What’s in it for Me? (Trainer Relevance Really Matters)

This blog is the third in a series of three blogs focused on giving trainers the most impactful beginning possible. I hope you find this helpful!

Today, we wrap up our discussion on the elements of an effective introduction. (See How to Set the Stage for a Successful Learning Experience and Why Trainer Credibility Can Make or Break You to read up on this 3-part discussion)

According to Malcolm Knowles, one of the four principles of Andragogy states that adults are interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance and impact to their job or personal life. Therefore, in order to set the conditions for learning to happen, we must establish relevance between the learner and the topic. This can be accomplished by making a relevance statement.

A relevance statement clearly states the relationship between your learner and your topic. For the learner, it addresses the “WIIFM” (What’s in this for me?) It is important to be candid and place the content in a context that gives the learners specific examples that connect with your topic. Some ideas to consider include:

Use champion statements. 

Obtain a quote from a credible firm champion for the product/process being taught. When possible, alter the source, so it is relevant to the practice group and/or geography of the office.

Use an intriguing statistic.

If you are training how to use a new secure FTP site, quote the number of data breaches caused by using unsecured means of transport.

Use proximity. 

Explain how your topic impacts that practice group. When possible, share both the benefit of embracing the concept and the consequence of not adopting it.

A relevance statement not only communicates what the learners will gain from attending the session but also shows learners that you know them, know how they work, and understand their struggles. This further increases your credibility, gains their attention and further sets the stage for a successful learning experience.

What are some additional ideas you use in your own relevance statements? Take a moment and share your strategies with our readers.