Whether you’re delivering a safety talk, a how-to presentation or any other topic related to your unique job site or industry, it’s helpful to know how to facilitate an effective general contractor training session.
Presenting in front of people isn’t everyone’s forte, especially when certain topics – as important as they are – might not seem overly interesting at first. But as a professional in your field, never forget you have valuable information to share. Check out these tips for conducting engaging training sessions.
Organize your information
Trainees expect you to be organized from beginning to end. Prepare an overview of subject material, which can then be split up in one of the following ways:
- Chronological: This works best for topics related to time, such as the evolution of a particular industry product or practice.
- Sequential: Presenting in this way allows you to share information logically. For example, if you’re giving a training session on personal protective equipment (PPE), you can show participants the wrong gear to wear, then display the right gear to wear in a particular application.
- Point-counterpoint: With this method, you present two different sides of a topic. For example, the strengths of a tool versus its weaknesses.
Provide an agenda for your training session that includes the overview and key talking points and try to stick to a set timeframe for each section. Keep on track and finish on time.
Additionally, how you present information matters. A great delivery method is PowerPoint, now recognized in multiple industries as a user-friendly presentation tool when it comes to sharing video, imagery and text.
Be sure to include real-world examples that your audience will associate with, and don’t forget to practice your presentation beforehand!
Find an appropriate teaching environment
Conduct your training in a space that makes it easy for your audience to learn. If you’re in a physical space instead of online, avoid distractions by choosing an area where surrounding sounds or movement won’t be an issue.
Arrive early, set up, get comfortable with your surroundings and run through your material. Additionally, ensure there’s proper internet connection, AV capability and seating space, as well as note-taking materials for participants.
Evaluate the audience
Knowing your audience is vital for any presenter. Try to gather information about your participants ahead of time, such as demographics and their level of familiarity with your topic.
Remember that people have different learning styles, which are oftentimes categorized as the following:
- Visual: Usually older and more experienced, these learners prefer to see your body language and facial expressions. They also learn more easily through graphs, maps, pictures and other visual content. If you choose this method, use powerful and captivating images.
- Auditory: These learners prefer listening to presenters rather than watching.
- Tactile: This hands-on approach to learning is often preferred by younger and less experienced professionals. Try to use as much of this training as possible. The most effective training uses all the senses to affect learning.
Additionally, consider the specific needs of your audience. Allow breaks, ask them what they hope to learn from you and be aware of industry trends that made the training necessary in the first place.
Handle questions and answers effectively
Prepare answers to questions that could possibly be raised during your training session. Additionally, let attendees know at what times they can ask questions during the presentation.
Be sure to repeat a question before answering it so everyone in attendance can hear what the question was. When answering questions, do your best to be concise and keep good eye contact.
Once you become more comfortable in your teaching space, feel free to include a little humor and lightheartedness in your presentation. This helps keep the audience attentive and engaged.
Involve your participants in the presentation by giving them opportunities to apply what they’ve learned – either through open discussion or actual application. It’s also good to encourage feedback from your participants in order to gauge how well they processed information so you can improve future presentations. Surveys and follow-up emails are great ways of doing this.
Summarize the general contractor training
Similar to your overview, end your training session by summarizing key talking points. It’s also good practice to include a call-to-action related to your topic.