As trainers, we all know how boring didactic presentations are for learners.
The way to combat dull PowerPoint-driven sessions is by knowing, understanding, and mastering your responsibilities as a facilitator of learning.
How can you get learners excited about and involved in learning?
- Know the subject well and be organized. Effective facilitation of learning begins with your understanding of the subject you are presenting. The more you know about the subject, the more effective you will be at facilitating a learning session based on it. However, there may be times when you are not the subject matter expert. You can still facilitate a learning program based on the subject; you just have to approach the session as though participants will learn through discovery, using their experiences and input.
- Lead self-directed learning activities. Self-directed learning places the responsibility for assimilating and integrating the discussed material onto the learner. You can apply self-directed learning by setting objectives and implementing small group exercises, case studies, and games.
- Engage through effective questions. Never present more than 8 to 12 minutes of information without asking questions to stimulate involvement and interactivity, clarify understanding, and verify learners' ability to apply the knowledge, skills, and behaviors in an on-the-job situation.
- Demonstrate good platform skills. Platform skills are behaviors you demonstrate when presenting that can augment or, unfortunately, sometimes detract from your live presentation. Effective presenters know how to modify their behavior to focus the audience members' attention on key information.
- Use media and visual aids properly. Visual aids are a useful but too often misused aspect of facilitation. Regarded by many as a lifesaver that can obscure the presenters' own shortcomings, visual aids should never be more than the icing on the cake. Using visual aids can increase the retention of material, but only if you use them effectively.
- Employ a takeaway tool. A "Key Takeaway" section allows learners to determine how they will use the learned information back on the job. Learners should complete their key takeaway section at the close of each day of a session and at the conclusion of the session.
How can you become a more effective learning facilitator? Our Trainer Certification page has information about how you can become a certified facilitator of learning. If you think you or your trainers would benefit from tailored training, our Training Solutions page also has a multitude of options to choose from or combine.