is to have the explanations in writing, where they can be shared and collaborated on, before being finalized.
The script is unlikely to be the medium you will use to present your training, but if forms the foundation of what you will deliver.
Explanations transform facts into comprehension. Consider incorporating these style elements in to your explanations:
Agreement builds confidence from the very first sentence. It is accomplished through big-picture statements that most people will recognize.
We can all agree gas prices are rising...
People are consuming media in more ways than ever before…
Content is king, but context is the kingdom. Context describes the situation and complication.
Context moves the points we have agreed upon to a specific place. It gives the audience a foundation for the explanation and lets them know WHY it should matter to them.
Context provides a broad perspective before zooming into the details.
More of your hard earned income is going towards paying for transportation…
Businesses want to know where they should focus their ad revenue…
Storytelling makes our facts more meaningful and interesting. Story applies the big ideas to a narrative that shows the person who experiences a change in perspective and the emotions that accompany that change.
Stories need facts. And facts can be explained more effectively in story. Facts give stories substance. Stories give facts meaning.
Meet Sally; she’s tired of paying so much for gas…
Sam is a brand manager and he is deciding where to spend this years budget..
Connections often accompany a story and are analogies and metaphors that connect new ideas to something people already understand.
Sally could see that taking the bus was like multitasking because she could work and commute at the same time…
Descriptions are direct communications that focus on how versus why.
Facts provide substance.
Sally found that she could save more than $20 a week by taking the bus three times a week…
Conclusions wrap up the script with a summary of what was learned and provides a next step with a focus on the audience.
The next time gas prices get you down, remember…
Source: The Art of Explanation
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