Creating Training Materials: A Basic Guideline

In today’s work place, most employees need training. In order to carry out business successfully and serve customers and clients well, an employer must have a well trained workforce. As a result, many employers spend large sums of money to train their staff.

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If you don’t create and use good training materials, you may be wasting all that money. Good training materials serve as valuable aids for knowledge acquisition and retention. It is thus necessary to create the appropriate training materials.

The first thing to note when preparing training materials (PowerPoint slides, manuals, lectures etc.) is to tailor your content to the audience. If you are training entry level staff, avoid industry jargon. Many trainers fail to consider their audience when preparing training materials and as a result, the trainees become confused rather than enlightened.

Secondly, training materials should be interactive. The training process should be different from mere education. The use of role plays, case studies, group discussions, games etc. must be encouraged.

People learn best when they do. Lecturing to people is a thing of the past. There should be emphasis on the practical aspects of the training course.

Every training program should have objectives. When creating your training manual, keep these objectives in mind and tailor the training to meet those objectives.

The training program should be modulated in order to make it easier on the trainees. Dedicate a section of the material to one skill or objective and give enough information for the trainee to gain that skill or meet the learning objective.

When you are creating training materials, you must pay attention to graphics and other visual elements such as videos, tables and charts.

Visual aids help retention and reinforcement of vital concepts.

Exercises and assessments are important parts of a training program.

It helps to increase employee engagement in training. With the assessments and exercises, you can determine whether the training objectives are being met or not. A pre-assessment should be done in order to find out the level of skills/knowledge of the trainees. This is then compared to the assessment done at the conclusion of the training. A good training program will create marked improvements in the skills, knowledge and attitudes of the trainees.

If other employees would undertake similar training, then the feedback of current trainees should be incorporated in preparing future training materials.

By using the information above, you are on your way to developing world class training materials.

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