Guidelines to a Successful Technical Training Session

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With the increasing competition and evolving technologies in the tech industry, companies are encouraged to change their information system or update their computerized systems. The key business issue for executives and managers is to leverage the technology paradigm shift to maximize their success. This transition requires an adequate training to ensure the full usage of the new system and to keep up with the reality of the market.

Proper training will positively impact the employees’ performance, in particular by increasing their ability to perform the required tasks and use the technology at its full potential, without external help.

As a trainer, there are a few guidelines you need to follow to facilitate the session.

Before the Session

What is the context and the objective of the training? What has been done so far in the project?

The context will help you better understand the progress of the project and what the next steps are. This information will help plan your intervention and define the topic of your training. You will be able to optimize the relevance of your presentation.

Moreover, understanding the context will allow you to measure your trainee’s degree of motivation. For example, how did the implementation go? Was the trainee involved? Is he or she open to change? All of these factors related to the IT implementation will also affect your trainee’s will to learn.

Never underestimate the context of the implementation.

Who is your audience? Who are the users you will deal with? What are their roles in the company? Are they Millennials or from an older generation?

The answers to these questions will allow you to customize your training session based on your audience’s characteristics. You will need to understand what is the role of your trainee in the organization and how will he or she use the system. Put yourself in your trainee’s shoes! It will make the sessions a lot more efficient. Indeed, you will be more likely to give a clear and simplified presentation when you know exactly who you are training. Your audience will also determine the pace of the different topics.

What will be the course objectives and the content of the training? Which parts should be emphasized? What are the key points of my presentation?

Before jumping into the development of your training material, define clearly what the REAL needs of your customer or trainee are. The best way to tailor the training appropriately is to work closely with the key users or the business process owners of the IT solution being implemented. Try to involve them as much as possible in the planning of the training material. They will be your perfect allies to personalize your presentation and focus on the right key points.Gathering their final feedback on the presentation deck is the best way to offer an optimized and productive training.

You might also encounter fears and resistance to change, however, once you understand the context of implementation AND your audience, you will have all the tools you need to customize your training and give a more interactive session.

How will you strike and maintain the interest of the trainees?

To fully grasp the training, trainees must look forward to the session.  Refer to guidelines and best practices throughout the training to make your presentation clearer. Also, to make the session more interactive, it is a good idea to include exercises, questions and answers and give concrete examples of daily activities your trainee will do. Do not hesitate to add content to involve your audience’s participation during the training. The session will be more lively and your trainees will have a better chance of understanding the material. Naturally, the content will also depend on the number of attendees. You will not give the same type of training session to 5 people that you would for a group of 80 people.

How will the  session take place? Which support to use?  Is it an online/distance learning or a face-to-face learning?

Each type of learning has its pros and cons. The type of learning you choose should be demonstrated when presenting a training session. Make sure the visual support is compatible with the medium used during the presentation. Testing must be done prior to the training session to avoid any technical issues. If the session is given in an unfamiliar place, make sure to bring all the material with you. This includes cables, links, chargers, and universal plugs compatible with any room. The easiest way to be “material-prepared” is to ask your trainee or customers about the material they have or can provide prior to the training.

Once these prerequisites are clarified, you can begin your training sessions.

The Session

The opening and closing of the training presentation are extremely important because they represent the first and last contact with the trainee.

At the very beginning of the training

Set the expectations – By explaining the objective of the training, the trainee will better understand the leading thread of the session allowing him or her to grasp the content effortlessly.

During the training

  1. Don’t panic, breathe – A first training session can be very stressful, especially when you are in front of a large crowd made up of people with different experiences and from different backgrounds. However, the more you are prepared, the easier it will be to convey the information. In any case, make sure you are intelligible by speaking loudly and slowly, and by articulating every word. These suggestions will facilitate communication for both the audience and the presenter, especially if the language of the presentation is not their first language.
  2. Be down-to-earth – Your training approach must be reality-centred. Inform your trainees of your experience and give real examples to show your audience they are not alone.
  3. Keep it simple – Our mind will sometimes play tricks on us: we think we are discussing relevant information when, in reality, we begin to stray away from our main point without noticing it. Try to keep your content short and segmented to avoid this and to allow your audience to grasp the concepts easily.  Do not let the exchanges between participants drag on for too long. Stay focused and avoid engaging in endless debates that are not relevant to the topic.
  4. Measure the degree of motivation of your trainee (specifically for in-person training) – You can measure, at first glance the degree of motivation of your audience. If they discreetly peek at their phone or at their watch, you can assume they have low motivation to learn … In webinars,  you can detect low motivation when your audience is too quiet… Thus, you can adjust the time spent on a specific topic throughout the presentation or find ways to involve the audience  to create an interactive session.
  5. Foster cooperation and collaboration between learners. The more trainees can apply what they have learned  (specifically with ERPs), the better they will integrate the system’s use. By encouraging the participation and involvement in workshops you will enhance the cooperation and collaboration of your trainees.
  6. Build a relationship of trust – Trainees are scared of being judged. If they lose confidence in themselves, it can lead to failure. Their confidence is affected by how they are perceived by their colleagues (Are they up to the task? Are they competent enough? Can they pull it off). To minimize the risk of a failed training due to low confidence, keep in mind that every single person has their own learning pace. As the trainer, you must not panic or get angry if some of your trainees require more time to understand. Simply repeat the concept in other words or with new examples to help them understand.
  7. Give learners time to digest content – If your training takes place over several days, allow time between each topic/chapter to let the information sync in. Your trainees will have time to breathe, to process the content, and to evolve their thoughts.

The end of the training

  • Adopt a flexible and resilient attitude – All types of training are bound to evolve over time as information systems do. This is also how scientific research works: new paradigms emerge, habits are interrupted, before being replaced by new models. One piece of advice you should follow is to not be afraid to let go of your old ways, be it related to the actual content, your teaching method, or the needs and expectations of your trainees. Stay open and flexible like the reed!
  • Trust your trainees will learn – Once the training session is over, you need to trust that your trainees will practice on their own and be diligent. Don’t forget to send them relevant material that is available. Creating a community of learners can also be a way to promote learning and ensure the success of the training.

Feel free to use all this information and integrate it in your very own training sessions. It is very important to follow these few guidelines to maximize the success of your session.

If you are looking for training regarding the cloud solutions we offer, do not hesitate to reach out to our experts and we will make sure to teach you all the knowledge you need to use your solution efficiently and without anyone’s help.

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Guidelines to a Successful Technical Training Session

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