One-to-one Training Tips

How to deliver one-to-one training?  This is a followup to my previous research on teaching adults.
  1. Presentations work well in classrooms, but useless in a one-on-one situation.
  2. A one-page handout with a few helpful hints should do just fine.
  3. Practise your subject (try out the software options) before leaving to teach.
  4. Focus on the trainee rather than on conveying the information.
  5. Don’t touch the trainee’s mouse when teaching software.
  6. Sit on a chair next to the trainee never take their  place in front of the screen.
  7. Do not talk about user’s equipment being under powered.
  8. Have small talks during silent waiting time.
  9. Let the trainee do most of the typing. They will become more involved and attentive.
  10. People learn best using hands-on approach.
  11. Like a driving instructor, your role is to guide explain and occasionally demonstrate the software.
  12. Insist that your trainee take notes. Make sure they write down the instructions.
  13. Encourage the trainee to jot down notes in the document you give them during training.
  14. Encourage the trainee to ask questions.
  15. Ask the trainee questions and verbally give guidance to wrong answers. Ensure trainee can do the task.
  16. Tell the trainee only the things they need to know, instead of everything that you know.  It will keep away boredom and frustration. 
  17. Analyse the task to be taught, determine what we want the trainee to be able to do, and develop the training strategy.
  18. Divide each task into steps.
  19. Find out the trainee’s experience and relate topics to what they already know.
  20. Provide an overview of the knowledge by telling the trainee what is to be done and when. Then tell why it should be done. This motivates the trainee to do it.
  21. Show and describe specifically how the task is to be done. Use pictures to illustrate.
  22. Pause during your explanation to allow the trainee to ask questions.
  23. If the trainee have no questions, ask the trainee questions.
  24. Do not ask “Do you have any questions?” Instead ask “What problems do you see in doing this?”. Makes the trainee feel better and not feel stupid.
  25. Do not say: “This is really simple. You will get it in soon.” It accomplishes the opposite of making the trainee feel relaxed.
  26. While demonstrating the task, talk your thoughts, so the trainee can hear and see the what, why, when, and how you do the task.
  27. Encourage the trainee to do the task.  Watch them do it and provide helpful, constructive feedback.
  28. Feedback tactfully. Do not say: “ You did that wrong” or “You made an error”. Say: “Let’s review the steps again”.
  29. Use coaching questions, so the trainee figures the learning out for themselves, rather than being told. For example: Why do you think I did that? What would happen if that wasn’t done correctly? What do you think I do next? Why?
  30. Follow up with the trainee, as most likely they will not follow up with you.
I am still gathering notes to become a better trainer. Do you have your own one-to-one training tip?  Share it in the comment box below.

Adrian Lee



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