How to Set the Stage for a Successful Learning Experience

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

Great trainers know that effective learning experiences begin with an introduction that engages reveals the purpose and captures the learner’s attention. Best in class trainers know there’s so much more…

Sometimes you just know what you know, you know?

In my years of training, I have come to measure my success based on whether my learners…learn. As a Springboard Consulting Team member, I am often asked, “What works well?” and “What doesn’t?” While great questions, I think the harder question to answer is “Why does it work?” So, I set out to find support (evidence, if you will) for those strategies which I consider Best in Class. I’ve spent countless hours researching and reflecting on this very topic as I’ve worked to develop content for our Certified Legal Training Program.  I’ve examined my own successes over that last 20+ years as well as the successes of our very talented training team. I reviewed what experts in education and the field of communications say about this topic. I’m excited to share “what to do” and “why it works”.

An effective introduction for a learning experience is generally a maximum of 10-15% of the entire session. For example, if you’re facilitating a 10-minute face-to-face session, the introduction should be no more than 90 seconds. If you’re facilitating a 120-minute virtual session, your introduction should be no more than 12-18 minutes. Let’s face it, those first few minutes will either set the stage for engagement or learners will tune you out. In the training world, there are no mulligans.

An effective introduction serves to:

1.       Gain audience interest

2.       Deliver a focused overview

3.       Address logistics

4.       Establish trainer credibility

5.       Establish relevance between the learner and the topic

I find the last two items—credibility and relevance—to be extremely valuable when setting the conditions for learning to happen, but too often they don’t receive the attention they deserve.

Join me next time to discuss “Why Trainer Credibility Can Make or Break You.” In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you. Please take time to share with our readers the strategies you use to gain audience interest and why you believe they are effective.

Are you going to ILTACON 2016? Me too! Visit Traveling Coaches booth #710/712. You can also see me and the rest of the Springboard Consulting team Tuesday night at ILTA’s Distinguished Peer Awards. We’re nominated for Innovative Consultant of the Year for our Certified Legal Trainer Program. Let’s chat!