Once you know what kind of training you need to design, you can begin to gather together the materials required to help you reach your training objectives with the group.
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Your materials are a very important component of training. Make sure that the materials you will rely on are current and applicable. There is no point in gathering material about sales techniques, for example, when the techniques listed in your resources have been well proven to be ineffective and are no longer used.
In addition, be careful with information that you glean from the Internet; while we can find virtually anything on the World Wide Web, sometimes what you are finding is information, but what you actually want is knowledge.
Copyright laws vary around the world, but they are uniformly strict. If you are using materials that someone else has written (whether they are published or not) or you plan to include copies of articles or other information, make sure that you have written permission from the copyright holder, and that you note their permission properly within your materials.
Identifying and Resolving Gaps in Learning
Now that you know what your training objectives are and you have your materials gathered, take some time to formally evaluate where the gaps are in learning so that you can design a tailored training plan.
Ask yourself questions that pertain to the following domains of knowledge:
- As a result of this training, what is important that people know?
- What do participants need to know that they did not know before?
- How do I want participants to feel about what they learn?
- Am I trying to create a positive attitude toward a changed process, excitement about a new idea, or self-confidence over their ability to perform?
- How do I want them to relate to people in ways they have not before?
- What do participants need to do that is different from what they did before?
- Are there behaviors that need to or will change as a result of the training?
To answer the questions, you will need to gather more information than you actually need.
Thoroughly research your topic, analyse the training material, and then distill it down to the essentials that you will use. Having too much information will mean that you do not run out of content during training, and that you have the resources available so that you can answer questions that people ask. Remember, sometimes our audience knows more than we expected, and material becomes redundant very quickly.
Here are a few research tips that will help you to determine trends that may be impacting the industry or organisation, and will help you to locate your reference material:
- What articles have been published in trade or industry articles in the last 12-24 months?
- What articles have appeared in business or popular publications in the last 12 months?
- What topics are being blogged about repeatedly in the last 12 months? (Be careful about using the information, as we mentioned previously. Blogs can tell you what the hot button issues are, and provide you with information, but they could be thin on research or knowledge.)
- What books have been published on the subject in the last year?
- Which topics appear over and over again on conference programs for this industry?
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