Your PowerPoint slides are a masterpiece, your materials are back from the printer’s and the opening speech you drafted would put Martin Luther King to shame. But wait a minute, is that good training?
I don’t think it is. ‘Less is more’ in art, design, and architecture, and less can also be more in training. Here are five principles that will set you on your way to becoming a minimalist trainer.
1. Tire out your trainees, don’t tire out yourself. If you’re trainees leave the room less tired than you are, you did too much. You wouldn’t expect your trainer at the gym to break a sweat each time you workout; rhe more heavy lifting they’re doing, the more they’ll learn.
2. Ditch the PPT. PowerPoint presentations are exactly that, presentations. They’re not made for training, so stop basing your training round a PPT and start basing it round your trainees instead.
3. Frustrate your trainees. Being challenged, getting pushed, figuring things out - these can all be frustrating experiences. If you’re trainees never get frustrated, they’re probably not acquiring as much as they could be.
4. Make your trainees make your materials. Role cards, examples and exams all take ages to prepare, but does anyone care except you? Get your trainees invested in the training by creating their own materials. Doing a roleplay? Get the trainees to invent characters and role cards. Testing your trainees mid-course? Ask trainees to create exams for each other.
5. Make the trainees the trainer. You get a black belt in minimalism in you can pull this off. Give trainees topics to research and then train the other trainees. There might not be any Pulitzer Prize winning workshops, but your trainees will absorb more by researching, planning and presenting than they ever will from listening.
If you’re a trainer, you’re getting paid to make people learn, not to be busy. So stop being so busy and help people learn.