People often ask me how I got started in creating training materials, especially on such a niche topic like grant management training Materials Like a Pro |.
The truth is my experience in creating training presentations started many years ago when I participated in organizing a summer camp for “oddball” kids like me who were interested in current events, cooking, and listening to inspirational speakers.
My job was to put together the materials together so that we could all convince our parents that this was NOT a bunch of teenagers hanging out at the lake for two weeks goofing off, but a legitimate “educational’ opportunity Materials Like a Pro.
And it wasn’t enough to create a camper’s handbook that was put on the shelf and never looked at again.
We needed checklists for campers, communal cooking schedules and driving directions for parents long before the age of Google maps.
Finally, we needed communication tools to follow up and make sure the instructions were understood and registrations were filled out, payments were made on time and everyone showed up ready to go at the start of camp.
Creating Training Programs for Grant Recipients
Grant management training programs too often are put together and then relegated to take their place next to the potted plant on top of the four drawer file.
Or even worse the training becomes a “Death by PowerPoint” reality show as staff listen to the “trainer” reading the regulations word for word off the slides.
Ever been there?
What worked for me at age fourteen organizing summer camp still holds true today:
- Training must be relevant, informative and most importantly something people can put into use in their day-to-day lives.
4 Elements for Creating Successful Training Programs
To create an effective training program, like a grant management training seminar you need more than a slide presentation full of small font regulations.
Here are the four key elements for creating training programs that actually work:
- Element #1: Create
- Element #2: Train
- Element #3: Measure
- Element #4: Review
As you can see creating the training presentations and training people are only part of the total training equation, but tips for creating effective training materials and delivering training is what we are going to focus on in this article.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
One of the common mistakes I see over and over as I lead training across the country is how many people are oblivious to the different ways people learn when they create training materials.
There are three primary learning styles, and many people use some combination to connect with the subject at hand.
The three styles are:
Simply, auditory learners need to hear the information, visual learners have to see the information and kinesthetic learners need to feel or touch the information.
- Sound complicated?
- You’ll see that it is really not that hard.
- Because you’ve experienced a good training presentation if will feel like you’ll never want to go back to “business as usual”
See what I just did there?
It may sound funny, but I touched on all three learning styles right there.
There. I just did it again…
Even though you are reading this-arguably a visual learner’s favored style, I adapted the communication to connect with and audience that hears, sees, and feels the topic in different ways.
Become more aware of what words you are using and how they connect with people differently.
Choose training delivery that engages all three styles if at all possible.
Live training accomplishes this, and video can be a close second.
But when you only provide written training materials, or only talk about the issues you have dropped off a whole segment of your audience.
Tell a Story with a Point
Whether you are training a child how to tie their shoes, or grant staff how to tie up the loose ends of their grant at close out, most everyone enjoys a good story.
You could argue it’s wired into our DNA across cultures and geographies!
Why fight it?
Do you have a favorite story that you can relate to something that you are training folks on?
Bring it out, dust if off and let it fly.
(Now of course I’m not suggesting that you need to tell something potentially offensive, inappropriate or embarrassing. Even connecting with children’s stories can get the audience engaged.)
- Is this process the tortoise or the hare or does slow and steady win the race?
- It is a “Goldilocks” moment, where only one answer is ‘just right.”
- Or do you find the regulations like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde depending on which Program Officer you are talking with?
The ancient art of story-telling can be used both when you are creating the training materials and when you deliver the training to connect to a greater purpose, drive home a point, or just provide a little levity with particularly “dry” material.
Include this technique the next time you are training someone and see if they hear more of what you are saying and feel more connected to the information.
Mini Case Study: Creating Policies and Procedures That Connect to the Why
Finally, when you are training people, you MUST include the WHY this matters in the discussion.
Let’s look at a case study about creating policies and procedures for grant management.
Why does it matter?
- Creating policies and procedures serve the need for adherence to provisions and regulations dictated by the grantor and other associated agencies and legal bodies.
- The purpose of an organization’s policies and procedures often go beyond the program and involve others both inside and outside the organization.
- Creating effective policies and procedures can serve as a framework for decision-making on issues the organization may encounter during the life of their grant Materials Like a Pro.
Want to hear more?
Let’s look at some examples of how building a strong framework of policies and procedures can serve the organization:
- Assisting in making ethical organizational and business decisions Materials Like a Pro
- Helping maintain the organization’s core vision, mission, and values
- Detecting activities and practices that conflict with organizational standards and/or have a negative impact on the organization
- Providing a system to meet regulatory requirements
- Acting as a supportive resource for employees
- Supporting a culture of integrity within the organization Materials Like a Pro and protecting the public reputation of an organization
You’ve just gotten a behind the scenes look at ways successful training professions connect on a deeper level to their audience no matter what the topic.
Practice including some of these techniques at your next training and let me know the results!
Lucy Morgan CPA
Ready to Improve Your Grant Management?
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We have another grant management training seminar coming soon.
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Hope to see you there!
Lucy Morgan CPA, MBA
CEO, Compliance Warrior
Author of “Decoding Grant Management-The Ultimate Success Guide to the Federal Grant Regulations in 2 CFR Part 200” The 2nd Edition is now available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle versions.