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How to Avoid Delivering Unsatisfying Training Courses

How to Avoid Delivering Unsatisfying Training Courses
Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Learning

Article Rating:::: 119 Ratings :::: Monday, November 19, 2018

Have you ever attended a miserable and boring training course? Have you heard your colleague’s tale of boring training course? People love exceptionally good training courses and talk about them a lot, but if they experience a bad one, they feel just as equally compelled to let the world know.

If you are a trainer or in a position of teaching, you can appreciate delegates’ feedbacks. You can learn enormously from what works and what doesn’t. You can somewhat guess from the feedback what went wrong. However, while delivering a course, a particular course of action that sounds quite rational may actually be a bad idea.

Hence, exploring such feedback can be very educational. In this article, we have listed a series of feedbacks received from hypothetical learners who have attended a bunch of boring courses. We have designed these based on general patterns of feedback observed over the years. The aim is to see why these courses have been unsatisfying and what can be done to avoid such a fate.

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You Must Know the 10 Wrong Beliefs of Training by Heart

You Must Know the 10 Wrong Beliefs of Training by Heart
Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Learning

Article Rating:::: 6 Ratings :::: Monday, October 15, 2018

In today's specialised world, many people are working hard to become an expert in something. Spending extensive time on any topic will turn a person into an expert in that subject just by sheer accumulation of knowledge. Sooner or later, some of such experts would find themselves in a position of teaching, training others to learn their techniques.

The problem is that most subject-matter experts would simply assume they know how to teach. Their main focus is on being a “content expert” as opposed to being a capable trainer. What keeps these trainers up at night is the worry of not having all the answers. What if they want to explain something and they suddenly forget what they wanted to say? What if they look like a fool? What if people are not convinced that they are indeed an expert on the topic?

What’s fascinating, and rather sad, is that few worry about appearing as a poor trainer or not knowing how to teach. It is a curious thing to know where this confidence in teaching ability comes from.

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Think Music, Chess and Sports: Train Yourself to Train Others Better

Think Music, Chess and Sports: Train Yourself to Train Others Better
Public Speaking, Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Presentation Skills, Learning, Personal Development

Article Rating:::: 16 Ratings :::: Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Being a good trainer requires a set of skills. Like any other skill, you need to practice in order to get better at this skill. This is quite different from being good at the topic you are teaching. Unfortunately, many think that practice means conducting course after course and hopefully getting it right eventually. Sure enough, you may get a little bit better, but you won’t significantly improve your teaching skills unless you engage in what is known as “deliberate practice”. This term was popularised by the world-famous researcher on expertise, Anders Ericsson.

In the past couple of decades, numerous researchers have contributed to the concept of deliberate practice and the findings are quite interesting and educational, helping us to learn effectively and become an expert in anything.

A great book published in this area is called, “Talent is Overrated: What really separates world-class performers from everybody else” by Geoff Colvin. It has become a classic book in the field along with, “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.

Colvin proposes three distinct models of deliberate practice. Each model is suitable for certain activities or skills. Sometimes mastering complex skills requires the use of all three models. They are quite useful in inspiring you to come up with new exercises or in identifying strategies to address weaknesses.

In this article, you will be introduced to these three models and will learn how to apply them to the training world.

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Applications of Clock Buddies

Applications of Clock Buddies
Games, Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Team Building, Large Group, Planning

Article Rating:::: 1 Ratings :::: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Back in 2013 we released a software tool on our website called Clock Buddies. Clock Buddies refers to a traditional tool used to pair people up in a classroom setting. Each person was given a blank sheet resembling the face of a clock. Students then filled this in with their names. The clocks would then allow the teacher to group the students quickly by simply calling out a given hour; for example, the teacher would say, “pair up with your buddy at 3 o’clock”. Students would then look at their clock faces, find the name of the person written at 3 o’clock and pair up with him.

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What Virtual Reality Can Do for Soft Skills Training

What Virtual Reality Can Do for Soft Skills Training
Games, Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Communication Skills, Body Language, Art

Article Rating:::: 5 Ratings :::: Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The new age of virtual reality (VR) is upon us. We are still at early stages of VR development, but the field has shown a strong promise. Of all the new technologies that we are about to fully experience in everyday life, such as self-driving cars, drones or 3D printing, VR and AR (Augmented Reality) prove to be the strangest and the most magical technologies ever developed. Just imagine that in a few decades, when the technology has matured enough, as soon as you put on a VR headset, you will be transferred to an alternative universe the like of which you might have never seen before. It is the kind of environment that might feel more interesting than real life to the point that you may not want to leave it!

It could also be the opposite; you may go through a hellish environment and see how the world may look like if we don’t pay attention to important environmental issues or let greedy politicians bully us to annihilation. Either way, you will come out of the experience better informed and with a strong vivid memory.

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The Seven Techniques of Learning to Learn

The Seven Techniques of Learning to Learn
Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Motivation, Learning

Article Rating:::: 63 Ratings :::: Tuesday, March 21, 2017

“Everything is easier than you think. If you believe otherwise, you are setting yourself up for a hard life.”

Learning should not be as hard as you think. There is a method to the art and just like any skill, learning to learn needs practice and mastery. It is much like speed reading. If you know how to read faster, you can end up reading more books in a given time. Similarly, if you learn how to learn efficiently you can spend less time doing the learning and more time enjoying what you have learned.

As a trainer, the topic of learning to learn is even more important since it is not only beneficial to you, but it also helps you to improve your training. As such, it is worth investing time in.

In this article, you will be introduced to seven highly effective techniques that help you maximise learning in a given time. The following methods are presented as if you are applying them to yourself, but you should consider how you can take advantage of them for your learners in a training environment.

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The Results of Our Training Questionnaire

The Results of Our Training Questionnaire
Training Articles, Train the Trainer

Article Rating:::: 49 Ratings :::: Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A while back we sent you a questionnaire with a series of questions on how training courses are conducted. The aim was to develop an insight on how training courses are run across the world and to ultimately see what can be learned from our collective approach to training.

The results of the questionnaire are published below. There was a total of 230 respondents. Although our customers tend to teach soft skills, this is not exclusive and some respondents have considered technical or other courses as well while answering the questions. A question in the questionnaire helps to clarify this.

The results lead to some fascinating insights that require further deliberation. But first, let’s go through main the results of the questionnaire.

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Energiser: Wake Them Up

Energiser: Wake Them Up
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Exercises for Kids, Presentation Skills, Large Group, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 52 Ratings :::: Monday, July 4, 2016

It is just after lunch and you are about to teach a new theory to your delegates. Ideally you should not cover this after lunch but you have had no choice. You notice that delegates are falling sleep. Energy is low, concentration is gone and people are getting bored. What do you do? You need to energise them. Other than opening up the windows or calling for a break you can also use the energiser described here to awake the mind and the body. This exercise is particularly useful for younger delegates. For more senior delegates, you will need to make a judgment to see if this is a suitable activity.

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Training Technique: Combined Ranking

Training Technique: Combined Ranking
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Decision Making, Planning, Learning

Article Rating:::: 2 Ratings :::: Monday, May 9, 2016

When delivering training courses, sometimes you need to get the delegates go through an exercise that involves sorting cards. Card sorting is a training activity where you get the delegates to think about a subject and vote by sorting a number of options. Sometimes they may need to generate these options before sorting them. Usually, the aim is to pick the best option or find a consensus on how to move forward.

Here, you will be introduced to a variation of card sorting that makes the process systematic for a group of delegates and allows them to make a decision collectively.

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Give Positive Affirmations on Training

Give Positive Affirmations on Training
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Giving Feedback

Article Rating:::: 13 Ratings :::: Monday, April 25, 2016

At the end of a training course, you should always allocate time so that delegates can review what they have learned in the course so you can get a chance to reinforce key lessons. In addition, this is also a good opportunity to provide feedback. When this feedback is delivered by other delegates it can be even more effective. Hence, this exercise is designed to help delegates receive positive affirmations, reinforce learning on those areas and make the experience more memorable.

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