How to Keep Adults Engaged During a Training Seminar
Training is a necessary evil in the corporate world. As the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, once said, “Job training empowers people to realize their dreams and improve their lives.” Additionally, training helps your staff remain up-to-date on procedures and policies so they can work effectively and efficiently.
Even though you’re dealing with adults, they can still be childlike in their ability to lose focus quickly or become easily distracted.
When hosting an online training seminar, you want to keep participants engaged throughout the presentation so they retain the information. But how do you that? These nine tips will help you keep people engaged during your training seminar.
Administer a Pre-Test
This lets you gauge the group’s understanding of the training material and allows you to make changes as needed. For example, if the participants seemed thoroughly-nuanced with Topic A of your seminar, go over the main points briefly so you can address the other topics that they weren’t as familiar with on the pre-test.
Engage Every Learning Style
There are several learning styles to consider when hosting a training seminar: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or cognitive.
It is up to you to engage these various learning styles throughout the seminar so that everyone finishes with same general understanding of the material. Brainstorm ideas for different exercises people can work through for every subject you’re covering during your training seminar.
Encourage Prop Usage
Distribute a list of materials participants will need for the seminar beforehand. These materials, which can range from practical tools to totally silly ones, should be incorporated into the training as a method for kinesthetically engaging and teaching your audience.
Plus, if you suggest that a bright yellow balloon represents something related to the training material, participants will always associate yellow balloons with that lesson. Kids aren’t the only ones that enjoy playing with toys.
Training can be monotonous. Therefore, it’s up to you to make it fun for everyone. Since you might be hosting your training seminar online, the sky’s the limit when it comes to making the material fun. Host a five-minute contest during one of the lessons that asks participants to find the funniest picture/meme/video online that represents the material being discussed.
The Student Becomes The Teacher
Begin a portion of your training seminar with some general material for participants to look over, then ask them to present the information to one another. Not only does this encourage interaction and engagement amongst the training group, you might discover a new method for teaching a topic you hadn’t considered previously.
Build in break times during your seminar. Tell attendees to step away from their computers for 10 minutes to refresh their brains and energy levels. If you try to execute a four hour long seminar without any breaks, people are only going to remember fragments of your presentation.
Taking a few breaks throughout the seminar will help people retain the information.
An online training seminar means you can make use of the wonderful content available on the Internet. Videos, GIFs, photos, and interactive tools are some great options for incorporating creative teaching into your seminar.
Let’s say you’re training a group on a new database system. Find a funny GIF that illustrates the process of using (or not using) this database correctly. Think outside of the box, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Keep it simple, smartypants! The more complex your training seminar is, the harder it is going to be for your participants to remain engaged. Comb through your seminar material, edit any dense portions to be more user-friendly, and remove redundancies that aren’t reinforcing crucial takeaways.
After participants have completed your online training seminar, offer them some kind of token, such as a certificate. Having some kind of physical representation of the time and work they dedicated to the seminar will encourage them to revisit the information while they show pride in completing the course.