Let’s face it, workshops and training sessions can be boring. They’re not something many employees look forward to or get excited about.
In this installment of our blog, we’d like to point out some tips that businesses and training leaders can use to make workshops enjoyable and – more importantly – successful. Read on to learn more.
Cater to Different Learning Styles
Not everyone learns new information in the same way. Some people are visual learners, some people learn from experience more than from being told – it’s a good idea to have a mixture of training tools and aids to captivate your audience and hold their attention.
Think of ways you can divide your presentation or training session into segments. Include visual elements such as charts, videos, and images – even memes or gifs can be good additions, as long as they fit your subject and audience.
Also include handouts, interactive tasks, question and answer opportunities, and group work when available. This will give your audience an inclusive environment to learn and participate.
Change the Atmosphere
Why do conference room meetings get so boring? One reason might be simple: they are always the same. Try changing up the rows of tables and chairs by rearranging your training space. Choose a location that is well-light (by natural light, when possible) and visually appealing.
If all else fails, an offsite meeting is a perfect way to shake out the humdrum of a dull meeting, and Earle Brown Heritage Center makes a fantastic host for meetings of any size.
Use Verbal Cues to Encourage Participation
Have you ever asked an audience a question, only to hear a deafening silence and see a room full of confused faces? You may not have been using correct verbal cues.
For example, if you ask your audience a rhetorical question and don’t expect a response, it can be helpful to add a phrase like, “imagine a time when…” and give your audience enough time to reflect. If you do expect a response, phrases like “Who here” or “Who in this room” can make your intent more clear.
In a blog by Fastcompany.com, Jesse Scinto uses the example “Tell me about your most recent shopping experience” which is a question your audience can relate to and isn’t overly specific. This tactic is called inclusive framing. When you ask your audience a question, make it one they are able to answer without putting anyone on the spot.
Keep it Short
One of the biggest pitfalls in presenting new information to your team members or employees is giving out too much information at once and overloading their thoughts. Engaging your audience becomes much more difficult when your presentation stretches too long for your audience’s’ attention to handle.
According to Bel Booker of the UK Eventbrite blog, “Either make your session a maximum of two hours or, if it’s taking place over the course of a day, schedule in plenty of short breaks. As well as giving attendees a chance to get up, walk around and take refreshment, you should also facilitate ‘downloading’ of learnings.” She also suggests providing notepads and pens for audience members to jot down thought and notes during the presentation.
Be sure to keep your audience in mind at all times – during the planning stages, while you are presenting, and after the presentation is over. Were they captivated? Did they seem interested during the presentation? Did it seem like they retained the information you presented, or do you need to revisit your presentation and follow up with your staff?
Presentations don’t need to be dull. A few minor adjustments can make a big difference. If you’re looking for a location with a stunning space, delicious catering options, and all the amenities and equipment you may need, contact us to learn more.