The big ‘why?’
Knowing why your participants are in your training is essential. It influences the design of your training and helps you to choose the content to focus on and the methods to use. You want to know what participants want to take out of the training: do they want to structure the way they work, get more tools and methods, work on their own practical case or get a new task and have no clue where to start?
Maybe their boss sent them or they see it as an occasion to finally get out of their office and discover a new area or country even.
How to discover the motivation
The best way is to find out the reason for participation before the training, so that you can design the training based on the needs expressed and include cases that fit the participants’ situation. You can do this through a questionnaire, document reviews, Skype intakes, phone calls or visits to the work floor. If this is not feasible for you, make sure that you do a check-in at the start of the training. A good starter is to ask what participants want to take away from the training, which also allows you to frame the training.
Use participants’ experience too
While asking for the participants’ expectations and motivation, you can also find out about the experience that they already have on the topic of the training. In this way you can make use of this to link the learning. Besides, people learn a lot from sharing with their peers. Remember that 10 percent of learning takes place in the classroom, 20 percent amongst peers and 70 percent through applying the learning. All depends on the motivation that participants have and the way in which you present the learning.