People learn faster and better in training sessions that are motivational. We would like to cover some skills that trainers can use to make their classroom sessions more motivational. We will look at the principal sources of training related-motivation. We will also review specific techniques in the classroom that will enhance the motivation of participants both in the classroom and back on the job.

We need to ask the question, what causes participants to be motivated to learn new skills during training, and to use those skills after training? The answer is quite simple, many of the elements of the group presentations can be summarized in three premises of motivation.

Motivation Premise 1

People are motivated to do new things that they believe are beneficial to themselves and to the company.

Ask yourself this question, what can I do as a trainer to convince people that the skills we are training them on are useful to them and the company? One technique that works very well is asking participants about their worst training experience, and the consequences of a poorly run training session. This technique of discussing how something is done poorly and the consequences of doing so can be used to increase the motivation to learn a new skill. The types of questions that you could use are as follows:

§ Describe what happened during a seminar which you would consider a “worst” experience.
§ What was the instructor doing to make it the worst experience?

§ What were the consequences to you and other participants?

§ What were the consequences to the instructor?

§ What would you have done differently?

Motivation Premise 2

New skills and concepts that are developed by the participants are more valuable than those “given” them by an instructor. What can you as the instructor do to help people develop personal comfort with, acceptance of, and willingness to try the new skills?

The answer is simple, the facilitation process itself is an important part of motivating. The facilitator should avoid “telling” or “teaching” when group exercises and self-developed insights into the skills are an alternative.

Motivation Premise 3

People are motivated to use a new skill only when they are confident that they know what to do and how to do it. What can you as a trainer do to help people have the competence and confidence to use these skills on the job?

Remember, the facilitation process itself is again an important part of motivating, along with the quality of the program itself. The facilitator should check for understanding frequently and if necessary modify the format of the training to meet the needs of the specific group.

Try using some of these motivational premises in your training classes, and you will notice how participants will not only look forward to training sessions, but will participate more actively too.

Author's Bio: 

A U. S. Air Force veteran and MBA, the author has spent over thirty-five years in the business world in sales and sales management positions for the pharmaceutical, consumer products and publishing industries. The bulk of Vince’s experience is in the pharmaceutical industry, where he has held the positions of National Sales Manager and Sales Training Director for some of the largest corporations in the world.

He has trained thousands of sales managers and sales people in both English and Spanish, and has conducted fieldwork and training seminars and workshops in the North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Central and South America, Asia and Australia.

It is his belief that the frontline sales manager is the critical player in the sales person’s success, and he coined the phrase, “Your sales reps are only as good as their district managers.” This belief made him go on and co-author the first and only American book specifically for pharmaceutical district sales managers, Pharmaceutical Sales Management in a Changeable Marketplace. The ideas in Vince’s books underlie the skills taught in his training workshops on selling and sales management.