Whether it's a training that lasts just a few hours or a seven-day intensive like New Media BootCamp, leading up to a training can be extremely busy and stressful. One of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your training is to have your trainers rehearse their presentations (ideally twice each).
In my role at NOI, I often work with trainers who are experts in fields I know little or nothing about, which can be very intimidating. It would be easy to assume, "Hey, she's the expert, she's got this!" and just let the trainers show up with their PowerPoint on the day of the training.
But even the foremost practitioners need practice. We have the presenters rehearse at least once, often twice, beforehand. Here are the steps I recommend:
- Rehearsal Round 1: About two weeks out, do a run through, provide feedback, and ask presenters to make changes based on that feedback. These changes may be as simple as adding in a few more examples or changing a case study out, or as dramatic as removing whole sections due to time constraints.
- Rehearsal Round 2: The second rehearsal should take place now more than 1 week before the training, and is an opportunity for fine tuning and last minute changes. I've rehearsed with more than 30 presenters, and every one of them improved their slides and delivery after rehearsal.
Can't swing a whole day of rehearsing with trainers? I often lean on team members to practice with folks and make sure everyone has a chance to run through their presentation.
It might feel awkward, but remember--you're providing your presenters with a great service too! By giving them clear, honest feedback, you're helping them develop their materials and their presentation ability, both for your training and for the future. No one likes to get in front of a room and make a mistake, and you're helping them be the best they can be!
How do you prep for trainings? Let us know in the comments!
Kelli Klein is the New Media Training Manager at NOI