Train-the-Trainer Lesson Plan: 4 Key Training Design Steps

One of the most-searched-for blog posts on Train Like A Champion has been my post offering a Train the Trainer Course Outline. At 6.5 years old, this post is begging for some updates, and so over the next several weeks, I’d like to not only update the actual outline itself but also offer some specific examples of how to actually facilitate sections of this program.

Today’s post takes a closer look at how to engage training participants by incorporating a 4-step design process into any training program. The lesson plan was generated with the help of Soapbox and was put together in a matter of minutes!

You can download a pdf file of the 75-minute Train-the-Trainer lesson plan here, and if you find this 4-step design process helpful, you are welcome to adjust the timing of the activities to meet your own needs. Below is a snapshot of the sequence and flow of activities that make up this lesson:

Not all train-the-trainer programs are designed to turn participants into instructional designers, so the degree to which these design steps should be covered will vary. For programs that expect participants to not only deliver standard curricula but also to design their own training programs, a more in-depth look at these steps would be warranted. For those programs designed to simply prepare trainers to deliver a program (with no expectations that they would also design other training sessions), this lesson plan should be more than adequate.

Why should trainers be educated on a design model if they’re not actually going to be designing training?

While there are more details about the design model in the actual lesson plan available for download, a quick summary of the 4-step model is as follows:

  1. Anchor. An activity designed to connect your learners to your topic in terms they’ll understand.
  2. Content. How you present information about your topic.
  3. Application. An opportunity for participants to practice using your content in a safe environment.
  4. Future Use. An activity designed to make sure participants are set up for success when they use your information outside of the training environment.

In my experience, when trainers have not been educated on the intentional design, sequence and flow of activities, it becomes easy to skip certain activities in order to allocate more time to the presentation of content. For example, if they’re running behind, I’ve seen trainers look to cut application or anchor activities, feeling those activities are more superfluous. Educating trainers on the interconnectedness of the entire design of a training program – how it’s more difficult to grasp a concept without an effective anchor, how it’s more difficult to retain information unless you’ve had an opportunity to practice using it – becomes essential to creating a more effective learning experience and developing more effective trainers.

While all train-the-trainer programs should give participants ample opportunity to practice delivering training components and receiving feedback in order to hone their delivery, practice with delivery is not the only element to an effective train-the-trainer program. Ensuring a clear understanding of the rhyme and reason for the sequence and flow of activities in the training program is just as important.


Interested to see how Soapbox can help you put together a sequence and flow of training activities for your next training program within minutes? Fill out the form below to learn more or schedule a demo today!

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