Tips for Mastering Technical Training

Technical training has a reputation for being dull and boring. Because of this, teaching this topic effectively can be very complicated. Understanding how to make your technical training concepts engaging is the key to a successful training session.

Here are tips you can use to master technical training from a webinar with Scott Enebo, a training consultant at The Bob Pike Group:

  1. Teachback: This tool gives opportunities for learners to take content they have learned and teach it back to their peers. As learners teach back the information to their peer, there is a possibility for some mistakes. It is your job as the trainer to provide them with the correct information.
  1. Effectiveness Grid: Usually a canvas for participants to write on – an effectiveness grid is a self-assessment tool to serve as a way to understand habits and attitudes about a particular topic and discuss possible places for change.
  1. Why Cards: This is a revisit technique where learners each receive cards that have questions that all begin with “Why.” Pairing up with another learner, the questions are asked and a collaborative answer is generated until both people feel that they have the correct answer. They then move on to the next card.
  1. How Cards: This is the same sort of tool as the Why Cards but instead this technique is called How Cards. This revisit technique is where learners each receive cards that have questions that all begin with “How.” The rest of the process is the same as the Why Cards technique. 
  1. Mindmaps: These are diagrams that are used to represent ideas or tasks that are organized around a central idea. Instead of having an ordered list, mindmaps let us look at connections as a whole. Expert tip: use colors, as this enhances our memory.
  1. Case Studies: This tool looks at stories or anecdotes of a particular group in order to glean insights into the group behavior, predict future behavior, or apply learning to other groups that may go through similar situations. A case study’s seven essential elements for the participants are: identify the issue, select the incident, print details to look at, describe desired product, organize group size, designate group mix and prescribe time limit.
  1. Find and Fix: This technique has you create a document, image or PowerPoint that has errors in it and ask learners to “fix” it by correcting the errors. This can also be done with a physical room arrangement or space where learners look for what is wrong or out of place and fix any errors.
  1. Windowpane: This tool is a pictorial representation of ideas drawn in a 3x3 grid. This is a good technique because windows help drive retention, they also have spatial recognition and color recognition. 
  1. Study Guide: A guide or sheet the learners create as a way to revisit and review information that has already been covered. This often looks like a sheet with areas for participants to fill in missing information or ideas.
  1. Lecture: A lecture itself is not a bad thing, it’s the length of the lecture that matters. According to Becky Pike Pluth, lectures must never be more than ten minutes…and not more than four if you’re online. Any longer and learners won’t be engaged with what you’re teaching.

It’s time to press “reboot” on the tired technical training techniques. Which of these 10 tools do you think you’ll start using immediately?

Whether you’ve experienced participant-centered training before, or you simply appreciate the convenience of a virtual experience, The Bob Pike Group offers a free webinar series that can be a powerful tool in your training arsenal.

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