A training seminar is fantastic for disseminating information to your delegates and we’ve compiled some tips to make sure yours stays interesting. By following these tips, you should be able to improve employee engagement, as well as knowledge retention and satisfaction for their training time.
Structure your time and seminar in a sensible way
Explain why your training seminar will help them
Give them a reason (or three) to pay attention to your seminar. Will you make their work processes more efficient? Are you going to take away some of the stresses of their jobs? Do you know how to make them more money? If you’re running management training seminars or leadership training seminars, explain how you can help them ascend the ladder. If they know what they are getting out of it, they will be more invested in it and more likely to achieve their learning goals.
Keep it short and sweet (or at least have breaks)
Studies have shown that humans have very short attention spans so expecting them to concentrate for an hour straight is not worth trying. If you can, you should break up the seminar into different sections, where the attendees are listening to you, discussing points with their neighbours and trying to solve problems or come up with questions on their own.
Make your speech a story
It can be easier for your audience to follow what you are saying if you put it into a narrative. This doesn’t have to be once upon a time style but if you put your solutions and methods that you are explaining into a narrative of how it will help their business, they will be far more engaged and interested in what you are saying because they will feel it is more relevant to them.
Engage with your audience to make your training seminar interesting
Get a reaction
Creating an emotional reaction from your audience early on will make them engage better with your material. It doesn’t have to tug at the heartstrings, it could be getting them to laugh or say ‘aww’ at how cute something is.
Speak to them on their level
Make sure you know what level of experience and knowledge your audience has, as you don’t want to talk down to them but you also don’t want to lose them by talking at a more advanced level than they are ready for, if they don’t have much experience on the subject.
Ask questions and encourage interaction
Depending on the nature of your seminar, you can ask questions that you’d like the audience to answer or if it is not possible for whatever reason to do this, you could ask the questions rhetorically, giving them a few moments to think on the answer (or discuss it with the person next to them) and then give your own thoughts and answers. This will make them pay more attention to what you are saying and engage them better.
Display your enthusiasm
Your subject is interesting if you believe it is and if you work hard to show them that it is. Let them see you passion for the topic and it will become more interesting for them. Don’t forget to practise your talk in front of a mirror or a volunteer so that you know it well enough to have minimal notes or cue cards and so that you can insert appropriate pauses for the audience to use to reflect on what you have said. Keep the energy going for the whole seminar and it will encourage the same feeling in them.
Improve attention and retention with extra materials
Include Easter eggs
Easter eggs are a favourite among movie buffs. Include hidden references (or images) to relevant people, items or things in your seminar and offer a prize to the first person to spot them all. The competitive nature should make everyone sit up a little straighter.
Don’t make a presentation for the purpose of having a ready-made handout crammed full with information. Your slides should be an aid, not the notes for the audience. If you have slides, consider giving them a written down version of your talk or the whitepaper that you are basing the talk on. By informing the audience that you are giving them handouts at the end of the session, they will be able to pay far more attention to what you are saying, as they are not panicking about getting everything written down, and will not be rushing ahead of you.
We hope our tips for how to make a training seminar interesting have helped and wish you luck with your seminars. To book your seminar at our training venue in Nottingham, contact our team on +44 (0) 1773 532 532 or fill out our contact form.