You may have a designated training room. You may end up training in whichever room is available. If you’re lucky, you’re giving input on a new training room that is in the works! My hunch is the last scenario is on the wish list for most of us, but since that is probably not the case, here are a few pointers on creating the best space for your training sessions.
- Don’t design your training space in a way that limits creativity.
Consider a room that’s square rather than rectangular. The former allows the trainer to be close to the entire audience. The latter makes it difficult for all participants to feel engaged. Also, think outside of the box and use two rooms for a training event –one that is used for presentation, and another that is used for small group discussion or breaks. Other creativity killers include limiting yourself to projecting video on the same wall, or tying a presenter to a podium with a three-foot long microphone cord.
- Stretch your budget dollars by thinking long-term.
For example, if you are considering ceiling speakers, you may want to reconsider. Portable sound systems are more durable and affordable than ever and may be used in numerous contexts. I know the touch pad screens that control every device in the room are really cool –but in my humble opinion, cost effectiveness, flexibility, and engaged participants trump gadgetry.If the budget is really tight, consider something as simple as a new coat of paint. In Raymond Noe’s Employee Training and Development, he recommends pastel hues such as oranges, greens, blues and yellows. He notes, “Variations of white are cold and sterile. Blacks and brown shades will close the room in psychologically and become fatiguing”
- Be prepared. Be overly prepared.
It’s always a good idea to stay two steps ahead of the presenter. Having wireless internet access and some sort of table is a good place to start, but also provide a backup of everything the presenter requests for his or her presentation. Many presenters bring speakers, a laptop, cables, an extension cord, etc., but many do not. Preparing for the unprepared is always in your best interest. Each presenter will have a different preference, so double-check beforehand.And don’t forget the snacks! Food is one sure thing that brings people together. If you won’t be able to provide any, let the participants know they are welcome to bring their own.