Training: (noun:) the process of bringing a person to an agreed standard of proficiency by practice and instruction

Experience: (noun): something that happens to you that affects how you feel

Training at The Smarty Train: (noun): An experience that will help you excel in life

Our experience in and obsession with quality, interactive training experiences, are what make our work exceptional. We’d like to share 10 of our secrets for success with you:

  1. Personalise

Do you know the people who are coming to your training? Not just their name –we mean do you know what makes them laugh, what makes them tick, what makes them learn faster? How about what drives them? Find out what they want, what they need. Then give it to them. Simples.

  1. Changing minds…

…and mind sets. Ok, so this isn’t easy. People are different: some are stubborn; some don’t like to look outside the box, some think they know it all and some, well… some don’t want to go to your training session in the first place. We specialise in pre-training engagement strategies, which make sure your people are in the right frame of mind before they even get close to the training room.

  1. The Learning Environment

We aren’t talking about the carpets and curtains, or even about the chairs (although these are all important too). Your training venue should be treated like a rehearsal room: where your performers practise, make mistakes (and learn from them) and work with their co-stars (and a director) to find ways to improve their performance. Try to make your environment ‘safe’ and think of training as a rehearsal.

  1. Sensory

Most training focuses on what we see and hear. See the slides, listen to the trainer. Yawn. The way we see it, why ignore the other senses? Taste, touch and smell are all hugely powerful. We’ve seen proof that learning ‘sticks’ better if you appeal to all five senses. We’ve also begun designing a session around listening to your sixth sense. No dead people involved.

  1. A dinner party

We think of training like a dinner party. At our house. For your training, ask yourself: Who’s coming? How many? Do they all know each other? What’s the theme? How many Veggies? Vegans? Allergies? Who will sit next to each other? Will everyone have the chance to meet everyone else? Music? Candles? Scent? Games? You get the idea. Instead of thinking ‘attendees’, ‘delegates’ or even ‘graduates’. Think more ‘guests’.

  1. Be emotive

Scientists believe that there are just two emotions (or sensations) from which everything in life stems. Any guesses? Love? Lust? Hate? Nope. Pleasure and Pain. Consider how you’re appealing to pleasure and pain in your training. How you’re igniting them. How you’re avoiding them. Creating moving personal experiences through clever use of strong emotions, can produce big results.

  1. Storytelling

Think back to your childhood. Do you remember sitting down cross-legged on the carpet on a rainy afternoon, crossing your arms and listening to the sound of your primary school teacher tell you a story? Us too. We’ve all grown up listening to stories. And guess what? We still love it. The act of listening to stories is instilled in our brains from day dot, so why not apply this fundamental human ability to training?

  1. Knitting…

…But not with needles and wool: Training should help knit things together. It should knit your firm, its values, its needs and ambitions together with the development needs and wants of your people. Fat too often training feels like an ‘add on’; a tick box; an afterthought. Finding ways to make training fit cohesively, where real life application is clearly evident, is what sets good training apart from the rest. Knit it.

  1. Surprise!

Everyone likes surprises. Even people who say they don’t like surprises, like surprises. A surprise doesn’t have to be hard work or costly, it just needs to be something unexpected. A mystery training location, a personalised prize, a special guest appearance. Who wouldn’t like a surprise like that? More importantly who wouldn’t remember that?

  1. Feedback

So you’ve delivered a triple gold star award-winning three hour training session. What next? Back to the desk? See you again next time? Next year? By adding some simple post-training initiatives, you can ensure continuous improvement, test people’s feelings and tap in to one of our favourites; reflective learning.

For numbers 11 to 148, you’ll need us. Get in touch.

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