Author - Beth Caldwell, Head Blended Learning, English, India
A great training session doesn’t just start on the day of delivery. Planning is equally important and impacts greatly on effectiveness. Just as important is the consideration given to the ‘takeaway’, thinking about what you want to change or happen as a result of the training – what participants will be taking with them to apply in the real world. For example, if you were conducting a training session on the importance of communication skills in business, some of the key takeaways could be:
- Understanding the importance of good communication in business
- Key business communication skills
- Presentation skills and strategies
- Tips for good business writing
- Consider what the participants already know. Make sure the session is pitched for their level, needs and interests. You could share a pre-session questionnaire which will help you plan for this.
- Decide what you want the participants to know beforehand. Share details of the session to build interest. Having clear objectives, pre-session tasks (if you are leveraging a flipped classroom model), a list of equipment needed and a brief biography of the trainer can all help prepare participants and whet their appetite.
A good training session has clear stages that go from learning to application. One possible way to label these is Define-Inform-Connect-Resolve.
- Define the issues, skills or development areas being covered.
- Inform participants by introducing strategies, techniques, theories or models that can be applied to the above areas.
- Connect participants to the strategies through practical activities such as role plays and discussions.
- Resolve the learning through considering future and alternative applications of the strategies.
Training is a success when the participants can immediately go out and apply what they have learned.
- Ensure you provide opportunities to participants to reflect on what they have learned as it applies to their own contexts. Make sure they always have something practical to ‘take away’ and apply.
- Always ask for feedback after the training. It’s a great way to gauge how well participants processed the information and to find out what they enjoyed and what they didn’t. Use this when you are planning next time to create an even better training experience!
Sign up for our webinar on the ‘Anatomy of an effective training session’ by clicking here.
Author – Beth Caldwell, Head Blended Learning, English, India
It’s a common situation: you want to shine brighter in interviews or at work. You wonder how best to get the job or promotion you want. You want that ‘X-factor’ that makes you stand out. The solution could be simple: focus on adding 21st century skills to your skill set.
According to a LinkedIn survey, 57% of senior leaders say soft skills in business communication are more important than hard skills. Other than job-specific knowledge, the key skills needed in order to participate in a global economy and succeed in a rapidly changing work environment are known as 21st century skills. They include:
- Critical thinking and problem-solving
- Communication and collaboration
- Global and cultural awareness
- Digital skills
- Leadership and personal development
Here are some things you can do to develop these skills:
- Be well-informed about your profession through Internet-based research for personal development and to flex your digital skills.
- Analyse ideas and concepts you read about: Think about the pros and cons of applying them in your own situation and develop your problem-solving abilities and creativity.
- Discuss ideas with colleagues or others in your industry, face-to-face or in the virtual world, to develop your collaboration and communication skills.
- Network with people in other states or countries for fresh perspectives and to build your cultural awareness.
- Build your communication skills by commenting on articles, taking part in online forums and making the most of video conferencing.
Taking an online course is a great way to advance your 21st century capabilities. They can help you develop self-motivation, time management, digital research and communication skills. MOOCs, for example, will expand your professional knowledge and provide global perspectives from other participants who join from around the world. The British Council offers range of MOOCs on the FutureLearn platform, including ‘How to Succeed in a Global Workplace’.
If you want to develop your communication skills in English, look for courses that focus on maximising opportunities for you to speak or write. A good course will develop your independent learning skills and offer practical learning activities based on real-life situations. At the British Council these skills are built into our course design. For example, our online myEnglish courses include communicative group tasks in live online classes – all under the guidance of an internationally-qualified and experienced teacher.
Whether independently or via a course, you will benefit from identifying and developing your 21st century skill set. With these skills in hand you can future-proof your career aspirations, stand out to employers and gain the advantage in the 21st Century workplace.
Join our free live online webinar and learn all about using online learning skills to get ahead in the global workplace.
NIT Patna students engrossed in a group discussion
British Council successfully completed a Professional English Course for 50 learners at NIT Patna. This is a renewed partnership between British Council and NIT Patna after a successful training intervention in 2014. This time around we aim to train 500 learners (20 batches) at NIT Patna premises over four months (June- September 2016).
The 24-hour course comprises four main sections – interview skills, group discussions, CV writing and presentation skills taught at different levels – all aimed at helping learners bag job placements in their dream companies.
Students were seen participating actively in engaging, activity based lessons with several practice and feedback sessions built in for continuous improvement. Practicing their employability skills using simulations of real life scenarios has helped boost confidence in public speaking, improve fluency and prepare to sell themselves in interviews.
Student feedback has been very positive. Learners particularly appreciate the teaching methodology used and have quoted it as being ’perfect’ and ‘excellent’ in mid-course focus group discussions. On feedback forms 100% of learners were able to mention concrete takeaways from the course that will significantly improve chances of being placed with companies of their choice. They also appreciate the efforts of college authorities to liaise with British Council for English language training and requested us to ‘organise more (training) events like this’.
We hope to continue this training program successfully for rest of the 450 learners. As a team, we are very happy to partner with NIT Patna and help bright young minds to bridge the gap between capability and employability.
For more information on English communication skills courses please visit here.
If you represent an organisation and want to enquire about English communication skills courses, please fill the form here and we will get in touch with you.
Post by Tapsi Chhabra