Determine how to set up a conference room or other space to prepare for an employee training session. Identify best practices for media, participant seating, and room layout. Observe examples of appropriate room set up from a live training program. See steps taken before the class to prepare and the results of those steps once the class is underway.
- The way you set up your classroom can have a big impact on learning. You want participants to be comfortable. They should be able to clearly see visuals such as flip charts and presentations and the layout should allow for easy interaction. Let's look at a few steps to prepare for a classroom or webinar-based training class. I've created a downloadable training preparation checklist to help you. Here are a few highlights. The first consideration is visual technology. If your class includes a presentation, movie or some other visual, you'll need to have a way to share it.
For classroom training, make sure there's a projection system available. You'll also want to confirm whether there's an in-house computer or if you'll need to bring a laptop to the class. For webinars, be sure your presentation software is compatible with the webinar platform you're using. Be sure to consult the webinar user guide for any special formatting considerations such as the optimal screen resolution. It's a good idea to test out your visual technology before the day of the training to make sure everything is working correctly and you have the right equipment.
You don't want any surprises once the training starts. For classroom training, you'll also want to verify your other visual needs such as whether flip charts or whiteboards are available. Now, webinar software often has whiteboards, audience polling and other interactive features built right in. Just be sure everything is setup and working correctly before the day of your class. The next consideration is audio technology. For classroom training, be sure to set up speakers for any audio you plan to share such as music or the audio from a video clip.
It's also a good idea to do a sound check ahead of time to determine if you'll need a microphone so your participants can hear you. For webinars, you'll need to decide whether to use the built-in audio or a separate telephone conference line for your webinar. Either way, do a dry run beforehand to make sure the audio sounds clear. For classroom training, the seating arrangement is another important consideration. For groups of 16 or more, my preference is pods or table rounds.
This puts participants in small groups that are perfect for exercises and activities while still making it easy for me and my visuals to be seen. For smaller groups, I like to arrange the seating in a U-shape so everyone can be involved. Sometimes, the only training room available is setup a certain way and there's no easy way to change it. Now, the good news is you can usually find a way to adapt to the environment if you plan ahead. On the day of training, I like to arrive early to the classroom or log in early to the webinar.
This provides plenty of time to get everything setup and allows a little extra time to correct any unforeseen issues. For example, I once walked into a training room to see this setup. The pillar was obviously a huge problem, at least for the participants who had to sit behind it. Fortunately, I was there early enough that the seating could be rearranged and the problem solved before people arrived. Doing all this preparation can take some extra time, but it will help you ensure that your training program is a success.
Any number of things can go wrong from a technology failure to a poorly arranged room, but proper preparation can help you avoid these challenges.
- 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