Four Stage Training Cycle For New Trainers

I wrote this in the intro of a recent facilitator's guide.  I realized that instinctively this was something that I do, however formalizing it was something useful for some inexperienced facilitators who had to work with my material.  It's a simple four stage cycle to teach content in a classroom setting.

You start out with a few minutes explaining what the class is about to learn.  It's not enough to simply introduce that the class will learn how to run reports, for example.  You need to explain why you run reports and perhaps give an example of a time when you would run reports.  Also provide them with what the benefit of this knowledge is to them and to the organization.  Without the benefit, they won't be interested in learning.

Demonstrate the procedure to the class.  Either have them follow along in their student guides, or better yet, have a volunteer perform the procedure while the students instruct them what the steps are according to the student guide.  Having the class instruct the volunteer is more engaging than simply watching you perform the steps.

Once the learners have seen the demonstration, give them a few minutes to try the procedure on their own.  Walk around the class and assist individuals who may be having difficulties.

Before moving on to the next topic, ask if there are any concerns or questions.  Briefly address these or write them down on the parking lot for later follow up.

This simple formula for training can be used if you are a new instructor, a subject matter expert with little or no facilitation experience, or if you are an instructor who hasn't been provided very good facilitation guides.  Repeat this cycle for all the content that needs to be taught and you will get through the training without too much difficulty.