10 Way to Get Students to Be More Authentic During Training

ways to make participants more authentic during training


Authenticity is not usually top of mind when a trainer enters a classroom to deliver a course unless the topic is authenticity. But introducing activities that can create a more authentic learning experience can enhance learning and help participants make connections with their learning for lifelong impact. Being authentic refers to the notion of being your best self. That is a hard thing for people to do sometimes, especially when jobs are on the line or people are feeling pressured to engage in training to keep their jobs. If you are trying to create an impressive and real training experience, try some of these suggestions to get students to be more authentic during training. 


1.Use inclusive language

Whenever you talk about ideas, topics, or objectives, be sure to use language that draws your audience in and makes them feel like they are already part of the experience. When you use language like “we, us, our” students will feel more comfortable and are more likely to open up and share ideas and stories which could contribute to the impact of the training in a positive way.


2. Use stories from your own experience

If you are going to ask students to share their experiences -- and you are going to ask students to share their experiences -- you’ll need to share some of your own. Doing so creates a space of trust and will encourage people to be open to discussions on a more in-depth level, instead of just providing commentary about the training.


3. Ask them to share their stories

Whenever possible, have participants verbalize connections between what you are learning and things they have experienced. Not only does this help learning take place, but it encourages people to be themselves and share parts of their lives that they might not have done otherwise.


4. Share fears about learning

Learning can be overwhelming and downright hard for a lot of people. Encourage the group to talk about their fears associated with learning, and ask them how you can help them get a handle on the materials more realistically. This is best done in general with a group where several answers are likely to provide enough groundwork to make everyone feel comfortable.


5. Come up with ways to combat those fears

After identifying issues with learning or discussion less than positive past experiences, work together as a group to come up with ways to improve this learning experience for everyone involved. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but 10 minutes at the beginning of your training session can get people to settle into the training program because they’ll feel like you listened and you care about their learning.


6. Get them writing

When things are slowing down, and people are becoming less engaged, get them to write some feedback, ideas, and questions on a piece of paper. People will always say more on paper than they will out loud.


7. Encourage them to ask questions

At every possible juncture, allow questions. Encourage your students to ask questions on behalf of each other - not everyone will speak up. Encourage them to talk to you on breaks, or after the session, if they don’t feel comfortable talking during the training. Anything you can do to break down the barriers to learning will create a more authentic learning experience for your students.


8. Ask them questions

Always ask them questions throughout a training session. For every topic, have a list of questions, and then watch for opportunities to dig deeper as people participate in the question periods.


9. Have students teach portions of your course

If you want to facilitate learning in a different way, have students teach portions of the course to each other. This creates a valuable opportunity for people to get to know the material from your perspective, which creates a sense of empathy for you. When people are empathetic, they are more likely to participate in your training.


10. Get them solving problems together

Nothing brings out the best in people like the act of problem-solving. When one or more people are trying to solve a problem, their best selves will shine. They will dig deep to come up with a solution that is viable for everyone involved.

When you create opportunities for your students to become more authentic in the classroom, you are giving them the chance to grow as a more authentic person overall. While many people don’t think about becoming “authentic,” they certainly want to work toward being their “best selves.” And that’s the same thing.