Create an action plan to get a group of employees ready to attend training. Identify critical actions steps before, during, and after the training program to ensure the training's success. Engage key stakeholders including the participants, the participants' supervisors, and the trainer delivering the course. Use this process to gain agreement on the learning objectives.
- Have you ever walked into a room to get something but you can't remember what you came to get? For some reason you just can't remember. Participating in training without a clear goal in mind is sort of like that experience. You're there, but you're not quite sure what you're looking for. So you walk back out of the room and a few seconds later you remember you were looking for your keys. Now you go back in the room and instantly find them. Having a clear goal when you come to training is a lot like that second time. It's much easier to find something if you know what you're looking for.
I'd like to show you a worksheet I use to ensure participants are prepared for training. It's called the Workshop Planner. Before we continue, I suggest you pause the video and download this worksheet from the exercise files. When you're ready, continue the video and we'll walk through the worksheet together. Are you ready? In this example, we've been asked to deliver a presentation skills workshop to people who need to pitch projects internally to senior leaders. Our learning objective is for participants to deliver presentation in class that effectively demonstrates competency in content development, visual aids, speaking and body language.
The workshop planner helps us create an action plan to prepare participants for the training by looking at actions before, during and after the workshop. Before the workshop, we want to determine what the participants should do, what their supervisors should do to support this, and what the trainer needs to do to support the supervisor. During the workshop, we ask the same thing. What the participants need to do? What support do they need from the supervisor, and what should the trainer do? Finally, we look at what we expect participants to do after the workshop, and determine what support is needed from both the supervisor and the trainer.
You can do this exercise for our sample presentation skills workshop by downloading the Sample Workshop Plan. Pause the video to complete your plan and then restart it to see the discussion from the live class. - And trainer. - [Man] Needs to facilitate, be engaging. - Yeah, yeah. - Materials that they said they were going to present on, and make it engaging. - Yeah, yeah. - Now, after the training.
- The participant needs to be accountable, and follow-up on any action items. - Yeah. - Or just apply. - Or apply. (group murmuring) - Make it simple to apply the training. - [Host] Suzanne, if you're going to start with your training, what do you want them to focus on in the training itself? - My participants? - Yes. - I want them to focus on what we're training them. I mean the specific, the outline that they were given. - Yes. - Before they went to the class. - So come to the training, give them the training. - Yeah. - Have an open mind.
- Focus, yeah. - Participate. - [Man] Some way to reinforce what you just learned. - But I was going to say, I think the supervisor needs to reinforce and apply. - Okay. - Like application. - So I want to bring you back together, I know I only gave you a couple of minutes to do this, but you're doing a great job filling this out. I think a lot of you realize that this doesn't have to be complicated. We're just putting everything in one space. I was sharing with one of the groups, every time I facilitate a workshop with a client of mine, we do this as part of our planning process.
It never takes more than an hour. So it's a very short discussion, but we have a very comprehensive action plan. In this case, we've kind of done a speed version of it, if you will. But we got a few basic actions, you realize, we do these things much more successful with training and if we somehow forget to do these things the training's not going to be as successful or impactful. So let's just see if we can get just a couple of examples. The training itself, what do we expect, one thing we would expect from participants going to this presentation skills training? - To be on the court. - Pay attention.
- Participation. - Participation, right? Which seems pretty obvious, but I'll tell you that some participants can't wait to participate, and other people, it's bad enough giving a presentation. It's really bad giving a presentation in a class with people in the back of the room going, "Okay well, we're going to evaluate you, "and give you a score at the end, "and tell you how you're doing." For some people that's difficult. And so, helping people work through that ahead of time, that this is a constructive process is a good conversation to have.
What would you expect, say, from the supervisor? - To be supportive and check in with the employee. Show face at the presentation. - Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And then, obviously the trainer. Alright this is usually the most obvious part of this whole worksheet. What would the trainer be responsible for during the training? - Facilitate. - Training the workshop, right? (laughter) Sometimes I'm tempted just to block out that box, but we're like, alright, no, is there. What I find though, if you're having this dialogue, often there's something specific that comes up when we get to that box.
"You know it would be great if you gave an example on this." "Or one of the specific challenges that our team has "when they're presenting to senior executives "is not getting to the point. "Can you do an exercise around getting to the point "and putting that more in the beginning "of the presentation?" So maybe there's something specific that they ask of you as a trainer. - Add in the corporate culture, or their company culture concepts. - Absolutely, yeah. So that might, and hopefully it comes up ahead of time, but if not, this is another safety valve, if you will, for those types of things to come up.
What about after the training? We often think about, "Hey everybody thanks for being here." And the training's over, but the training's really not over until we've accomplished our learning objectives. So what would we want to see from our participants after this presentation skills training? - [Man] They apply their learning. - [Host] Apply their learning. How would they apply it? - Well the supervisor might need to give them different opportunities for that training piece that they had. What exactly is the content and how would they work through that in this situation. - Absolutely.
And then maybe there's even an upcoming opportunity where they're going to give a real presentation, right? - [Man] Yeah. - So think about that transformation for just a moment. Typical training, generic presentation skills class, Yay, you know it was fun. With this model we're saying, identify a presentation you've got to give, come to the workshop being prepared and open to improving your skills and immediately after the workshop, we're going to have you deliver a presentation using the skills you've just learned, and the supervisor, who's very supportive, is going to be there to help coach you through additional development.
Very different learning model, right? One is kind of generic and I hope it works, and the other is very performance based. We're moving someone along to, we hope, giving much more effective presentations. So what do we need from the supervisor then, I think you answered it, which is being supportive, encouraging that, but also being that person to coach additional learning, et cetera. Now often, as the trainer, we're like, "Hey, class is over, see ya later." Is there anything we can expect from the trainer after the training? - [Man] Follow-up. - Follow, sure. - [Man] Ask them how their presentation went.
- Touching base, following up. - [Man] Maybe set some action items. - Yeah. It doesn't have to end at the formal class. Maybe there's a follow-up coaching session, or maybe it's, "Send me your Powerpoint Deck "for your next presentation. "We'll go take a look at it and I'll review it, "send you some notes on the way back." There's many different options that you can think of as a trainer to extend that learning into the realm of performance. Here's what our final plan might look like. Notice there's not a lot of action items, or steps involved.
It's okay to keep things simple. We just want to capture everything in one place. I like to use the Workshop Planner whenever I'm facilitating a workshop. It helps participants be more prepared, it helps their supervisors better support the training, and it helps me do a better job as a trainer.
- Identifying employee training needs
- Creating an individual development plan
- Developing learning objectives
- Preparing employees for training
- Evaluating a training program
- Presenting with confidence and clarity
- Facilitating discussions and learning
- Managing breaks effectively
- Delivering training via webinar