Training disasters and tips on how to avoid them

When scout movement founder Baden Powell devised the motto ‘Be prepared’, he could just as well have been thinking about training and learning and development. Yet too many trainers seem to adhere to the old Gypsy cry of ‘Be lucky’. Below are some tips on how to avoid training disasters.

  1. If you are using a Litepro projector during a presentation, always carry a spare bulb, or keep a spare bulb in the training room.

  2. Tell trainers to turn up at least one hour before a session is due to start.

  3. If you’re using technology, give yourself time to test it on the day of the course. Never forget the trainer’s motto: if it worked yesterday, it won’t work today.

  4. If you are using hand-outs and material you have composed yourself, have them checked by someone whose English is excellent. Never use a school teacher to do this and never ever rely on a spell-checker.

  5. Always give delegates a start time of at least 15 minutes before the session is due to start. That way, you may have a full turn-out at the start.

  6. Charge departments of ‘no-showers’ a per capita portion of the cost of the course, except if the ‘no-shower’ has an acceptable excuse. Make this training department policy.

  7. Build a punctuality clause into your contracts or arrangements with trainers.

  8. Have a back-up plan. For example, if a PowerPoint presentation fails, have printed copies to use instead.

  9. If you plan to use an external venue, always visit it before confirming the booking and list what you want them to provide. Never trust what they tell you by phone or e-mail.

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