HOME
Archives Search
Ask Connie
Boards & Committees
Bookstore
Calendar of Events
Government
Internet Resources
Management & Supervision
News
Recruiting & Retention
Tech Tips
Training
Volunteer Program Evaluation Series
Who We Are
Email Us
TRAINING

The Training Page of Volunteer Today has practical trainer techniques and activities to make orientation sessions more productive and valuable. There are also ideas to help enhance the professional volunteer manager's training level.

 

~ May 2005 ~ Topics


Basics of Communication—Getting the Message Through

77% of all Americans get 90% of their news from television.
An adult in North American has an attention span of 1 – 2 minutes.
Information comes to people in short spurts.
Information is always supported with colorful graphics and descriptive phrases.
Inattention is learned at an early age.
Continuity of learning is missing.

Good trainers pay attention to the way in which people consume information. The day of the un-illustrated lecture for 45-50 minutes is over. It is not an effective means to train, although there are some college professors who have yet to receive that message!

These basics of communication are signposts to planning training:

  1. Keep the training segments less than 20 minutes doing the same thing. The topic might be the same, but vary the activities.
  2. Add wall signs or handouts with short colorful sayings related to your training topic.
  3. Expect people to be impatient. . .never lose yours.
  4. Organize training to be complete in one setting, and not require several sessions.
  5. Continuity should come from discrete sessions with single topics.
  6. Arrange training sessions in convenient places and times. Example, if you have a number of volunteers who work in a downtown area, find a company that will donate a conference room for 90 minutes starting at 5:00 p.m. and hold the training at or near where the volunteers work.
  7. Get a volunteer, perhaps homebound, who loves to do graphics things. Have them do all your graphics for handouts and the like, so everything you distribute looks wonderful!

Want more ideas for training? Check out our online bookstore for Slide Show on a Shoestring, by Nancy Macduff. Details for Slide Shows Book

Return to the Menu

Old Idea On Training: They Still Work

Oratory from the Greeks

The art of oratory has been around for 2500 years. Socrates and Plato were making suggestions for effective trainers and teachers before overhead projectors and handouts. Those suggestions are still good today. Follow the five oratory steps listed below for effective presentations.

1. INVENTIO
What do you want to say? Is your content organized to be accessible to others? Who? What? Why? How? Where? How Much?

2. DISPOSITIO
Plan the steps to structure your ideas. Construct a framework to present your information. Having a plan for presentation can allow the words and ideas to flow easily. Learning objectives help with this.

3. ELOCUTIO
This means that you need to think of the stylistic devices or techniques used to convey the content. The Greeks spoke of three styles; humble, moderate, and noble. Examples of these abound in the stories they told and the audio-visual methods they used.

4. MEMORIA
Memorizing material is an old-fashioned notion. There is wisdom, however, in being so familiar with your material that you present it in a smooth flow. Avoid reading to adults! Believing in what you say makes it easier to come across as less scripted.

5. PRONUNCIATIO
Use voice, body, gestures or whatever it takes to get your message across. Check your tone of voice and volume. Be yourself. Don't pattern yourself after someone else. Be the best you can be with your own personality.


Return to the Menu
Assessing the Need for Training

Training workshops should never be the same two years in a row. Position requirements change, volunteers change, staff change, and so many differences require new information. So how is a trainer supposed to determine what to change? The answer is the needs assessment. Here are some ideas on gathering information to determine trainee needs.

    • Talk with supervisors, staff, or volunteer leaders about the places where volunteers consistently make mistakes.
    • Ask customers, clients, and patrons about the levels of service.
    • Observe volunteers at work.
    • Ask the volunteers who are experienced where they could have used more help.
    • Talk to administrators and high level staff and/or volunteers about potential shifts in organizational priorities or procedures.
    • If outside trainers are used, ask them to recommend areas to improve training.


COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT

Close to 200 colleges and universities offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management. They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out the professional development window, consider taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides at http://pirate.shu.edu/~mirabero/kellogg.html. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.


Return to Top

A Service of MBA Publishing-A subsidiary of Macduff/Bunt Associates All materials copyright protected ©2007
925 "E" Street Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 529-0244 FAX: (509) 529-8865 EMAIL: editor@volunteertoday.com
The content of all linked sites are beyond the control Volunteer Today and the newsletter assumes no responsibility for their content.