Unfortunately quite often software training can sound rather dull and it isn't always easy to get it right. Because many innovative tools are built based on new concepts, trainers can get sidetracked in explanations and struggle to say things in the most straightforward of ways. However, like Albert Einstein once said:
“if you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough”
Users looking at a piece of software for the first time need to be able to easily understand what it does, how it does it and why it can be useful to them.
For this reason, whilst the core message doesn't change much from one training session to another, the way that message is packaged and presented should vary depending on the audience. Successful trainers are able to manipulate the format of a training session and tailor their explanations to all levels of ability. Because learning how to use a new tool might just be another side project in the busy schedule of the users attending the training, trainers should relate their product to the clients businesses and explain how it can be used within this setting. This will not only promote engagement but it will also encourage the audience to consider how they would utilize the technology in their work environment.
The choice of format and material often requires a lot of thinking, as designing a training program also involves creating all the support documentation and training material. There are many benefits as well as different practical considerations to each format, whether it is a face-to-face session or an online webinar. Moving away from traditional methods, training programs are becoming increasingly innovative and companies are more willing to think outside the box, using videos, images and interactive tools to engage with their audience.
Training strategies should not end with the training session and efficient trainers make sure their audience has access to everything they need to start using the product on their own. Relevant documentation should be provided, such as a user guide or a comprehensive list of technical FAQs, along with contact details should people have any question about the product. A proactive approach make clients feel valued and supported. Small actions are always appreciated, such as a follow-up after the training session to ask how they are getting on, and whether they require more guidance or if they have any additional questions.
Whilst a technology company’s activity revolves around their software and employees have been using the product for a long time, the success of a client training program depends on the trainers’ ability to put themselves in their audience’s shoes. As they create their training strategies and material, efficient trainers manage to think about how they would like things to be explained and presented if they were – like their audience – discovering the product for the first time.