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How to devise training sessions

30 September 2002 by
How to devise training sessions

Developing a training session, whether it's one-to-one or in a group, can be a bit daunting. It's hard to know where to begin.

However, if you consider the simple questions below, you'll be well prepared to start putting your training plan together. Your answers can be used to form the basis of the training. This process originates from the "4MAT System", which is based on the way we learn and was developed by Bernice McCarthy, president and chief executive officer, About Learning, Inc.

Trainees tend to focus on one of the four questions, so by covering all of the areas, you have the best chance of developing a successful programme.

Why?
Why would the trainees want to learn what you're teaching them, what would they gain if they learnt it and what would they miss out on if they didn't learn it? You need to motivate them to want to take part in the session. This may take five minutes or longer. You can pick out the "why?" people as they will make it obvious that they want to know why they are there and their attention will soon wander if they see no reason to be there.

What?
What is the subject and what are the facts, the details, the history and the theory? What must trainees know, what would by useful to know and what would be nice to know? Those in the group who like to know the details are "what?" people.

How?
How would trainees use the information, how would they carry out the task, what exercises would demonstrate to you and them that they can do the task and how will you demonstrate the process? This part of the training is essential in the hospitality industry, since many jobs are of a hands-on, practical nature. Those in a group who get bored easily because they need to do something active are "how?" people.

What if?
Explain what the outcome will be if the delegate adopts what he has been taught. Also allow time for the trainees to ask questions. At this point, give delegates the solutions for what to do if something goes wrong, as well as the motivation for making it go right. Those in a group who ask lots of questions are "what if?" people.

Remember: If you don't make the training engaging and exciting, all future association with you or the subject may have a "boring" tag attached to it. Make training fun and memorable and it will not only have a greater impact, but everyone (yourself, the trainees and the business) will benefit.

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