Best Training Practices
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
Delivering your Message
maximizing your impact on your audience through the most effective format
Live, on-line, print, media . . . local, remote . . . large group, individual . . . there are any number of decisions to be made about how to deliver your message to your audience. Years of experience have taught me that:
- No one delivery vehicle is appropriate for every situation
- The greatest impact is usually achieved by a combination of tools.
- The characteristics and experiences of the audience are the most important factors in determining vehicles for delivery, along with . . .
- Time and budget constraints on both delivery and development.
Understanding your audience is the key to influencing their
behavior. Use that knowledge to deliver your message in the most effective and efficient way available to you, given the tradeoffs between delivery and development costs for any given format.
Content vs. Communication
Building the best delivery system into your message is one difference between designing effective communications
and just writing content.
Here are some thoughts about your options for delivering your message -- I've delivered communications through every format described below.
- Outside professionals: Professional trainers who are hired, for a specific period of time, deliver seminars to employees
- Inside professionals: Your own in-house training and sales staff, who often get outside help developing tools to make
them more efficient and effective.
- Insiders who aren't professional communicators/trainers: Take the manager of a branch, product line, sales region, or corporate staff funcion, a person who has other responsibilities besides training and communication, but who plays a significant role in enhancing the performance of other employees. This individual may not have the same type of education or experience as the "professionals" above, but this group probably delivers the vast majority of training and communication inside companies and organizations today. I am particularly adept at creating tools that help these managers and other staff get the desired results.
Media: Audio, Video, On-line content
Over the years, I have handled every aspect of traditional media production from concept to script to casting and scouting
to directing to postproduction design to editing to duplication and distribution.
Now, intranet and internet delivery has essentially become another medium, with considerations such as content development and structure, formats, accessibility, pacing, and alternative paths to the same information. Consider just a few situations in which organizations have used media content I have developed for them:
- Seminars and conventions: traditional A/V tools bring the insights of company leaders to local meetings and training sessions, providing a foundation of common goals and shared perspectives.
- On-line training and reference tools: accessing documentation and help through a web browser or help engine not only provides quick access, it keeps standardized content up to date, and allows users to approach the content in different ways and still find the information they need.
- Self-study programs: when you're working on your own, whether with a print and media (CD) package, or on-line, being able to hear directly from experts and leaders, or to see complex processes in action, contributes to greatly enhanced retention and performance.
- Web sites and e-newsletters: whether they come to you, or your message goes to them, the internet opens a conversation with your audience.
Is print dead? Hardly, and for good reason. Print materials can be surprisingly interactive, and they certainly have not been entirely replaced by computer-based tools.
Whether or not you believe the paperless office is just around the corner, I continue to generate a lot of printed content, because it often offers the best combination of convenience, cost, and impact. My written work includes leader guides for meetings and seminars, policy and process manuals, tests and activities to support training, user materials to help the customer, articles and newsletters to reach prospects, and just about anything that needs to be explained to an employee, a prospect, or a customer.
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