by Christina Kettler
Picture it: Your team just finished revamping your product coverages and rating tiers. You even convinced your engineers to make your website easier to use. High-fives all around! With so many exciting upgrades to share with your agents and sales team, you move into training mode and cue up your PowerPoint.
Pump the brakes, Speedy Gonzales. There’s a better way to make your training more memorable and ultimately more valuable. But it’s going to require you take a step back from the traditional and embrace a creative approach. Dare to be different and you will not be disappointed. Neither will your audience.
Training Tip 1: SET THE TONE
The first way you can add creative flair is in your invitation: Set the tone that your training will be different. I once sent a registration email asking each attendee how many Nerf foam bullets they would like for their Nerf gun at the meeting. I explained they could use their bullets at anytime in the meeting to shoot the presenter if they felt something was not relevant or if the presenter talked too much. This small request generated quite a bit of buzz before the training, and when everyone walked in and received their Nerf gun with foam bullets, the mood was electric. Everyone was chatting and joking about who would shoot first. What better way to keep the presenter on their toes than knowing at any point they could be used for target practice?
Training Tip 2: TRAIN THE TRAINER
Make sure your presenter knows the product and upgrades inside and out, so they do not need to read bullets off a slide for an hour. Your presenter should also be a natural in front of an audience. If you don’t have someone on staff who is genuinely engaging, look into a contract assignment for an actor or an improv troupe. Check out how this TED talk presenter used dancers instead of a PowerPoint. If this feels too far off the grid for your liking or budget, take a look at the “different” ideas below to put some pep in your training steps.
Training Tip 3: PLAY PRETEND
Find memorable ways to present product details so they make a lasting impression. How? Take a cue from kids when they play pretend. Don’t bring your attendees to a training session; pretend it’s something else.
The Birthday Party. Congrats on the birth of your new product! Invite agents to celebrate. If your team worked hard on finding solutions to your agent’s pain points, why would you not celebrate? Your invitation can read like a birth announcement. Decorate the meeting room with company-branded birthday party supplies and pass out party hats and gift bags to the attendees when they arrive. Keep the theme throughout by presenting wrapped gifts at pivotal points during your presentation with key product details. Heck, why not play a few games, all with your new product updates integrated into the discussion. You can even finish with cake and ice cream during your Q&A. Kitschy? Yep. Memorable? Yes.
The Concert. Whenever a band has a new album to promote they go on tour. You should do the same when your company wants to get people excited about your new product. Don’t feel creative enough to pull this off? Close your eyes and stop thinking about insurance. Think about concerts. Think tickets. Merchandise. Music. Lights. Ambiance. Energy. Bring that into your training. Send tickets to your attendees before the “show.” Use the music industry language to pull the theme throughout your presentation. Give autographs. Dress up like a rocker. Play music. Hand out band T-shirts and backstage passes. Bring the energy to your fans. Let the product info be delivered through this newfound energy.
NERVOUS? LEAN INTO IT
If your stomach gets knots thinking about these “out there” ideas, good. That means it has not been done before and you can be the trailblazer who offers your audience something new.
At the end of the training day, agents will appreciate that you put time into developing an engaging, memorable and truly helpful session. Plus, you will create a social grassroots buzz about your company and product when the one agent who attended your training goes back to their office and shares their “different” experience with their coworkers at the water cooler.
If you ever need a helping hand tapping into your creative mojo, give the Aartrijk team a shout and together we can help you build a truly memorable training experience.