Keys to Successful Training: Prepare, But Not Too Much

Anytime you do stand-up training there are likely going to be a set of materials that you’ll be teaching from. It is important to be prepared and master the materials, but don’t be a slave to them.

If students ask questions that are covered later, answer the question briefly then get back on track. Never say, “we’ll get to that”. Pay attention to the flow of the day– the students may have better ideas that are more useful for “learning” than you do.

One example I had was when I was organizing training to City employees, the supervisor decided that a manager would get up and cover some specialized material that she was an expert in. She then called up another guy and they did an impromptu sketch instead of reading from the PowerPoint. It was unplanned and was the best thing that happened that day.

Keys to Successful Training: Lunch

LunchFor the last month I have been preparing training for employees of a large department in a large Midwestern city. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to put together a successful training initiative, and one of the most important ones is one that is often overlooked: lunch.

People have to eat. People in a windowless room listening to one instructor after another really have to eat. The lunch hour has the opportunity to be the highlight or the hassle. As the instructor, if you make it the highlight, the whole day pans out smoother.

DevCorp North offers computer classes in Rogers Park

DevCorp North, a great neighborhood organization in the Rogers Park neighborhood here in Chicago, has a mission to "improve the business and economic climate of Rogers Park through business, community and economic development."

One of the ways they do that is bilingual computer classes in English and Spanish. Here’s their announcement:

DevCorp North is happy to announce that our next session of computer classes has begun. Classes are taught in both English and Spanish and will include instruction on Internet use, Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, marketing materials and business documents. A class schedule is listed below.

Registration is open now from 9 am to 5 pm. Registrants are welcome to come by the DevCorp North office located at 1448 W. Howard St. or call (773) 508-5885 if you have any questions about class times or availability.

Maybe sometime I could teach my bilingual internet skills classes there as well.