11 Tips to Improve Training Meetings
Effective Training Meetings
“Thirty more minutes of this? I have learned nothing for the last hour and I have a two hour drive home.” This is a feeling most of us have had at one time or another during a business meeting.
Business meetings can be very instructive and useful, or they can be an unfortunate waste of time. Two major causes of this are: a poorly run meeting, and there was really no need to hold this type of meeting in the first place. Management can prevent wasting time in meetings by assessing what kind of meeting is necessary, and by conducting a better structured meeting.
Selecting the Type of Training Meeting
Before any meeting is held, management should determine what type of meeting they should have and who should be there. With advances in technology, there are many ways people can gather to discuss important information. To determine what type of meeting to hold ask yourself these questions:
- What is the purpose of this meeting?
- How often do we need to hold this meeting?
- Who needs to attend this meeting?
- Does this meeting require people from other departments to attend?
- Can a meeting be effectively held via the internet or telephone?
- Would it be best to have upper management attend the meeting and pass the information to others in their branches of the company separately?
Answering these questions will help you to determine what kind of meeting needs to be held and what other preparations need to be made.
11 Tips For Running an Effective Training Meeting
Meetings can have a history of being boring and ineffective. Using these principles will help your meetings become more lively and effective.
- Before the meeting starts, mingle with those you will be instructing. This will help break the ice and encourage those you are instructing to be more receptive and willing to participate during the meeting.
- If there has been prior training or instruction follow up with individuals and discuss how things are going before discussing the content of the current meeting. If there is time, talk about what changes they can make unless you will discuss the issue during training. If this process will take more than a few minutes it would be best if this is done before the meeting starts.
- To begin the meeting, give participants a question to answer about the topic you will discuss. This question will get participants thinking about the topic and help you determine their understanding of the topic.
- Introductions to your topic should be comprehensive, providing a brief overview of what will be covered in the meeting.
- During the meeting, break up your teaching. Teach for 10 minute segments then move to an activity that lets participants review or discuss what they have learned. You can have participants talk to each other or write for a minute or two about what they have learned.
- Make the meeting interactive. Avoiding a lecture approach will allow people to participate and take an active role in the meeting. Talk in groups or have others teach part of the meeting. Switch it up, and do something new! This will help keep interest and increase retention.
- Appeal to both sides of the brain. The left side does well with information and discussion. The right side thrives on images and creativity. When both stimuli are present the brain understands and remembers the information more completely. PowerPoint and other visuals can be helpful, but they should not replace good discussion.
- Towards the end of the meeting give participants time to write down what they learned. Give them time to think about what has been discussed and what they can apply. This may be individually or as a group. Writing down their thoughts will help them better internalize what they have learned.
- Ask for their take away from the meeting. Not only is it another reinforcement to help them remember what they have learned, it will help you to understand if your intended messages were delivered, and what participants learned most from the meeting.
- Have a call to action at the end of the meeting. This is very important. If participants are not invited to do something, even if it was a good meeting many will say, “That was a good meeting, it was lively and enjoyable.” If you want them to take a specific action you must invite them to do so. People change their behavior much faster when they are invited to do so.
- WIIFM. What’s In It For Me. Throughout the meeting you must ask yourself as a manager, “how is this benefiting those that are listening? If I were in their place can I easily determine what’s in it for me?” Making sure participants can clearly answer this question throughout the meeting will help you ensure participants are receiving information that is relevant and helpful to them.
Applying these 11 principles will help your business meetings become more engaging and effective. You will also waste less time in unnecessary and ineffective meetings.
To learn more about conducting meetings and improving your training skills contact Hansen Group Company at 208-346-1005 or visit their website at hansengroupcompany.com.