Event Date: 06/27/2018 (2:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT)
John: Hello everyone and welcome to today’s webinar hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Geoff Nichols. My name is John and I will moderate today’s webinar, which will last approximately one hour. If you have any questions during the presentation, you can type them into the questions box at any time. We will answer questions as they come in live at the end of the presentation. Also, we have handouts that can be downloaded through GoToWebinar which are located in the handouts tab in your dashboard. Welcome Geoff and thank you for joining us today.
Geoff Nichols: Thank you John. I have to tell you that I’m really very excited to be here because this has got to be my favorite training topic ever. I’ve been training trainers and presenters and facilitators for the better part of my work life, and I just enjoy it immensely. I’m glad I have a chance to talk with people and talk about the skill of training and the art of training, which is where we personalize the techniques that we’re going to talk about and make them happen in such a way that it plays to our strengths rather than trying to do it like Geoff Nichols does or somebody else does. We won’t be doing best practices because I’m not a big believer in those because it suggests that they’re the kinds of things that everybody can do anywhere in any situation. And that’s just not true.
Geoff Nichols: What you’re going to find that of the 20 training tips and techniques that we’re going to be talking about today and that I’ll be explaining in as much detail as I can in the time allowed is that some of them are going to sound pretty good but then others are going to be, well, that’s just not me, it doesn’t fit my circumstances or something like that. And that’s just normal in training. We’re not going to go for best practices, we’re going to go for best skills for you out of this. Now, at the end of the day I think all trainers or people involved in training know that you only have three choices. You can choose to continue what you’re doing, and that’s probably working pretty well or you wouldn’t be on this webinar with us.
Geoff Nichols: But maybe you need to kind of juice it up and start doing a few things differently than you are. If for no other reason but to kind of reenergize yourself and reenergize your training or the last choice is there may be some things that we’re doing that we’ve built some, I won’t call them bad habits but ineffective approaches that we’re using that may not work as well as if we did them a different way. As you know, it’s what are you going to continue, what are you going to start and what are you going to stop. Those are the real questions that you need to ask yourself as we go through and certainly, I’ll bring them up again when we get to the end of the seminar.
Geoff Nichols: Now, we’re going to make this as participative as possible and we’ll start doing that with a poll coming up here very shortly. Plus, you can ask questions. Go into the question box on your dashboard and John will be kind of surveying them and seeing if we have time to go ahead and insert them into the presentation. And if not, then we’ll try to get them at the very end when we have a Q&A session. And if we still can’t get to them, then you have my guarantee that I will respond personally to every question that has been sent in that we didn’t have a chance to address in the presentation. Let’s get started and we’ll start with our first poll. Let’s go ahead, there we go. Poll one, go ahead and take a look at this it says what percentage of all trainers, and I’m going to include speakers, anybody who stands on their feet and addresses a group if you will, so trainers, speakers, perhaps even school teachers or preachers, the people that you’ve seen in your life.
Geoff Nichols: What percentage of them would you say are really very effective at conducting training or doing speaking? If you will, go ahead and select one that comes closest to your preference or your idea, and then we’ll see what we got. Looks like we’ve got just about everybody who’s voted and here’s how it goes. This is kind of interesting, 22% of you said 20% or less, 29% of you said 20 to 40%, and 43% said 40% to 60%. And I think that’s good news from my perspective, I ask this question often when I’m doing training. And the response I get most often is generally B, 20% to 40%. When I see 43% of you think that 40 to 60% of the trainers or speakers you have seen in your life are very effective, I think that’s a good number, that’s very good. Let’s go ahead and go on then to the next poll. And if you will, select one from the three choices available. How many of you are, and then pick the category that comes closest to you.
Geoff Nichols: Well, it looks like we’ve got just about everybody in. And the way the vote is going is that A, full-time contract trainers, we’re showing about 6% of the people listening right now consider themselves to be a part of group A. 43% consider themselves to be a part of group B, full-time internal organizational trainers. And 51% or C are occasional or part-time organizational or contract trainers. That’s very interesting and it helps me a lot because I’ve been in all three of these categories. And for the last 20 years or so have been a full-time contract trainer. But before that, I was an internal organizational trainer. And before that, I was involved in HR for about 10 years. And that involved occasional presentations whether it was for insurance or whatever it might be. This is quite interesting to me and this will help me direct the presentation to folks who are either full-time or occasional internal trainers.
Geoff Nichols: Don’t worry those of you who are contract trainers, I won’t leave you out. But most of my comments will be directed to the internal organizational people. Thank you. One last poll then, let’s go to poll question three, which one of the following training situations applies most to you? I train mostly through, pick one of those choices please. Wow, okay, very interesting. John, looks like we’ve got almost the whole vote in here. And I’m sure you’re seeing this as well as me. 9% of the people said that they do most of their training through webinars. 82% say that they do most of the training in classrooms or conference room settings. And 9% said one-to-one, and D, no others. And I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what that might be. But I wanted to make sure that I covered the waterfront. I was not expecting this, so it’s good to know that I’ve got a bunch of fellows stand-up presenters because that’s what I consider myself to be as somebody who shows up live, which is better than the alternative.
Geoff Nichols: But anyway, I’m there face to face with people and I really enjoy that. Thank you so much for sharing, and this will help me in directing my comments and in answering questions as we go along. Let’s go ahead and go to the next slide here. This is one of my favorite ones simply because it tells the tale of what we traders do. Now, most of you who’ve been around for a while in training know about this. For those of you who are fairly new or are part-timers, you may not be aware. But ADDIE is the acronym for Analyze, Design, Develop. Implement and Evaluate. Now, those aren’t difficult actions for us to figure out what we’re talking about here. But in analysis, what we’re doing is gathering data and looking to see if there is a true training need. For example, if we notice a rise in the number of people who are late on coming into work on Mondays, is that significant? Is it a training problem? Can it be remediated in any way through training?
Geoff Nichols: That’s what we’re doing is asking questions, gathering data. Let’s say we identify that, yes, it is a training issue and we need to come up with something. We design the program by outlining the major issues associated with it. This allows us to make sure that we are using good logic, good flow of content and also that we are covering all the topics in the correct order. Then we develop, and that essentially means write for those of you who are the writers. Sometimes, we trainers are training other people’s materials but it’s helpful for us to have ADDIE as a kind of a backup so that we can ask questions like why are we doing this, what are the results that we’re looking for, how will we know that we’re achieving them, will there be any follow up?
Geoff Nichols: These are all great training questions and ADDIE kind of leads us into them. We develop the training, we implement it and we conduct the training. And finally, we evaluate it. And the real question is are we accomplishing the learning objectives that we set out to do back in the design and development of the training program? Now, ADDIE has been around probably much longer than I have, I’ve been around a long time. It’s not something that’s new, but if you haven’t heard of it before, now, you’ve been reminded. And if you had, you can decide whether there’s something here that maybe you haven’t done over time. It’s easy to get, what’s the word, complacent. If you do a lot of training, you’re kind of sometimes throwing things into your mill and then churning out handouts and conducting training with perhaps not as much ADDIE involved as you would otherwise.
Geoff Nichols: Perhaps this will help that way. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the next part of what we’re talking about is methodology. Now, we’re beginning a process now, and I’m wondering if you’ll be able to identify it. You won’t be able to now, but here by the end of the session and I’ll ask you if you can think of what I’m trying to do. But here are some effective training methods, again, not best practices. Now, some people are wonderful lecturers. They’re great and burying their voice, they’re great at giving examples. Well, they just have some type of ability to get us to really want to listen to what they have to say even if it’s over an hour or four hours, we can sit and listen to their lecture all day long just because. I’m not that one, I’m somebody who can lecture for a short time but I have to get people involved. And by short time I mean, an hour is just about the length that anybody can lecture and still retain audience attention.
Geoff Nichols: It’s lucky that we’re in an hour webinar. But large group discussion where basically we’re throwing out questions, what do you think about this, how would we handle that, what if this happened? And you’ll think back to a time, those are all opening phrases for some really good group discussions. And don’t worry, I’m going to bring them up again. And then small group activities, which is the heart of a lot of training. And I think it’s the closest we can come in many ways to application, which is something that all the lecture, all the discussion, all the activities in the world are great, but until we actually have some kind of application exercises whether it’s individual, small group or otherwise, it doesn’t give people a chance to actually use the information. It’s a little bit like handing a book on somebody on how to swim who doesn’t know how to swim.
Geoff Nichols: They can read it, they can memorize it, but if they’ve never gotten in the pool, it’s a whole different experience. Application is absolutely crucial. We are going to be looking at more of these training methods as we go along, but let’s go ahead and let’s see here, take a look at the media that we have available to us. There’s actually a couple of pages of this and, again, these are many things that I’m reminding you of, And for some of you, they’ll be new. But by far and away, the one media that’s used most by a significant percentage is PowerPoint. Now, that’s not a shock to you, but it’s something that I think has got … It’s mixed gift, meaning that PowerPoint is great right up until people start doing things like reading the bullet points one by one and then explaining them. I’d rather that you look at them and then we can talk about them to the extent that it makes sense. And in this setting, it won’t make sense for us to talk because it’s to … The webinar setting doesn’t allow that very much except through chat and through questions.
Geoff Nichols: Flipcharts come next in terms of, and I’m not saying priority or preference or effectiveness, I’m saying that these are the order that they’re in, they’re just the ones frankly that I thought of most. But PowerPoint always comes to mind first. Flipcharts, a lot of people refer to it as old school. To me, I use a lot of flipcharts in conjunction with a PowerPoint. And I’ll mention how I do that as we go along. But I think PowerPoint and flipcharts really help you a lot, and there’s always one question you have to ask yourself, what if the PowerPoint breaks? What do I do then? What if it just blocks out on me? We have a little surge in power and everything goes to heck and a handbag, what do I do then? Well, I’m going to give you an answer in a second, well, I’ll give it to you right now. It’s all on you. We want to have as many techniques as possible and other backup kinds of efficacies or things that we can use so that we are not stymied because we have no PowerPoint slide to read.
Geoff Nichols: If you’re dependent on PowerPoint, you’re at some peril. And the peril may not be the fact that you can’t do anything if the power goes out or the machine breaks, the peril may be that as we tend to read, we tend to get more boring to be quite honest. Handouts are great, I like to use handouts for especially when I’m doing pairs exercises and I need to give person A this part of the process and I’m going to give person B another part and maybe person C. And then I’ll put them in a panel and they’ll have to … For example, I might do that, I have done that in panels in which I’ve asked people to debate the pluses and minuses of legalizing marijuana. And I assure them I have no strong feelings nor are there any right answers, this is an exercise in being able to articulate things that matter a lot to you but which are not likely to result in fistfights in the group.
Geoff Nichols: Pick a little bit of controversy, and I’ll give a handout to person A that says, you’re all over this. You think marijuana is something that should be legalized, should have been a long time ago especially medical marijuana and so forth and so on whereas person B I’ll say you are adamantly opposed, marijuana is a gateway drug that’s been proven time and again, doo-dah, doo-dah. That sets up an interesting panel and it causes people to sometimes to think outside of their comfort zone. For example, in that particular training exercise, I listened to a man who made a poignant plea against marijuana and he had all his facts and he was very credible and he was passionate. And I talked to him in my break, and I said, “Boy, you did a good job, you must really be for marijuana.” He said, “No, I’m absolutely opposed to it.” He was a guy who could step out of his comfort zone and argue the other side’s case, which is very difficult for a lot of people to do.
Geoff Nichols: It’s an interesting kind of exercise in itself. And then, of course, videos and audios. I regard these as seasoning like salt if you like, salt or pepper, whatever your seasoning is. It’s not a main course, but it certainly adds to it. I would tell you this from my own experience that videos that last much more than 10 or 15 minutes are sleep producers among your audience at least in my experience. And in some cases, it goes beyond sleep and right into coma. They’re just not right for the rest of your training session. Second slide on this is the electronic whiteboards. Guys, I love electronic whiteboards. They’re great tools for leading discussions, they also give you the ability to record the information written on the board. And then we can convert that into a copy for handouts eight-and-a-half by 11 copy for handouts. And this is technology that’s not new, it’s been around for quite some time, probably at least 20 years.
Geoff Nichols: But it’s expensive and it’s something that not everybody can use. And what do you do with having a flip chart, you can have 10 or 20 of those in your large organization and that works just fine. You can’t handle 10 or 20 electronic whiteboards if nothing else for expense. Plus, they’re not always as good about capturing the writing on the board as we would hope they would. Virtual meeting technology, we’re using right now, GoToMeeting, Skype, WebEx. There’s a bunch of them now, which I was kind of astonished to find out. I thought it was just basically between the two GoToMeeting and WebEx, but there’s a lot more people who have offerings in that applications. One also media is what I call a prop. We’re going to talk about this later, but let’s say that you’re trying to train a technical class and it’s some kind of technical thing that has to do with the carburetor or the fuel injector of a turbocharged engine, it’s a lot easier if you have an example in hand that you can pass around and you can point to rather than just using a diagram.
Geoff Nichols: And then finally as always, the best training media you have is you because of something I call IVEE, that involves involvement, variety, enthusiasm and examples. Let’s just go ahead and take a look at this. Let me remain quiet, ask you to read through these and then we’ll discuss it or least I’ll present about it in just a moment. Now, this is an acronym I coined because it seems to me that there are a whole set of skills within each of these, but you only need one from each of these and be able to use it well. And it doesn’t even have to be all four of them, I’m just saying, for example, in involvement you may be the king or queen of asking the group questions or asking individuals questions. I keep coming back to involvement because if I had to prioritize one skill set that I think is most important, it would certainly be involvement.
Geoff Nichols: I have to admit that on my training evaluations when I’ve been marked down by my audience, for example, if I didn’t get the on a five-point scale I was hoping to get, it’s generally because they had comments like there was too much lecture or there wasn’t enough involvement, I never said a word. Those are the kinds of things that I hope that you can avoid getting in yours, but that’s been my experience. Variety is just doing something different, break up the monotony, that’s a key, enthusiasm. Now, for example, if I don’t show excitement, how can you be excited about it? It’s the difference between opening by saying this is one of my favorite topics ever and I’m really pleased to be here and saying hello, I’m Geoff and I’m really excited to be here because this is one of my favorite topics. Let’s go to slide one. Now, obviously, I’m exaggerating just a little bit but I think we’ve all seen speakers like this.
Geoff Nichols: And they’re not bad people, they’re not trying to be bad. In some cases, they’re terrified and they’re trying to make sure that they don’t shut down or forget something along the way. I’m not putting them down, I’m simply saying that if you want enthusiasm, we’ve got to model it. Let’s take a look at what each one means. I said that each one had a skill set associated with them. If we take a look at involvement, we’ve seen these before, haven’t we? Ask questions, I think that’s probably the number one thing that I do but also directed tasks. Now, if you don’t know what a directed task is, it’s tell the group I’d like for you to write down the number that comes to mind most quickly between 1 and 50. And then perhaps having some kind of exercise where you say, “Okay, the number that came up most often was in the 30s. And out of that, 32 seemed to be the best one. Let’s turn to page 32 in the workbook.” What’s the point? It was just an involvement device, but it was fun.
Geoff Nichols: And I told them what to do and they did it. As trainers, we have enormous power that way and that we can tell our audiences what we want them to do and they will do it because they trust us. Lord help us if we embarrass them or if it seems really silly beyond belief because we lose that trust. Visualizations are wonderful, they start out with phrases like think back to a time or let’s see, imagine what you would do in this situation. What if we were to blank, blank, blank? What we’re doing is getting people to think in terms of pictures. And sometimes, we can do it this way, how about this kind of a story. We’ll combine a couple of techniques here, storytelling and visualization. And that is imagine if you will that you’ve been invited to a wedding, you had to drive about six hours to get there. When you got there, you found out it was in a country church that holds about 50 people but 100 people have been invited and they’re all there.
Geoff Nichols: Everybody packs into this, and all of a sudden, it gets dark outside, the clouds roll in and you can start to hear thunder. And you’ve got all these people squeezed together, you can smell the sweat and it’s getting darker and darker by the minute and people are really getting upset. And then there’s this huge boom of thunder and a torrential rain begins. No, I just painted a visual picture. And my guess is that most of you if not all of you were there in that church with me and wishing you weren’t. That’s maybe the feeling that I want to get across to you in a visualization. And then there’s applications, which we really kind of already talked about two times. This is the third time, large group, small group,, individual exercises, things that help people assess themselves as listeners, as managers, as speakers. We’ve all done these before, we’ve got personality assessments. There’s a lot of different kinds of applications. And it’s a great way to get people thinking about what you want them to be thinking about at this particular time.
Geoff Nichols: Applications, sometimes directed tasks are sometimes not regarded as involvement. We have to be clear when we give the task, “Okay, let’s get everybody together here on this and let’s do this,” and then give a directed task so that they can see that they’re a part of something that they’re doing and that that’s an involvement device. Let’s move on to variety, IVEE. Take a moment, please read these and then we’ll talk about them. You can change the media, that means you may use video. You can use audio, the media might be in some type of role play that you use. You can change your speech and that becomes this whole thing about you being your best audio visual aid. If you’re gesturing, if you’re kind of telegraphing the feeling that you want them to have by your facial expressions. If you come up with a surprising fact, well, then have a surprising look on your face. If you come up with something that’s really unpleasant, have a kind of a screwed up face where you’re kind of frowning and unhappy looking.
Geoff Nichols: What we do is in effect act out much of what we are trying to get across to them. And it’s amazing how much better that they respond to and think that our presentations are more interesting and more attention-getting. And that’s really what I’m trying to do. If I can get your attention, then I can focus you on a particular issue and lay it out for you and let you make a choice. You want to change your media, you want to change your speech, maybe change your movement and you move from one side of the room or conference room to the other. You don’t always have to be in front of the room. But don’t do it with purpose, don’t pace for crying out loud. That puts you in the lower echelon of speakers in my opinion when I see pacing going on. It means they haven’t got control of the nervousness and they’re hoping that people won’t notice that they’re playing with the cord of the microphone sometimes.
Geoff Nichols: Let’s keep moving here, examples. Thank goodness, I thought I’d misspelled that there. Anecdotes, which are short stories. When I say short stories, I mean short. Three minutes, four minutes kind of like the church anecdote that I told you with the thunder and all that. Simulations, really nothing more than role plays. It depends though if you are training on equipment and to the extent that you can do it and keep it safe. Get them on equipment, in the equipment any way you can, get them up close and personal with the equipment, again, with safety as the primary directive there if you will. Demonstrations, that can be you or maybe somebody who’s really good at something that we’re trying to train at the time and we know this because we know that person asked somebody from the group to give a mini presentation. Be careful though, sometimes we get folks who want to be the presenter and are glad to have the opportunity to give just a short 60-minute demonstration. That’s not what we’re looking for, we’re looking for a short three-minute, five-minute, six-minute demonstration.
Geoff Nichols: And then artifacts, which are the same things as, I guess you could say props. They are things that you can handle, they’re things that people look at. To the extent that we can get people involved with specific examples. Enthusiasm, now, I hope you can tell by my voice that I’m excited because I really do love this stuff. And I’ve trained probably more than 150 professional trainers in my time over the years, which may be a low figure, I don’t know. But it was personal one-on-one, and what I can tell you is that what I told them time and again is if you’re not enthusiastic, they won’t be enthusiastic and it’ll show in their learning and it’ll show your evaluation ratings as well. How do we do it? Well, think about how I’ve been doing it. If you could see me, you could see my hands flying around right now. You could also see the smile on my face. You can hear me so you can tell that I’ve got a fair amount of energy that I’m injecting to this. I don’t normally speak this way to people.
Geoff Nichols: I don’t speak this way to my wife or my son or anything like this. But when I’m training, I become a lot more animated because, well, I think it’s more interesting. and then I’m going to choose words that are different so that I can … Well, for example, let me put it this way. I might actually have, let’s see. I’ll use words that are more highfalutin, there tend to be more attention getting there, what I call power words. And they’re things like we have a golden opportunity to capture the skills we need as trainers and seize control of our future. Now, of course, the power words there is golden opportunity, capture, seize, control. These are words that resonate with people. Now, where do we find these words, words like this, there are two older books. I say older because I think they were published in the 90s, but I think you can still get them through Amazon. And they’re simply titled words that sell number one and words that sell number two. And meaning what we’re doing here is selling a concept.
Geoff Nichols: And we can use the marketing expertise that other people have garnered to our advantage as trainers. Use your speech and use your words to capture people’s attention and seize the opportunity if you can. Humor. Now, humor is probably something that for me, it’s the hardest thing to train at all. I’ve kind of broken it down this way. For me, the best humor is what I call natural humor. It comes out of the comments of our audience members. They’ve got some great experiences and if we just give them the opportunity to give us their humor, then we can use it later. For example, this goes back years and years, I remember a lady that was in one of my classes that I was doing, it was a public seminar. And we had a workbook which people filled in. And one of those questions said, this was for time management now. And it said be sure to control your environment, as a matter of fact, keep a blank and use it. Just for fun I said, write what you think goes in the blank. And most people got it, keep a clock and use it.
Geoff Nichols: But this one particular lady had filled in with keep a gun and use it to help manage your time. Now, at the time, it was hilarious. But I wouldn’t have gotten that if I had not given the opportunity for people to be able to give their input and give us their humor. I like natural humor, it’s better than jokes. And it’s not forced, it just seems to happen. I would say here as it says, be brief, be clean, be relevant. And leave the sarcasm and the making fun and the puns to the stand-up comics. Trying to be clever has never really worked for me. I never tell jokes because I tell them badly. I only give examples from what I have already shared with you. My advice to you when it comes to humor is be ready to play, have a playful attitude going in to the training. And it will encourage people to be playful right back at you. Feel free to make fun of yourself if you make a mistake and people will understand that you’re just like them and you make mistakes too.
Geoff Nichols: But also, feel free to laugh and smile because it’ll encourage them to do the same thing, at least, that’s what’s worked for me. I’m not known as being a funny guy, but for some reason, I get a lot of comments on that in evaluations. And it just happens because I’m able to play along with the group. Let’s keep moving. Things that we can do, I want to give you some examples of what we can do. One of the things, the principles of humor are exaggeration, non-sequiturs, that is things that don’t follow logically, unexpected endings and overreactions. If I want to exaggerate wildly, I might say something like my allergies make my head feel like it’s the size of a [bulick 00:36:26]. In itself, it may not be funny, but the way I deliver it might be a little bit more funny. Non-sequiturs is he was so kind and supportive kind of like my IRS auditor. Kind and supportive does not match with an IRS auditor. Unexpected endings, now, this is something that’s hard to do I think. They tend to be the ones that bubble up like keep a gun and use it.
Geoff Nichols: For example, here’s one that I got from a trainer that I was watching. He said we were so shocked when this group of employees walked in. All of them sweaty, dirty, the clothes were dirty, they looked surly, they were complaining roundly. And then came in the men. The implication is that it was the women who had dirty clothes, looked surly, complained loudly and that sort of thing. At the time, it was really funny. That’s what we’re looking for or overreactions. And this is something where maybe I’m a frustrated clown, but I like to do double takes when an attendee says something funny. I may raise one eyebrow and then widen my eyes and look at the rest of the group as if to say, is he serious, is that real? Have fun with humor but don’t force it. And my strong suggestion is don’t tell jokes. Three of whatever’s, three longshoreman went into a bar. Those kinds of things often don’t work out well. What I call it is natural humor.
Geoff Nichols: Okay. Now, let’s go ahead and go on to the resources. Whoops, okay. We’re going to go on to resources here to give you an idea of where you might go. Let me remain quiet for a few seconds and let you read through the list. Now, what I can say here is that we have done something here that is another training technique. And I bet some of you have already picked it up, and the word is simply repetition. I’ve repeated some principles several times throughout this presentation in the hope that it will be something that kind of catches your attention at some point. One of the things that I have not repeated to you is this youtube.com. I wish I was getting paid for this, but I’ve referred people to this almost every presentation that I make that that has to do with the topic where it would be relevant. And that is there is a something done by a man named Don McMillan on YouTube. And the title of it is life after death by PowerPoint.
Geoff Nichols: And what he does is used tremendous exaggeration about things that people do to make PowerPoint just awful. And in the process, it’s a great instructive tool. If you’re doing training or if you just want to have some fun and some giggles, and I mean, you’ll probably be smiling very big if not laughing out loud. But he’s got several versions there when you go to YouTube if you do. And the one that I think is funniest is 8 minutes and 30 seconds long. I heartily encourage you to go see Don McMillan. Now, he is a stand-up comedian, but it’s clear he’s been in the corporate environment because he does a good job of making fun of the corporate environment. That’s where we are, repetition is the key. And what I’d like for you to go away with here is the concept of IVEE. I have use IVEE a great design and development piece after I’ve done my analysis using the ADDIE, Analysis, Design, Development and Implementation and then finally, Evaluation.
Geoff Nichols: When I’m designing and developing, I’m going to look for ways to use IVEE along the way. It’s one thing to plan your training, but it’s another thing that you can use as a mid course delivery. If you have something happen like, I know I had a trainer one time that reported to me, she was one of our best seminar presenters for a seminar company that I worked for. And she was having a tough group meaning, that they were non-responsive. Any or some of her best funny lines weren’t working at all and she was getting very frustrated. And she talked with me at [inaudible 00:41:50], she said, “I don’t know what to do, have you got any suggestions?” All I can think of is just to give them last rites and move on, which in itself was pretty funny. But we’re going to run into those groups. The thing about humor is that IVEE helps guide where we can use our humor. If you remember, involvement, variety, enthusiasm. And let’s see what was that last one, got you. It’s example, isn’t it? When I ask that question, you all focused on example.
Geoff Nichols: Those are the ways that we can be better trainers, those are some of the most effective training techniques that I know of. And I hope that you’ll have a chance to use them. Now, before we go, I want to make sure that you have every resource possible. One last resource deserves its own page, and, of course, I wouldn’t disturb HRDQ if I didn’t bring this up. HRDQ has got some wonderful materials. And this is a package for train-the-trainer that I think anybody who is a part-time trainer especially and sometimes even the full-time trainers, this is a great way to get yourself out of your comfort zone. I know I spend too much time there myself and it’s fun to stretch yourself by doing things differently. This train-the-trainer package I think is something that you’ll find most valuable. We’ve kind of reached a point here where I have not a whole lot more to say other than IVEE is the best takeaway that I want you to take from here. ADDIE is second to that.
Geoff Nichols: And third, I guess I would say is just be playful. Go into it saying I’m going to have fun. In, fact I say that to some of my groups. Everyone in these presentations is fun for me and you’re invited to come along. If you’ve got something to say that you think is kind of funny, bring it up and make sure it’s topic relevant and we can all have some fun. Invite them to play and they will. Let’s see here, training techniques that work. That’s the conclusion John, have we gotten any questions?
John: Yes, Geoff, we do have some questions. And for those that are unaware, you can’t submit your questions via the questions box now. We have a great question from Jessica who asks, involvement is key, but when you get blank stares from the audience who refuse to respond, what do you do?
Geoff Nichols: I think the first thing I do is put them into pairs and have them do some kind of directed task. For example, I’ve got a training on virtual team membership now in an organization where there’s a problem that people are really not doing well with virtual, they don’t know how to be good virtual team members. What we’re going to do is talk about the pros and cons of virtual team membership and what we can do to bolster the pros in reduce the cons. I find a directed exercise Jessica and in effect force them to interact whether they want to or not. And if I have to, if they’re still not going to give me reports out of what they discussed, then I’ll say, “Okay, John and Betty, what did you come up with? Betty, why don’t we start with you? And then John, what would you like to add to what Betty said?” If I need to, I’ll be very directive with groups that are low in response. Any other question?
John: Yes, Geoff, we have a question from Stephanie. She asks, how can you conduct a training that needs to be technical oriented, meaning review on the features and troubleshooting of a software or report?
Geoff Nichols: Gosh, I wish you’d given me a hard one there John that one will be no problem at all. Give me a minute, I’ve gt to come up with something. Oh, okay, I gotta tell you what you just outlined is the hardest thing to do in technical training and especially when we’re using diagrams on PowerPoint, it’s really tough on people. And I’m going to suggest strongly that if you haven’t already, that you come up with the actual parts that go together in the instruction that you’re doing and do the training in small groups two or three or four if it’s at all possible. It’s really hard to do technical training in groups of 50 or 60. But if you can get it down to 10, 12 or less, then you can actually show people step-by-step what’s going on. If you are in small groups, excuse me, in large groups where it’s not practical to do what I just said, which is talk to them one-on-one and show them with your own hands what you would do.
Geoff Nichols: If it’s possible to have a camera that can be projected and shows you doing this, doing the things that need to be done to this technical part, then that’s one thing. But if not, then I would break it down, break then instruction down into packets of training where you go the first three steps and the next three steps. And keep them as simple as possible, break them down to the most basic level that you can. And then begin to explain them step by step and then maybe even quiz. For example, I might say, “Okay, now, Bob we’ve been through this three-step process a couple of times, what do you think about the second step in the process where we’re actually matching one part to another part? What do you think is the greatest challenge there Bob?” When I ask questions of people, I try not to put them on the spot. I give them fair warning that I’m going to ask them a question so I’ll lead with their name and then I’ll telegraph what I’m going to ask right up front.
Geoff Nichols: And then to the extent that, I can I’ll make it an opinion question, what are your impressions of that second step Bob? Does it seem more difficult or more easy? What would you like to have reexplained? The technical things can be tough especially when you’re using PowerPoint. Small groups are the way that I go there. What else?
John: Okay, great, we have a question from Renee. Renee asks, I have a trainer who veers off topic often and ultimately loses the audience. How can I get him to stick to the information?
Geoff Nichols: Okay, that’s a hard one. And I think that there’s a couple of questions you have to ask yourself. If you could give him $100 million to do it as he should, the exact correct way, go through by the bullet points and go them step-by-step and he could do that for two weeks and you give him $100 million, could he do it? The answer is probably yes, which means that it’s not so much a training problem as it is an attitudinal problem or some other kind of problem. There might be a certain amount of counseling that needs to be done and holding accountable by being in this trainer’s training. On the other hand, there may be other issues. I’m not trying to be funny here, but there may be some type of dyslexia, there might be some heretofore, undiagnosed autism on the scale. There might be some reason that you can probe for. But I have to admit, I’m one of those trainers who wander off course but I always come back to the main point. And I don’t wander very far.
Geoff Nichols: I hope that helps Renee. That is hard to think of, but give them the basics you, here’s what I need you to do, one, two, three. And I’m going to be looking for it, please keep your presentation down to those three steps.
John: Great. Thank you Geoff, we do have another question from [Peru 00:50:25], some facilitators initiate the training and let the group take over, is this effective?
Geoff Nichols: No, I think that it’s the trainer’s responsibility to maintain control. And I’m saying this with a bit of a hypocrisy because I’ve had groups get out of control especially on difficult topics, [inaudible 00:50:45] management kinds of topics and other kinds of things which there are high emotions associated with it. I understand when that happens to people and it’s not like I’ve never had it happen. I’ve had it happen a number of times. However, I think it’s important for the trainer if necessary to … I’m gifted from the standpoint that I can whistle real loud, and I’m not shy about doing it. I have a friend named Anna who’s a excellent trainer. What she’ll do is grab a wastepaper basket and bang it if she needs to get everybody’s attention. But what we have to do is to interrupt the wildfire of out of controlness and maybe set the ground rules.
Geoff Nichols: That would be the first thing I’d say anyway is set the ground rules first for the group. We need to have a civil discussion and we also need to make sure that the other person understands our point before we move on to something else or get in depth. And as the trainer, I’ll arbitrate any problems that might come up and we may have to set a few of them off to the side and take them up after class. If we serve notice what’s going to happen if we have a tough one, and sometimes we get surprised but other times, we know that we’re likely dealing with people who like to talk. I found that lawyers are ones that do enjoy talking and arguing. I found engineers are hard to get to talk sometimes. I guess what I do is set the ground rules and then when they do it, I interrupt the process where the discussion is spinning out of control and take control, cease it back from the group.
John: Great, we do have time for a couple more. Julene asks, how do you keep learners engaged when you have multiple skill levels in the same class, beginner versus more expert, for example?
Geoff Nichols: Excellent question. Now, there are a couple of ways to do that. And in some cases, we have that right now. We’ve got beginners and we probably have some old hands or just see if they can get reminded of something, to review things they know or maybe come up with a new idea here. What I’m going to do is give the … In these kinds of situations, I’m going to acknowledge that we have a disparity between experience levels or knowledge levels simply on the basis of tenure or training or something like that. Now, I’m going to ask the experienced trainer, excuse me, the experienced people in the room to help out by becoming a kind of a coach for any inexperienced people. And I might even go so far as to go ahead and put them in pairs or triads.
Geoff Nichols: I would keep them small so that if we have an experienced person that they’re not dealing with more than one or two people so that when we say something that may be of a technical nature that goes beyond the experience level of some people, I’ll say, “Okay, let’s go into our coaching pairs or triads and let me ask the coaches then to help out the trainees,” or [cochise 00:54:13] I should say. And then I’m going to want to report back from you as to what you talked about and what the advice was.
John: Great, we do have a couple of more minutes. Desiree asks Geoff, how do you train on products in a retail setting when you do not have those products physically available where people may have not tried these products on their own before?
Geoff Nichols: That’s interesting. I think what we have to do, we may have to do some of the things that they themselves have not had time to do or maybe did not take time to do. And that is to have some type of a bulleted or brief synopsis about the product that they can read in a manner of seconds. That’s why I say bulleted so that they’re in a position to be able to say, “Well, this product is warranted for five years, which is the most in the industry. It also is stainless steel, which is not the rule. You want to make sure that when you buy this that you get stainless steel,” and blah, blah, blah down the bullets. I’d keep it to top three or four or five bullets. But if people have not experienced it, they really don’t know what the product is and they wouldn’t know how to demonstrate it, then you give them words to say in bulletized form.
John: Great, and we do have time for one more question. Laura asks, what suggestions do you have for politely shutting down someone who is dominating the discussion?
Geoff Nichols: That’s an excellent question. And I run into that often, and I’m fairly comfortable with this, I’ll just interrupt them. I’ll just say, “Geoff, thank you very much. We need to get other people involved here because you’re carrying the load man. Let’s put some other people to work.” Try to make it fun and light-hearted in terms of not putting him or her down for talking too much but actually kind of semi blaming the group for not saying much. Now, there’s another issue here and that is that that person might be that way at work too where they kind of run over people, just everybody acquiesces to them. If that’s the case, then I’m going to say, “Okay, Bob, thanks. I appreciate your input, let’s get some input from some other people. And let’s go over here to Diane. Diane, tell me what your thoughts are about what Bob said? And Bob, please let her finish her comments. But then Diane I want to hear what your thoughts are especially if they are different or you’ve got a different angle on it.”
Geoff Nichols: “Diane, tell us about what you think about Bob’s comments and then tell us what your comments would be that you would add to them?” I get very directive at that point and I am not averse to interrupting and saying the same thing again if Bob maybe tend to be kind of an aggressive individual. I may say, “Bob, thanks. Again, you’re doing a great job of answering everything for everybody, let’s make sure that they do some of the work again.” I’ll just repeat myself. Now, if it’s problematic and we have a chance to have a break, I may call an unscheduled break and have a chance to talk with Bob as politely as possible say, “We really do need to get other people involved and I’d really like your help on this. If you could wait and allow others to give their input before you speak, I’ll really appreciate it.” Be directive, keep control. If necessary, go directly to Bob at a break but certainly Bob is trying his best probably, I take the constructive view here.
Geoff Nichols: Some people have the need to feel like they want to demonstrate that they know a lot. And I understand that, we just need to kind of set the parameters by which they can input to the group. And I’ll do it time after time. Every time they start dominating the discussion, I’ll stop in the same way again. Let’s put them back to work Bob, don’t do it for them. I’ll try to do it light heartedly. I think we’re obligated to do that, we don’t want to embarrass anybody even Bob.
John: Great, those were some great questions. Unfortunately, that is all the time we have for today. Thank you to Geoff. And for everybody on the line, we appreciate your time and hope you found today’s webinar informative. If we did not get to your question, you will receive an email next week with all questions and Geoff’s answers. Also, for information on upcoming webinars or to register for future webinars, please visit hrdqu.com/upcoming. Thank you everyone.
Geoff Nichols: Thank you John.
Training is a critical strategy for every organization’s success. It’s one of the most important methods each organization has for managing its employees’ performance, supporting its product and service quality and developing the talent it needs to continue growing over the long-term. This webinar provides the essential information and skill development trainers need to develop and deliver high-quality training that improves organizational performance.
Who Should Attend
- Human Resources Professionals
- Organizational Development Professionals
Participants Will Learn
- Describe the principles and process needed in order to develop and deliver training that enables employees to meet and exceed performance standards for their jobs
- Answer the one, most important question in training before developing or delivering it.
- Capture learners’ attention quickly and positively in the opening of a training session
- Use compelling language to keep learner attention
- Apply a variety of training methods in order to keep training sessions interesting, participative and impactful for learners by using the IVEE approach (Involvement, Variety, Enthusiasm & Examples)
- Evaluate how well the training accomplished training objectives.
Presenter's Name Here
With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Safety Engineering and decades of managing people and processes, Geoff Nichols has a wide and deep background to draw from in helping his training and coaching clients. In his approach to management, training and coaching, he emphasizes the need to use situational leadership and the ability to flex to work colleagues’ and team members’ communication needs in order to be more successful in any job.
Business training has been Geoff’s passion for nearly all of his career. After 20 years of executive experience in Human Resources, training and operations management, he founded his own training and consulting business and has conducted over 1,200 public and private workshops. He has trained more than 30,000 people in a wide range of management and leadership topics. And he has written over 600 customized training programs for hundreds of clients- from large and small businesses to federal and state government agencies to healthcare and non-profit organizations.
Geoff has also written a book titled, “Taking the Step Up to Supervision” and numerous articles in national publications on supervision and management. He has trained throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Puerto Rico, the U.K. and Mainland China.