Trainers: What are some proven ways to get engagement from your learners?

  • Please share some tricks of the trade so that we all can make our courses more enjoyable for our students.

  • I have good experience with the following points and have received good feedback from my learners.
    Use “lifelike” methods: I mean methods ,that can the learner use anytime, anywhere. For example: “avoid the words "man" or "but" in you communication”. Everyone can use and exercise it in both, in the private and in the business environment.
    Use metaphors that are encountered everywhere: E.g. “if you point with one finger at someone, you point three fingers at yourself at the same time”. We have our hand with us everywhere. (one of my next Blog ist about it, see ; the text is in German)
    Use Stories, that are short enough and imaginable for everyone: E.g. the story of chicken and pig most used in SCRUM-Training.
    Avoid to “convince” your learners of the advantage of your training stuff: My motto is "a convinced customer is a lost customer". Therefore, learners should find out for themselves what advantages the training will bring them. The trainer should list and speak about the potential advantages of the training. He should introduces the advantages and gives the possibility to the learners so, that they can “imagine” the advantages for themselves. He should leave the choice of “which is really an advantage for the individual learner” to the learner himself. An attempt to “convince” them turns into negative ones.
    And every learner himself is a potential supplier of the advantages of training. I.e. the trainer should actively listen emphatic, sensitively and insightful. And so he will find more advantage of his training, which he possibly never thought about it.
    Organize every training as a “process” rather than a “project”: In my experience, a curriculum is necessary, but every training should be dynamically enough adapted to the learner. Place the road map of your training visible for all an the pinboard. Communicate the actual position every appropriate time and Ask your learners over and over: are they in the same position as you think? If no, take a moment and handle the Task. The action can be: repeat a stuff, wait for a part to recive this position or even change the part of road map or do completely another thing as you ever scheduled. The goal shall be “satisfied learners” rather “satisfied trainer”. And I thing “satisfied learners” make “satisfied trainer” and no inverse.
    And finally, don't forget "humor": Especially for technically demanding training. Well known, "humor is a camel with which you can ride through any desert"

    Note: I hope to have presented the points in an understandable way in English. Otherwise I am happy to speak about them with you directly.

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