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Improving Engagement And Retention In Live Business Training Workshops

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Many solo professionals use live workshops to teach their content and market themselves. Workshops are great sales cycle offerings, helping you build the credibility needed for potential clients to buy your higher-priced offerings.

For the best results, adult learners need to be engaged in the content and retain the information. How do you improve engagement and retention in live workshops?

There are 5 keys to remember:

1.Create immediately actionable learning objectives.
 Adult learners come to your workshop because often they have specific goals they are working toward. When creating your content, first hone your objectives to those that are immediately actionable. Unless your course is long, keep the actionable objectives to less than five. Adult learners want to leave your workshop with a few items they can confidently put into place right away.

2.Offer relevant, meaningful content.
 Review your content to be sure it meets one of your actionable objectives. If it doesn’t, consider offering it as a separate handout or follow up tool. The brain can only retain so much information at one time, so keeping your content to what’s relevant and meaningful will create the biggest impact.

3.Use humor.
 Well-placed humor will create a more relaxed atmosphere, help you connect to your audience, and help them retain more of your content. It can take the form of personal anecdotes, analogies, or quotes. When you tell personal stories, it makes the content come alive. Use humor at natural points throughout your course, and only when it supports the content. Refrain from jokes, as often they can be taken out of context.

4.Create a thoughtful icebreaker.
 Icebreakers are a great way to open a workshop, especially when they are tied to the course content. For example, in a business communication course I open with an activity where participants discover an interesting fact about the others at their table, and then as a table they identify one thing they share in common. It creates rapport and improves readiness for learning.

5.Offer opportunities to practice.
 Practice improves content retention, plus it builds participants’ confidence in implementing the objectives beyond the workshop. Practice opportunities can include activities, discussion, or role plays. The goal is to make them as real as possible. For example, in a LinkedIn course we practice creating our headlines and summaries. We also identify our top connections and next action steps to take with those connections. This improves the odds that the participant will follow through on completing those actions once the course has ended.

Use these keys to engagement and retention when creating your next workshop and see the positive results! 

Amy Franko

Meet the Author Amy Franko

Amy Franko has written 55 Articles on Small Business Delivered.

I'm the owner and principal learning designer of Amy Franko Consulting. Much of my experience over the past 12 years has been in sales, marketing, and project management.

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