As a Staff Development Coordinator, every month during company orientation I take 1-2 hours to try and teach a group of new staff on the basic elements of Therap. So I set up my computer and projector, I have the group of new staff sit in nice comfy chairs, I turn down the lights, and I start my presentation. It never fail that 30 minutes into my presentation, I have a handful of new staff laying their heads down and succumbing to the forces of boredom and sleep deprivation.
Which brings us to our next Training Tip Titillation – How to “Spice Up” Therap Training. Through my experience as a trainer, I have come across many ways on how to “spice up” training in order to arouse your participant’s interests, keep them engaged, and retain information. So the following is a selection of the best tips I have for “spicing up” Therap training.
Tip #1 – The Beginning: Arouse Interest, Set the Mood, and Create Anticipation
Good trainings will have a beginning, middle, and an end; and so we will start at the beginning. At the beginning of training you will need to get everyone’s attention and arouse their interests by making them wonder, “What’s going on here”? You will also need to set the mood right away, so that everyone feels comfortable, everyone realizes that they are in for a good time, and everyone wants to playfully cooperate. Lastly, you need to create anticipation by making them think, “this is going to be a cool training that is going to help me.” So here are the tips on how to do that…
- Give Them Something to Do – One of the best ways of getting you audience involved in the training is by doing something together as a group. We like to call these “Icebreakers”. One of my favorite icebreakers is to take a stuffed animal and I toss it to members of the audience. Whoever catches it introduces themselves to the group and then tosses it to the next person. Quick, simple, and very involved.
- Show an Intriguing Picture, Slide, or Video – Youalready have a computer and projector set up, so before the training starts show your participants an intriguing picture, slide, or video. Just look at the picture I posted in this blog. I guarantee that it caught your attention and you wanted to read and see how this ridiculous picture relates to training (it is a picture of me dressed up like Garth, from Wayne’s World, during a Blizzard Ball tournament in Montana)
- “Hang Out” Before You Start – Shake hands and say, “hello” to as many audience members as you can. Even if you work with these people every day and they already know you. Spending time with your audience before you start does two things; (1) helps loosen you up – you will be more relaxed and ready to go once the meeting actually starts, (2) it shows that you care.
Tip # 2 – The Middle: Prove your Point, Use Examples, and Explain Why
The middle of your training is the “meat & bones” of your presentation. It usually is the section of your training that involves stating facts, presenting examples, and speaking technical jargon; however, if you starting flinging around too many facts, examples, or technical jargon your training can quickly turn into “nap time”. So the following are some examples of how to keep your students’ attention and make them think that what you are telling them is in their best interest.
- Have an Agenda – all your best trainings and meetings have an agenda or outline of what the students should expect from the presentation. An agenda also keeps the trainer on task and on time. The agenda that I would recommend for Therap Training is the “T-Checklist” (Therap New User Training Checklist) which can be found by following this link:
- Encourage Hands – On Experience – One of the best ways to make sure that your students don’t get bored and start to day dream during your training is to keep their hands occupied. The best way to do this for Therap training is to make sure that all participants have their own personal laptop, computer, or mobile device in front of them to follow along with the training. Furthermore, provide each trainee with a copy of the “T-checklist” so they may check off the tasks as they are complete.
- Know Your Student’s Name and Use Their Name During Your Training – This is a very simple technique to guarantee you have someone’s attention, but it works and it is my favorite. When you start to notice that one of your staff’s focus is starting to drift away from the training; say or write their name when giving examples. I guarantee that if you use someone’s name when writing an example of a T-log (and then read what you wrote), you will immediately get that person’s attention.
Tip # 3 – The End: Wrap Up, Call to Action!
It’s almost over and the training must come to an end, but don’t end with a dud. But instead ask yourself, “What do you want your staff to do now that they have experienced this well-prepared Therap Training?” Your ending to your training should also involve a wrap up of the presentation and be a powerful motivating event. So here are some tips for ending your training:
- Summarize – One of the easiest ways to end your Therap Training is to provide your staff with a summary of the different modules that were taught as well as the importance of using these Therap modules for documentation and communication purposes.
- Proclaim a “Call to Action” – A fun and “cheesy” way to end a Therap Training is to have everyone raise their right hand a quote an unofficial Therap oath. For example, “I, state your name, promise to be the best Therap User I can be. This means that I will be committed to writing daily T-logs, documenting GERs when incidents occur, tracking Health issues to the best of my knowledge, and sending SComms when I have questions to be answered.” Or you can just make up your own.
- Always End on A Positive Note – One of the positive ways in which I like to end Therap trainings is to give compliments to my students. I tell them how great of staff they are going to be now that they have been properly trained in using Therap. This makes them feel great about themselves, and hopefully feel great about the fact that they had to go through the training.
Well I hope these suggestions prove useful when thinking about how to “Spice-Up” your trainings, especially your Therap trainings. I am always interested in hearing new ways in which to make trainings better, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment.
So in the words of LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow), “you don’t have to take my word for it, “ instead go out and try these training tips yourself!