It’s Valeria here, from Symonds Training. Welcome to Day 1 of Freelance Trainers BootCamp!

Thank you so much for joining us on Day 1 of the freelance trainers Bootcamp, where you’ll learn all about creating effective lessons!

In the next 5 Days, we will cover these areas:

Motivating Learners in the Training Room

The first challenge that you meet as a trainer is motivating your learners. This is especially hard if your trainees have to attend because of their work (i.e. they have no choice on the matter).

So, how do you motivate a group of adult learners? I have listed below 8 tips to help you with this task.

1. Making It Interesting for Learners

People are more motivated to learn things that they perceive as being enjoyable and/or useful to them.

Thus, in your training sessions, try to always connect your teaching material to things that interest your target audience. Use learners’ personal interests to involve them.

Use examples, anecdotes, and activities that relate to their daily lives. Point out how useful the skills they will learn could be for them.

In order to make it interesting, always remember who your audience is and target the learning to be interesting for this specific audience, each time.

2. Encourage Learners to be Active Participants.

Adult learners in particular want to be in charge, to a certain extent, of their own learning.

So, use activities that encourage learners to contribute, give feedback, and actively participate during your sessions, rather than passively listen all the time.

Also, make participants feel that they are in charge by providing them with choices (not too many though, so they do not feel overwhelmed).

3. Use Activities that Involve Collaboration and Cooperation

Most people are more motivated to learn if they can cooperate with others.

So, it is useful to encourage your participants to work with others as well as on their own. You can use games and activities for this. Learners can cooperate in pairs, small groups, or as a class.

See, for example, the ‘What’s in Common team Building Game’. You can also find lots more FREE training activities here.

Even if you are teaching online, you CAN run group activities and I explain how to do that here. with the FREE Online Teaching Guide.

4. Provide Variety to Stimulate the Learners

A variety of tasks motivates students!

So, use a variety of different tasks and stimuli in your sessions such as:

  • handouts
  • videos
  • pictures
  • readings
  • activities (in which the learners can move around and maybe use props and tools)

This way, you will also engage different types of learners to include learning that is visual, auditory and includes some form of kinaesthetics.

5. Engage People’s Creativity

Creativity satisfies one of the strongest human drives to make something and gain recognition because of this.

This is a drive that everybody has, not just those people who are usually considered creative, such as artists and designers.

You can stimulate creativity via activities that involve the creation of an outcome such as drawing a mind map or delivering a short presentation (such as for the activity ‘What’s in the Room’)

6. Use Feedback to Motivate Learners

You can use informal feedback during the training session to motivate your participants.
You can give feedback as participants answer questions or during activities to direct their learning.

Be careful though to always give feedback that is positive or constructive.

Negative feedback can have a bad effect on people’s self-efficacy (i.e., an individual’s belief in their ability to achieve a goal).

You can also use feedback as a form of positive reinforcement (what is commonly known as the ‘carrot’). By pointing out your learners’ strengths you will also reinforce their self-efficacy.

We will talk more about feedback in lesson No. 5.

7. Provide Clear Goals at the Start of the Training Course

Adult learners need to know from the beginning what direction the course is going to take and what goals they will achieve by the end of it.

So, from the first lesson (or at the beginning of the session if the training course lasts one day only) set a list of aims and objectives that you would like your learners to achieve.

These objectives need to be: clear, specific, achievable, and appropriate to the needs and level of the particular group you will be teaching.

If goals are too generic, too hard, or too easy, learners will be demotivated from the start because they will think that the goals are not worth trying to achieve.

8. Provide Good Quality Teaching Resources

Last but not least, you need to provide teaching resources that are well-designed, well-researched, clear, and of good quality.

Adult learners will become demotivated if they sense that the trainers themselves cannot be relied on to provide good materials and lack attention to detail.

If trainers are not that interested in preparing the course, why should participants be enthusiastic about it?

Coming up in Trainers BootCamp

Right, that’s enough for Day 1!

Tomorrow we will talk more in detail about ways to keep your learners engaged and focused throughout the training session (or at least for most of it!)

Have a good day and see you tomorrow! Valeria

Online teaching guide PDF
Dr Valeria Lo Iacono