Paul Wherly

Even trainers need to learn!

LearningAs a person who is involved with transfer of learning to others, I am always on the lookout for ways to improve the way that I serve up learning.

As a professional in the field of learning there are things that I do naturally as a trainer and then there are the things I would love to do or think might work, however I don’t always have the confidence to try them out.

In the search for professional and personal development I recently attended a fabulous course. It is called How to Be a Brain Friendly Trainer.

Over the course of three fun filled action packed days, I learned so much.


I learned new ways of making the training room environment conducive to learning. Added pictures, use of colour in drawings, use of more pictures and screenshots to decorate the walls. Adding pre-drawn flipcharts in lots of colour to the walls.

I now have the course sessions on a flipchart with pictures rather than simple text to show what we will cover in the sessions.


The use of music to help embed learning for those who like to listen is very important. Now when you do a hands on exercise, you will be listening to soothing classical music.


Provision of snacks helps when the Lizard brain is crying out for nourishment. If you are hungry or just peckish it will be very difficult to focus on learning as the hunger will take over. All you will be thinking about is I want Chocolate!


Incorporating movement helps learning. For example, when learning about cut copy and paste with bullets and numbering in Microsoft Word, I get participants to move to each other’s computers and mess up the lists. Then go back to their own and put it right. Moving around brings energy to the room.


Reviewing information that has just been learned is extremely important and I learned that we need to review information many times.

Much of what I learned I realised I already did, however without the scientific knowledge that leads to better understanding of why some things work and others do not.

How do you like to learn? Do you like to be told what buttons to press or would you rather be guided? Do you like experiential learning or prefer a presentation? Would you rather do exercises to embed learning or go home a few minutes earlier?

On courses run by IT Training Surgery, you will have plenty of time to practice, demonstration files to use and a user manual to take away in electronic format.

Call us to discuss your organisation’s learning needs.  I believe that everyone needs to invest in learning – even the trainer needs to learn.

Shelley Fishel

Call us on 0208 203 1774 or email or use the contact form here on the website.

10 thoughts on “Even trainers need to learn!

    It probably sounds a little mad, but I would also add take them outside somewhere for one element of the day. There’s nothing like even briefly feeling the elements – wind, sun, even rain – to refresh and focus the mind again.

    I’m a terrible fidget and like the idea of moving round a lot, possibly having different activities at different work stations. Also pictures as well as words to outline the learning. Not keen on the idea of music, that’s a very personal taste.

    I definitely learn by experience and coming at things from different angles.

    Hi Judy, movement is quite a challenge to get into an IT course :) however it is possible. I get people to get up and write on the flipchart quite a lot and we take lots of breaks. Handouts with screenshots help too. I have also learned to draw simple graphics to illustrate what is being learned – that was quite a challenge for me!

    Hi Sarah, thanks for stopping by. That is really interesting. A video encompasses both audio and visual and lot of people need pictures to help them see what is going on. On the blog here, you will find video tips on Microsoft Office, hope you find some useful things.

    Hi Sara- as we train on both Mac and PC the answer is yes! If you come across a tip on the site for PC and you are wondering how to do the same on Mac, just let me know and I will do a Mac version.

    Thank you Shelley! How do I sign up so I can receive just each new blog post, not emails for now? Would be interesting to see what you post here.

    Hi Sarah
    I have a blog digest that goes out on a Monday to my main list. If you sign up you will get that. It is an email with links to all the previous week’s blogs. Or you can add the blog to a blog feed.

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