Preparing Your Training Environment
When your participants walk into the training session, what do you want them to see? Empty boxes turned on end? Chairs awry? Technicians scurrying about trying to get your PowerPoint up and running? Facilities people moving the refreshment table to the back of the room and bringing extra chairs? You running to and fro trying to find missing materials? Of course not. You’re letting them see the other part of the iceberg.
Establishing an environment conducive to learning is a critical aspect of starting a training session off on the right foot. You can ensure that participants walk in to a relaxed atmosphere and an environment that is welcoming and ready. The room says you took the time to get ready for them. You have time to greet them and welcome them to a great training session.
You may be amazed at how much time you will spend preparing the environment for your participants. Believe me, it is worth every minute. The more time you spend in the room, the more comfortable you will be during the training session. Make the room yours so that when participants arrive, it will feel as if you’re welcoming them to your space.
It seems logical that you would know the logistics of a training site, yet every facilitator I’ve met has encountered at least one training nightmare. Some (not all) of these could be prevented by additional preparation. These questions may help you obtain the right information, but it will do you little good if you don’t write the answers in a safe place.
When: When is the training session? Day? Date? Time? Also, do you have enough time to prepare? Is the amount of allotted time for the amount of content adequate?
Where: Where is the session? On-site or off? If off-site, is it easy to travel to the location? How do you get there? What’s the address? Telephone number? Will you need to make travel arrangements? Is public transportation available? How do you get materials to the site?
What: What kind of training is being expected? What resources are required? What kind of facilities are available? What will you need?
Who: Who is the key planner? Who are the participants? How many? What’s their background? Why were you chosen to deliver the training? Who is the contact person at the training site? How do you reach that person on-site and off?
Lots of answers. Write them down.