Ever listen to a pirate say ‘arrrrrr’? They do it with commitment. With enthusiasm. With zest and zeal. Much like training and development.
Before I show you a sterling example, first here are 10 mistakes a trainer made during a workshop I was a participant in recently (no names have been used, in order to protect the guilty). I’ve classified the mistakes into themes and shown the percentages. They just might surprise you.
Oi! The workshop was boring and not very helpful. Here’s why.
- Using a monotonous tone of voice – good for putting participants to sleep, not good for keeping attention
- Using acronyms (abbreviations) a lot – made for a confusing time for me, the newbie
- Using a tiny font in the Powerpoint presentation – even with my glasses on I couldn’t read it
- Using Powerpoint screens that were FULL of words – too many words and no white space makes for difficult reading and comprehension
- Have a blurry Powerpoint screen – if you’re trying to irritate the participants, goal accomplished, otherwise frustration continues to ramp up
- Reading off the Powerpoint – trainer facing the screen, reading (in monotonous tone of voice), reading, and more reading
- Trainer faces 2 of the 12 participants. Period. Trainer only looks at two of the group, which makes them squirm and leaves the rest of us feeling ignored.
- Completely ignoring the person who came in late… and to make matters worse, there wasn’t a chair for her. She ended up leaving.
- Trainer leaves cell phone on. It rings twice.
- Trainer answers cell phone during workshop and takes the call!
I took notes for this blog post during the workshop. I divided the points into themes:
- things that make it too hard to learn
- things that lead to a lack of engagement
- things that make participants not feel included (access and inclusion issues)
Here are the percentages when I tallied when matching which error went with which theme(s):
- things that make it too hard to learn – 44%
- things that lead to a lack of engagement – 25%
- things that make participants not feel included (access and inclusion issues) – 31%
Notice I didn’t mention content. Despite fairly good content the training was a bust for me due to all the barriers.
Paying attention to HOW you’re teaching is as important (if not more important) than WHAT you’re teaching. Lesson learned?
Now about that pirate. Take a look and listen to the zest and zeal in this announcer’s voice – a role model for trainers.