The training session should be focused

Have you ever attended a training session or training seminar or listened to a sales pitch and got the feeling that you should leave or just end the meeting? Where you’re debating in your mind if it’s a waste of time? I think we all have been there before. We all know that time is money and money is time, there is always another project we could be working on and another email to respond to. In this post I’m going to give you a few cues that will help you decide when its time to leave.

Training Session Built for Success

I was recently invited to a training session for an online bidding system, I was already comfortable with the system they were going to discuss, however; Ryan and I decided to attend this event as a potential networking opportunity . So I packed up some business cards and brochures and headed to this seminar. I was unsure of what to expect. It was a government-hosted event so I didn’t expect anything spectacular, just thinking I could meet a few vendors who might be in need of advertising services themselves. I was wrong, and I left. Here is why.

Lack of direction

Literally! I drove all over the USF campus trying to find this seminar. The location was not hyperlinked properly to get directions and when you searched the address. Google would say: “No results found.” A good thing to keep in mind if you are hosting an event, any event, is to always make sure those attending can find you.

Over communicate

Walking into an empty room is uninviting, it also makes you question if you are in the right spot (see above). If you are out to lunch, leave a note. If the seminar is in room 101, make a sign. Communication is key.

Training sessions should be engaging

In a 3-hour training session, it’s extremely important to be engaging. Note cards are fine, but reading line by line from a training manual with little to no eye contact with those who are listening; is not only boring and impersonal. It also makes it that much easier for attendees to slip out the back.

Mindtools has some great tips on planning a successful training session

Remember these simple steps when planning your training session or seminar:

  • Define Objectives

  • Focus on Simple and Clear Concepts

  • Keep the Presentation Organized

    • Tell them what you are going to tell them
    • Tell them
    • Tell them what you told them
  • Engage and be Mindful of People’s Time

I don’t want to make this whole post negative, so let me tell you what I did take away from the 15 minutes I was there. I met a guy named Gary, he manufactures and sells prison uniforms. I learned there is a market for that, who knew? But honestly at the end of my 15 minutes I truly learned that it doesn’t matter what you do, people are going to leave your meeting with an experience. Whether it’s a few minutes into the meeting or in your closing statements after three hours. What is the experience you want your audience to leave with?

Check out our events page to find out when Energyhill is hosting a training workshop. We promise not to waste your time.

Business lessons from Marathon Training

My marathon journey began decades ago when I was on the track and field team in high school. I enjoyed the process, the challenge and the companionship that running brought. Over the next 20 years most things in my life changed. But there was one constant – my love of the sound of my feet hitting the pavement over and over and over again.

After years of casual runs, I decided to go for it. The Marathon. 26.2 miles.

The 6 months of arduous training and long distance running did so much more than just prepare me for a marathon. It gave me business lessons that have changed me and brought me success in running, in my career, and in life. Here are the lessons I learned.

Be Committed

Determine your goal and commit to it. Sign up for that race, put it on your calendar, and purchase some new running shoes. Make the decision to do it and make sure you stick with it.

In business as in marathon training, the first step is commit yourself. Commit yourself in a way that you can’t simply back out if you change your mind or if the road becomes difficult. Have friends or colleagues hold you accountable for the steps you’ll be taking to get yourself where you want to be.

Be Prepared

You wouldn’t simply decide to run 10 miles when you’ve only ever run 3. You have to take small, measured increases in distance to improve your performance and reach new milestones.

If you want to move ahead in business you have to plan and track your successes. Write down your goals, schedule due dates for each, and ensure that each step of your plan builds on one other. Improve your business performance step by step towards your final accomplishment.

Be Realistic

While many races are shorter distances and people can get through without too much training, the marathon is a killer. Go in unprepared, and you’ll never make it.

Be realistic about your business goals. Set goals you can achieve in a reasonable amount of time. Your accomplishments in business should set you up on a firm foundation of experience and expertise that brings you one step closer to your goals.

Be Ready

In running, it is simply called the Wall. It is the point of the marathon (usually around mile 18) where you’ve depleted your reserves and feel as though you’ve literally hit a wall and can’t take one more step. At this point, it’s your mental strength that pushes your body through until the next burst of adrenaline.

Realize you may hit a point when you want to give up, and plan for ways to overcome those feelings when you get there. Be ready for the Wall, and be ready to run through it.

Be Happy

Most importantly, enjoy the experience. Running can be exhausting, painful, and unglamorous. But if you can look past your discomfort and focus on the beauty all around you, you can find the strength to keep going one more mile.

Growing a business or reaching a new milestone can be equally frustrating and challenging. Find satisfaction in your small accomplishments, and be proud of the distance you’ve been able to come. Tomorrow is another day to shine.

Go for It

When you want something, go after it. Set your goal, plan your plan, hit the pavement, and don’t look back. On January 11 I finished 26.2 miles through the Walt Disney World Theme Park in under 5 ½ hours. Since then, I’ve successfully built two businesses and transitioned into a business consulting and freelance writing career that I love. And I’m still running marathons.

What accomplishment do you want to reach?