By Sandra Summerhayes August, 2021
I have just returned from a few days of training facilitation in Toronto. This was the first in- person training session I have done in nearly a year, and it was phenomenal. The energy was incredible, and everyone seemed pleased to be together.
Although I have been facilitating in-person training sessions for more than two decades, following nearly two years of virtual training, there are things that can quickly be forgotten. For this reason, I thought others may benefit from what I have learned and, in some cases, re- learned during my in-person sessions last week:
As prepared as I thought I was, I was not nearly as prepared as I used to be for in-person training. When facilitating training through a virtual platform, everything was readily available at my fingertips. If I needed to use a quote from a book, it was within reach. If I needed a prop for emphasis, it was close by. That same spontaneity cannot be achieved in-person unless it is planned for. It’s important to spend time choosing what you want to say or bring in case it would be of use or if there was time for an activity at the end of the day. As we transition to more in-person training, prepare as much as possible, and then do it again.
Have multiple copies available of your presentation
I had to remind myself that I do not have control over other people’s technology. On the first day of the training, my laptop would not sync with the equipment at the facility, but thankfully, I had my presentation with me on a USB stick. I also emailed the presentation to myself so that I could access it from any computer. This is something I always made sure to do prior to COVID, but I don’t wish to take for granted that it could be very easy to forget as we reenter the world.
Continue to be COVID friendly
For each individual I prepared a bag that contained sanitizer, gloves, a marker, a pen, a journal, a squishy ball, sticky notes along with other items necessary for various activities throughout the training. I wanted to ensure that everyone felt comfortable in what was their first in-person session with their colleagues as well. While I was speaking at the front of the room and distanced from the participants, I did not wear a mask so that everyone could clearly hear me, but as soon as I needed to walk throughout the room, I made sure it was on. If you haven’t already, I recommend getting a lanyard for your mask to so it can easily be put on and taken off as needed.
Get your body back in shape
I go for walks every day and consider myself to be a fairly active person, but two days of mostly standing and delivering training wreaked havoc on my body. I couldn’t believe how sore I was in the following days. Be careful not to assume that your body will return to normal right away. I recommend easing yourself into physical activity. Try standing at your desk while working for a few days to get back into a regular physical routine.
Don’t forget to rest
It is going to take all of us some time to adjust to our previous routines and rest will be important in getting there. Other than typing some notes following the training session, I gave myself the following day off to rest my body and my mind which gave me the time to become reenergized.
I hope these tips will be helpful as we transition back to more in-person training sessions. Please reach out to me if you would like more information or visit www.sandrasummerhayes.com