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Do you understand?

By JACKIE BARRIE Published 30th Sep 2013
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As a trainer, it's your job to embed a new skill, attitude or behaviour into your delegates. But how do you know whether you've been successful (especially when some delegates are reluctant to ask questions)?

I recently attended a Train the Trainer course to refresh my skills and find out if there was anything I was missing. Reassuringly, it seemed I was doing almost everything right. The one area I noted for potential improvement was to consciously check that my delegates have understood what I've told them.

When I train a social media course, I explain something, demonstrate how to do it, then set them a task. By walking round the room and looking over their shoulder, I can see whether or not they are doing it right. I can also answer any individual questions they may have.

Last week, I ran a course on blogging and content marketing. In the introduction session, it became apparent that one of the delegates had a different definition of the words "blogging" and "content marketing" than I did. It could have been very confusing as there is a lot of jargon in the course. So for each word I explained, I got him to give me a definition in his own words. That way, I could be sure we were both singing from the same hymn sheet. (Tra la!)

I know a trainer who runs a soft skills course. She writes pairs of words on index cards and shuffles them up. As an exercise, the delegates are divided into groups and have to sort the cards. That way, she can see whether or not they have understood, and then facilitate a discussion about it.

What ways do you use to check that your delegates have really learned the lesson?

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

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