How to Buy a Successful Training Class

June 12, 2017 in Training Tips and Insights Articles

Written by Steve Heckler


For the past 15 years, I have had the pleasure of serving as Accelebrate’s president (and before that was a senior manager at another IT training firm for nearly 7 years). During those 22 years, I have managed more than 7,000 training events worldwide and interacted with clients before, during, and after their training. In my experience, there are key steps you need to take before, during, and after a class to ensure a successful training class that achieves the productivity gains you envision.

Before the Class

  • Interview the actual trainer who would teach your class. The friendly salesperson will almost certainly not be teaching your class! More than any other factor, the quality of the instructor will determine the results of your training.
  • Deeply understand your audience’s needs and work with the instructor and training firm to customize the outline to address them.  Accelebrate is always eager to work with you to ensure that your entire class is highly valuable to the attendees.
  • Don’t push the training firm to stuff 10 pounds of potatoes into a 5-pound bag. I am on calls almost every day where the client asks us to compress 5 days of training into 2, or 8 days of training into 4. This kind of compression can only be achieved by dropping topics, simplifying topics (and usually over-simplifying them), or removing hands-on time (which is essential for students to make connections and internalize what they have learned). At Accelebrate, we want your class to be successful and will always advise you on the optimal training duration. If we suggest adding an additional day to your training, it’s because we want your training to achieve your goals so we earn your repeat business.
  • Ensure employees meet the class prerequisites and try to place people with similar skill levels into the same class. Doing this ensures that we can teach the topics and pace your class in a way that is pleasing to the entire group. Even though we charge a modest fee for additional attendees, attendees who lack the class prerequisites should not be seated in the training – the class will only be frustrating for them and the additional support and types of questions they ask will only slow down and frustrate your core audience.

During the Class

  • As best you can, free your employees’ schedules to focus on the class. Don’t schedule meetings or conference calls during class hours, and help your staff shift their work to other employees as best they can. An employee who is constantly interrupted during class or who is having to work long hours after class will be distracted and tired, losing a lot of the benefit of the training. Make it clear that the training is your employees’ top priority during those days.
  • Speak to your employees about not checking their mobile devices, email, or instant messages except during breaks, unless their job duties truly require them to be minute-to-minute on call. Recent research shows that most humans multitask poorly; your staff will learn and contribute much more to the training if they’re able to focus on it.

After Class

  • Review feedback from your learners. What was effective? What would they like to change next time? Accelebrate conducts detailed evaluations at the end of each class and is always delighted to share your results with you.
  • Plan for projects that immediately apply what your learners have learned and supply them with mentorship. “Use it or lose it” definitely applies here: you want your learners to come out of training immediately into projects that apply what they have learned. To be successful, it’s also important that they have mentors with more advanced skills who can help them overcome obstacles. These mentors can be internal to your organization or hired from outside.

Author: Steve Heckler, Founder and President of Accelebrate, Inc.


Written by Steve Heckler

Steve Heckler

Steve is the founder and president at Accelebrate where he selects new courses, works with clients on the design and technical setup of their classes, manages Accelebrate’s overall business, and teaches once a month (which he loves). His specialties are Apache Tomcat, Apache httpd, IIS, and JBoss.
  



Contact Us:

Accelebrate’s training classes are available for private groups of 3 or more people at your site or online anywhere worldwide.

Don't settle for a "one size fits all" public class! Have Accelebrate deliver exactly the training you want, privately at your site or online, for less than the cost of a public class.

For pricing and to learn more, please contact us.

Contact Us Train For Us

Toll-free in US/Canada:
877 849 1850
International:
+1 678 648 3113

Toll-free in US/Canada:
866 566 1228
International:
+1 404 420 2491

925B Peachtree Street, NE
PMB 378
Atlanta, GA 30309-3918
USA

Subscribe to our Newsletter:

Never miss the latest news and information from Accelebrate:

Microsoft Gold Partner

Please see our complete list of
Microsoft Official Courses

Recent Training Locations

Alabama

Huntsville

Montgomery

Birmingham

Alaska

Anchorage

Arizona

Phoenix

Tucson

Arkansas

Fayetteville

Little Rock

California

San Francisco

Oakland

San Jose

Orange County

Los Angeles

Sacramento

San Diego

Colorado

Denver

Boulder

Colorado Springs

Connecticut

Hartford

DC

Washington

Florida

Fort Lauderdale

Miami

Jacksonville

Orlando

Saint Petersburg

Tampa

Georgia

Atlanta

Augusta

Savannah

Idaho

Boise

Illinois

Chicago

Indiana

Indianapolis

Iowa

Ceder Rapids

Des Moines

Kansas

Wichita

Kentucky

Lexington

Louisville

Louisiana

Banton Rouge

New Orleans

Maine

Portland

Maryland

Annapolis

Baltimore

Hagerstown

Frederick

Massachusetts

Springfield

Boston

Cambridge

Michigan

Ann Arbor

Detroit

Grand Rapids

Minnesota

Saint Paul

Minneapolis

Mississippi

Jackson

Missouri

Kansas City

St. Louis

Nebraska

Lincoln

Omaha

Nevada

Reno

Las Vegas

New Jersey

Princeton

New Mexico

Albuquerque

New York

Buffalo

Albany

White Plains

New York City

North Carolina

Charlotte

Durham

Raleigh

Ohio

Canton

Akron

Cincinnati

Cleveland

Columbus

Dayton

Oklahoma

Tulsa

Oklahoma City

Oregon

Portland

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Philadelphia

Rhode Island

Providence

South Carolina

Columbia

Charleston

Spartanburg

Greenville

Tennessee

Memphis

Nashville

Knoxville

Texas

Dallas

El Paso

Houston

San Antonio

Austin

Utah

Salt Lake City

Virginia

Richmond

Alexandria

Arlington

Washington

Tacoma

Seattle

West Virginia

Charleston

Wisconsin

Madison

Milwaukee

Alberta

Edmonton

Calgary

British Columbia

Vancouver

Nova Scotia

Halifax

Ontario

Ottawa

Toronto

Quebec

Montreal

Puerto Rico

San Juan

© 2013-2019 Accelebrate, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks are owned by their respective owners.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.