Successful district training events require planning and attention to detail. Make every effort to run an enjoyable and professional training session. Use these tips to make your training a success.
Choose the best trainers, educators and motivators from throughout the district. Notify them well in advance of the training sessions and involve them in the planning process and keep them posted on progress and provide materials ahead of time. Also, instruct them to keep the training session focused but flexible according to the needs of each particular group of trainees.
Use Toastmasters International training programs. Determine the needs of your group of trainees and plan the delivery of the content accordingly.
Make appropriate arrangements. Select a date that does not conflict with important local events or holidays. Select and secure a location and a facility that will provide a suitable training environment. Allow adequate time to complete your training agenda. Also be sure to do the following:
- Order supplies from World Headquarters at least six to eight weeks in advance
- Arrange for proper set-up of tables, seating and equipment
- Download the training materials from the Toastmasters International website and prepare visual aids
Get the word out early and often. Invite and urge officers to attend the training session using all available media (newsletter, fliers, personal telephone calls, etc.). Emphasize the benefits of the training for the individual, such as leadership development, skill-building and personal growth.
Prepare session leaders. Being a good session leader requires the same dedication that it takes to give a good speech. Your session leaders should have:
- Subject matter expertise
- Knowledge of teaching methods for Speechcraft and other modules
- High level of motivation to train others
Ensure sessions start and end on time. Pay close attention to the training schedule and make sure your session leaders follow it. When planning, allow time for discussion and exercises to practice new skills. Also allow time for questions and answers.
Encourage participants to contact session leaders or district leaders if issues arise that cannot be adequately addressed during a training session. Urge participants to review appropriate handbooks and materials. The answers to most questions can be found in these valuable resources.
Feedback is critical to the success of trainees and the success of future training sessions. During each session, leaders should ask for feedback from participants to ensure that material is being understood. Every training session should be evaluated against these criteria:
- Did the content meet the needs of participants?
- Was the material useful?
- Was the presenter knowledgeable and well-prepared?
- How can training be improved?
- What other topics should be covered?
Provide follow-up support during the year. Hold formal or informal review sessions at district conferences, executive committee meetings, division council meetings, area council meetings and other events.
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