Your Worst Training Experiences

Can you deliver training?

woman in red long sleeve writing on chalk board
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

It’s a serious question, delivering training to both young people or adults is something that requires a unique skill and one that a number of people don’t have.

Let’s all be honest how many time have you sat in a work or scouting training session fighting the urge to close your eyes and fall asleep.

I will hold my hand up and say in both work and Scouting I have been in that situation.

Maybe it’s Environmental

Environment plays a big part in engaging with your audience. Any scout leader will know that if you sit a bunch of scout in the scout hall, classroom style with a map open in front of them you will have between 10 and 15 min if you’re lucky to get across your learning points.

After that, you have lost them.

tired little girl sleeping on book at home
Photo by Gustavo Fring on

Move the same lesson out of the scout hut to the local park and you will be able to keep them busy for an hour chasing their tails around the park following bearings.

The same goes for the environment for adults if the room is warm muggy and airless you will lose them before you have got through the 2nd slide. Take them outside and get them to build towers from spaghetti and marshmallows and they will be content.

Why the Interest in Training Chris?

I have taken the rather drastic leap of helping to run training in the county. Nothing high-flying, I have started to assist my county training team with the delivery of Module 23: Safety for Managers and Supporters and the Ongoing Learning in Safety.

So far no-one has walked out of a training session I have done, which has got to be a good start. However, I do wonder if that because they know that then need my credit to complete their required hours.

I find it quite nerve-racking delivering the training. Not because someone will ask a question I can answer or will know more than me, that element I can cope with.

I am nervous because I have sat through so many bad training sessions willing the session to be over and I don’t want the people in my session doing the same to me.

What is your Worst?

So here where you all come in, I want you to tell me your worst training session what did the trainer do wrong? what made you want to leave? Was it death by powerpoint or something else?

Tell me in the comment – please leave out names and places to protect the innocent.

Feel free to share with others using the social media buttons.


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  1. Tony Flury
    26 June, 2014

    My worst Training experience; doing a project over the period between courses, writing up the project as professionally as possible, with pictures etc, only for it to be ignored by the training team who hadn’t allowed time in the course to look at or even have report back on the projects. I may as well have not done the project.

    1. Kiff
      26 June, 2014

      Tony Thanks for the comment – Yes making time for feedback from participants is very important.


  2. Ken
    26 June, 2014

    The worst training I have ever received, that is an easy one.

    The trainers whole approach was to give you a problem or task and let you complete it. They would then berate everyone for getting it wrong and make fun of them. Once this self aggrandizing was complete they would finally go through the actual training content to show you how it was done. I very nearly walked out.

    I give quite a lot of training now agree environment is key but not always possible to control, we do quite a bit of web based/teleconference training and that is very tough.

    The other thing is preparation and then some more preparation. Learn your material off by heart you should be able to give the session without your slides or any notes, it is great for your own confidence once you get there.

    Another thing I have found is to keep things visual. If using power point for example, try to avoid putting text on the slide if it is something you plan to say, your audience will read it and if they are reading then they are not listening to you. Try and find images or diagrams that support what you are talking about and use these to illustrate your points. Same with hand outs give them out after the session not before.

    Other than that try to make it interactive, split into small sessions and have breaks,most important try to make it fun.

    1. Kiff
      26 June, 2014

      Thanks Ken

      All good advise, and remember even when doing web based training wear trousers


      1. Ken
        26 June, 2014

        I don’t even wear trousers for face to face training.

        1. Kiff
          27 June, 2014

          I guess the breeze under your lab coat keep the training(er) fresh.

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