5 big reasons learners forget training content

A memorable training is kind of like a UFO.

How, you ask?

Take a look at this GIF below…


See how the UFO opens its doors and pulls in the objects… even though the forces of gravity are weighing the objects down… and the UFO takes the objects back to the aliens’ home planet?

As a trainer, you want to pull your learners into your training, so you can take them where you want to take them... in terms of the knowledge they'll gain, the habits they'll form, and the results they'll get.

But you also want your learners to be like a UFO.

You want your learners to open their minds and pull in your ideas... despite the distracting forces in their lives. Then you want them to lock those ideas in their brains and take them home with them... and maybe even run experiments on those ideas!

So what stands in the way of that happening?

Well, have you ever seen the movie Men in Black?

In the opening scene, some intergalactic law enforcement officers, known as the “Men in Black,” are interrogating an alien suspect. But those officers don't want anyone else to witness the interrogation. Unfortunately, a local law enforcement officer happens to see what’s going on… and the suspect goes berserk.

Click here to watch the scene.

Did you notice how Tommy Lee Jones, one of the "Men in Black,” erased the other officers’ memories using his fancy "neuralyzer" device?

So what are some examples of "neuralyzers" that might be erasing your learners' memories? One example could be that they're distracted by work emails. You can probably think of countless others!

We’ll help you overcome all these "neuralyzers," so that your learners remember and apply your content... and succeed at their jobs. You’ll be a trainer who makes an impact that is truly unforgettable!

But how?

First, we need to cover five big reasons learners forget training content. Think of them as five "neuralyzers" that will erase your learners' memories and stop them from remembering your training content.

Here they are…

1. The trainer did all the work.

If you don't involve participants in their learning process and give them ownership… they won't be motivated to stay engaged, they'll tune out, and they won't remember your content.

Be sure to delegate responsibilities to your learners, so they listen and remember your content. You can do this by having them do teach-backs, fill-in-the-blanks, application time, etc.

2. The trainer didn't create memory links.

If you just try to pour information into your learners’ brains, they won't remember.

But if you link that information to specific things they WILL remember (such as analogies, examples, acronyms, object lessons, stories, etc.), they'll remember the information, too!

3. The training contained weak visual reinforcements.

If you’re just training using words, with no visuals to support your content… your learners won't remember the content.

You can make your trainings visually compelling and memorable by using windowpanes, quickly understandable slides that resemble billboards, and tools like Canva to find stock imagery.

4. The training was mostly theoretical, not experiential.

If you stay in theory land, learners will forget the content.

But if you tie your theories to experiences (such as games, utilizing webinar tools, modeling their application steps yourself, etc.), they'll remember!

5. The training simply lacked creativity.

If you don't take the time to be creative and stand out, your learners will probably forget your content.

An especially fun way to weave a creative thread throughout your whole training… is having a theme for your training!

So which of those five is the biggest challenge for you? What’s one step you’ll take to overcome that challenge in your next training?

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