Five Ways to Manage Your Time During Training Sessions
If you are new to the training world, you know that keeping time can be a challenging thing. Getting to your courses on time, staying on track with your lesson plans, and allowing enough time to assessment and feedback are all things that play on the mind of a professional trainer. Luckily, our complete courses can provide you with everything you need to stay the course during your training. But there are times when participants can take over or monopolize your time. Here are five ways to manage your time during training sessions so that you and your participants can get the most out of the training.
Review Lesson Plans
One of the best ways to stay on track during your training session is to know how much time you have at the outset of your training session. When you consult with employers or organizations, who want to hire you for a training session, be clear about how much time you have and how much time you need for your course to be useful. The night before, take some time to review your timetables to see what you can realistically fit into the training session and have some backup material to rely on in case training goes faster than expected. Professional trainers will be able to tell you that over time, you’ll get better at managing your time and you’ll know how much material you need for a session. Above all else, when you are first starting out, trust your training guide to tell you how long to stick with a particular topic or activity.
Use timers if you have a habit of rambling or you aren’t comfortable telling students to shut down conversations. You can introduce timers at the outset of your training as a tool you use to keep people on track. No one wants to have to stay late to finish training because of getting side-tracked, so by introducing the timer as a way to benefit the participants and respect their time. Students will be more open and supportive of you using a timer.
Have a Way to “Move on” During Training
Despite your best intentions, some participants are going to talk until the cows come home. Basically, no matter how hard you try, some people just need the spotlight and want to talk a lot. You need to have a way to deal with these people. There are simple and effective ways of doing this. Try saying things like, “alright, I appreciate your input, but we need to move on to the next topic.” Or, you might try asking something like, “okay, does anyone else have anything to add to this conversation?” Or, you could try saying, “thank you for your feedback, but we need to continue with this lesson now.” Setting parameters around lessons and topics will help reduce distracting conversations as well.
Keep Notes for Follow-up
Keeping notes is an essential part of being a professional trainer. You want to keep records for yourself, so you can review them later and continue to improve your course offerings. You always want to keep notes from the training about questions people had that you didn’t have time to answer throughout the training. You could create an information package following the training that addresses all of the concerns you couldn't get to while you were on-site. This will let organizations know that although you were keeping strict timelines, you were listening and care about your clients.
Learn From Your Mistakes
It won’t take you long to realize that letting a chatty Cathy participant is not the right way to handle yourself or your courses. When you introduce your training program, ask the participants to respect their time and your time and to stick to the topics at hand. Setting guidelines is a good way to keep everyone on board with training, and it keeps things running smoothly. But when training doesn’t go as planned, make a note of it and take some time to reflect on the experience later so you can identify ways to combat that next time.