Training and Assessing Workbook - Implementation guide
Section 2: Delivery techniques
- 2.1 What techniques does a good trainer need?
- 2.2 How should a workshop be delivered?
- 2.3 Are there ways to make group work successful?
- 2.4 Are there any hints for summarising group work?
- 2.5 How can quiet participants be included?
- 2.6 Are there any hints for working with dominant participants?
Good trainers have a range of techniques to assist participants' learning and to assist their knowledge development. They communicate well and are skilled in reading participant behaviours and are able to adjust their approach or the activity to address the individual's or group's needs.
In summary, trainers need to:
- help participants to feel comfortable in the group
- encourage sharing of knowledge, experience and ideas
- encourage participants to communicate effectively
- be aware of the group dynamics
- encourage equity in participation
- keep the workshop practical and relevant
- value each participant's contribution
- give and receive feedback.
Approach each workshop enthusiastically, calmly and confidently. Know what you want to cover and prepare well. When you are talking to the participants, speak slowly and clearly and use language that is simple and appropriate. Do not use abbreviations or jargon unless you are sure everyone has the same understanding.
Provide the participants with a clear description of what they will be doing, how they will be participating and what they can expect to achieve from the workshop.
If you keep the workshop practical and relevant, participants will be more willing to share their knowledge and experiences. Maintain links between activity and discussion in the workshop and the participants' workplaces.
It will be part of your role as a trainer to watch group behaviours and adjust the timing for the group activity or the membership of the group when necessary. Group work should be more than just a chat between participants. It should enable people to learn from each other and exchange information.
Some discussion and agreement at the start of the training session about how group time will be spent will assist in developing the session. For example, 'We will stick to discussion points and try not to get distracted'.
- Ask participants to suggest ideas for group behaviour.
- Provide clear instructions about group work.
- Clarify the aim of each group work activity.
- Encourage all group members to contribute.
- If working with multiple groups, coordinate the whole group response at the end of the allocated time.
Effective summarising of small group work is essential. If you are working with multiple small groups each wants to hear the response from the others. Always include time to draw the key points from any group activity together.
- Keep the responses on track.
- Consider using a whiteboard/blackboard to note key points.
- Be prepared for positive and negative responses – accept them all.
- Draw similarities and differences to participants' attention.
- Listen. It is not the time for you to offer comment.
- If there are charts or diagrams from the groups, display them for all to see.
Some people do not like new situations or sharing their thoughts with strangers but this does not mean they do not have skills, knowledge and information they want to share. It is part of your role, as a trainer, to provide opportunities for the quieter participants to contribute to the workshop.
- Include small group or paired activities early in the session to encourage everyone to share ideas, for example as part of a 'getting to know each other' segment.
- Encourage participants to talk about areas of expertise. For example, a participant may have worked with supported employees with psychiatric disability whereas few others in the workshop may have had this experience.
- Include activities where all participants make equal, small contributions, for example everyone offers a word or two to describe their experience in training supported employees.
It is always good to have people in a workshop who are willing to share their views and experience but at times this may overwhelm other participants. Try to work with the more dominant participants in a workshop and utilise their enthusiasm as a positive.
- Use participants' contributions as a springboard for gathering other participants' ideas and comments. For example, 'That's a useful idea. Does anyone else have something to add?'
- Use their comments to bring other participants into a discussion.
- If necessary, you may need to speak with a participant privately to ask them to allow others more time to contribute.