From this point on the course should be fairly straightforward to put together. You have a plan to follow and you know how to make your training inclusive and engaging. Now all you need to do is write the materials.

This is the point when I leave my low tech index cards behind and go to my word processor. I type up the list of topics in the order already identified and then copy and paste it immediately below. I now have two copies of the same list.

The first copy stays on the first page for reference.

The second copy is reformatted in bold and each entry becomes the heading for a separate handout or exercise. The links to the various, pre-identified themes become the first of the preparatory notes for each handout or exercise.

But that’s all you do with these handouts for now.

Next you write the trainers’ notes (even if nobody else will deliver it). These are the notes accompanying each handout that clearly define what each handout will aim to achieve and what anecdotes you will tell. These notes are also the place where exercises are identified and where you can list the particular learning points and questions you want to introduce to the group at each stage.

Only then, when you’ve identified all these ingredients should you write the actual handouts that you are going to use.

By the time you’ve finished the trainers notes and handouts you should have a single document (part pack) that anyone could use to deliver your training provided they understand the topic. This doesn’t mean that others necessarily will gain access to your materials – simply that the very process of creating trainers notes alongside the course materials themselves keeps you on track and helps ensure that the original training plan is reflected in the finished product.

You can never overestimate the value of a good set of trainers’ notes – even if you never look at them again.

 

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