The Cheap Training Option Is Often The Most Expensive
The style of writing training courses depends totally on the style of the presenter. Too many people take training courses that are written by other people.
This means that they come across as being awkward and unstructured because the style of speaking is different from the style of writing. This is a major problem with training courses which are purchased literally, “off-the-shelf” and not designed for the organization specifically. Yes, it is a cheap option but the results will obviously be very limited. If you were to conduct an analysis on the return on investment for these courses, you may find that they are uneconomical and not a good use of the training budget.
One way of writing a training course is to start with the end in mind. Work out the objective or target of the training. Is it for the acquisition of knowledge or is it to develop skills? Is a cognitive or is it emotional? The methods used are completely different and it is a common mistake to use cognitive training methods to try and change behavior.
This means that you start off with the objective of the training course and then work backwards to provide the opportunity for the people to learn. Most training courses fail because they use methods that are inappropriate. For example, many visual presentations substantially fail because the poor participants go into overload after the first slide. We’ve all been to presentations where an overhead projector has been used. Regrettably, the people who present these types of training courses have actually given training a bad name because the participants fail to learn. Electronic media is a copout because the presenter cannot engage the brains of the participants.
Failing to engage the brains of the participants means that retention is extremely low. Lower than 15%. Most presentations fit into this category, and so do most training sessions. They are a few things remember about training courses and presentations. Firstly, the attention span of the average adult is around seven minutes. Secondly, a failure to change pace every 35 to 40 minutes will guarantee somebody falling asleep. Thirdly, a failure to engage the brains of the participants will guarantee low retention and low enjoyment. Enjoyment is vital to learning and unfortunately, most presenters and trainers either have forgotten or never knew that this was important to learning.
Our advice is quite simple to anyone wishing to write a training course. Hire an expert to write it and present it, because failed training courses can be so expensive. Expensive in lost clients, failed programmes, and a cynical workforce.