By Ashraf Al Shafaki
At the beginning of a training course and at the beginning of each training session, use appetizers to entice students to learn and condition their minds in a way making it ready to accept and digest information. This can be done by providing an overview of the whole course or session and outlining the main points that will be covered as well as the way by which such points will be covered.
This conditioning of the minds is essential and makes minds eager to know more and ready to accept and process information effectively. It works in a way similar to how food is processed. First people smell food, this leads to their stomachs starting to get ready for digesting that food. When the food is actually presented, the person then eats with great appetite and his or her stomach processes such food effectively.
If, however, the food was presented without enticing the appetite of the person first, there will be little interest in eating it and the stomach might not process it effectively and might even be overwhelmed with the food presented to it. In the field of learning, this phenomenon can appear in the form of lack of interest of students, inability to comprehend and remember information and boredom.
So next time you start a new session or course, make sure you first introduce the students to the outline of the course or session in order to whet their appetite and make their minds better conditioned to receive and effectively digest the information you will be providing them.
Managing trainee expectations right from the start of a training course is a key to its success and to reaching trainee satisfaction during and after the course. If students expect the course to cover specific points then discover it does not cover them they get disappointed and dissatisfied with the course. Not only should a trainer manage students expectations regarding course content early in the course but also their expectations for the methods used during the course for delivering the training itself.
A successful trainer should anticipate student concerns, reservations or expectations that would not be met and gently convince students at the start of the training course that a path alternative to those expectations would be the best path to follow and is the one targeted by this training course.
Example: For instance the trainer anticipates that students would want him to cover all content in the material provided to them while he has in mind to cover only the more important topics in it. In such a case, the trainer should let students know that he is aware of the cover-all-content approach yet he will be following the other more focused approach and gracefully convince them with the superiority of his approach or the positive reasons of his selection of such approach.