3 Tips to Energize a Tired Training Session


Happy Holidays, all!

Yes, it’s been a moment since I’ve checked in – here, on Twitter, LinkedIn or even Facebook. The past few weeks have been a blur…wrapping up the year at the day job so I could take some long-awaited time off (!!!), enjoying some holiday time with family and making some exciting plans for 2014!

One project that we were working on at the day job was updating some materials for a training class that is frequently delivered. We needed to add some new content, but we’re also in the process of energizing the existing material.

Let’s be honest, after facilitating a session many, many times, most content could use the equivalent of a vitamin B12 shot (or maybe a Mountain Dew and a Pixy Stick) to perk things up. Don’t you agree?

Based on this project, here are 3 tips we’ve found that can help wake up a tired training session. Add your own tips in the comments below to share with your fellow L&D brethren!

1. Dump lecture-based segments in favor of more interactive methods.

Demonstrations, small-group discussions, brainstorming, mind-mapping, and interviews are just a few options to spice up lecture-heavy content. After all, adults bring their experiences with them to a training session; providing interactive opportunities to collaborate and learn with others is key for engaging your participants.

2.  Expand your toolbox of icebreakers, energizers, brainteasers and review exercises.

Recently, I added a couple of posts about icebreakers (look here and here to check them out). Appropriately level-setting your group with an icebreaker can set the tone for a successful training session, but so can other well-placed exercises throughout the event. There are infinite resources for these – a favorite go-to for me has been the Langevin blog – their instructors have shared a number of fantastic, learner-centered ideas that I have used many times over the years.

3. Take a look in the mirror.

Maybe it’s not the content…maybe it’s you? Are you suffering from burnout? Burnout is all-too-real, even for the most passionate learning professional. Sometimes the repetitive nature of our profession – facilitating the same courses over and over, managing difficult participants or a lack of work/life balance can elevate stress levels and make training that class seem like an overwhelmingly difficult task. Trust me, I’ve been there. Earlier in my career, I led 4-week, all-day training classes – back-to-back – with sometimes no time in between to catch up on email or other projects. In a small training room with no windows, I might add. As much as I enjoyed the job, I’ll be honest, there were days I wondered if this was really the career path I should be taking! Fortunately, I got past it. If you’re a trainer struggling with burnout, drop me an email sometime and we can chat more about it. At the very least, I’m a good listener. Or you can read this helpful post, if you think you might be dealing with burnout.

2014 is just a few days away – can you believe it?  That means, it’s New Year Resolution time. I’ll be adding a post about that in the coming days. In the meantime, let’s vow to energize our tired training content in the new year! Let’s make 2014 a Year of Creativity. Who’s with me?!

Bring phase(two)learning to your organization in 2014! Observation, feedback, course audits and other coaching or advisory services are available, along with workshop facilitation and event planning and speaking. Booking spring and summer dates now!

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