Do you know what to do before the training begins? Previously, I posted How Not to Train. Today, I’ll share a few thoughts on what to consider before the training begins.

What To Do Before The Training Begins

Who should participate in the training? 

Are you comfortable with the size of the group? Sometimes, it may be more effective to break into sub-groups. Do not include anyone who isn’t ready for the training, if it doesn’t fit their job description, or it wouldn’t be of use to them. I know that sounds obvious but it happens more often than you may believe because we don’t take the time to consider who needs the training and who doesn’t.

Where will the training be conducted?

The facility should be clean, quiet, and suitable for training, with whiteboards or technology as needed. Years ago on a Sunday before I conducted my first training class in a new position I painted the training room. It was dirty and drab and would’ve affected the trainees and the facilitators attitude.

When will the training be held?

Consider the best times for training to reduce work production interference. Don’t make the mistake I’ve made and schedule the training solely around my schedule with little or no consideration for the trainees schedules.

How long is the training? 

Think about how much time is needed overall and in each session to share the information without losing the trainees’ interest. I’ve conducted training sessions of less than an hour and all day workshops. If your session is longer than an hour consider how you will involve the trainees and hold heir attention.

What Are Your Expectations? 

Begin by sharing training expectations, including note-taking, participation, and asking questions. For example, I begin every training session with my goal that every participant share a take-away from the class.

Do You Want Questions? Your Answer Should Be “Yes!”

Questions are not an interruption or delay — they’re information. Tell the trainees you want questions.

  • Explain there’s no such thing as a dumb question. The only dumb question is the one not asked.
  • Promise not to show impatience through body language, tone of voice, or your words. The first time you project annoyance or sound condescending when answering a question, the questions will slow to a stop.
  • Let them know their questions offer valuable insight into their understanding and retention.
  • Tell them it’s “just us in the room,” so get over the fear of sounding dumb because they ask a question.
  • Inform them you will check their understanding throughout the training periodically.
  • A trainee may ask a question ahead of schedule; in other words, you’re on page 5, and they’re on page 15. Establish a parking lot of questions, which you will cover in time. Let them know not to feel put off if their question goes to the parking lot because it indicates they’re listening and thinking.


Let the trainees know you expect everyone to participate. Encourage participation by calling on everyone. Participation includes staying focused and in the moment. Explain that occasionally, everyone losses focus; it’s okay to ask for a do-over.


Set the expectations by explaining the importance of note-taking and follow-up by periodically checking your trainees’ notes. A friend who is a school Principle distributes an outline when facilitating any training session, meeting, or discussion. She follows up by MBWA (Managing By Walking Around).

Set The Stage

  • What do the trainees need to know before the session?
  • What would enhance the training?
  • Consider any information you may share before the training.

I think we’re ready to begin the training. I’ll share a few outlines and specific training methods in the next training blog.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.

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