If you want to stand out among your peers, then you have to do things that your peers are not willing to do. This is simple and logical, but we are constantly surprised by how many people miss this point. We guess if you want to stand out from your peers, you need peers who are not trying to stand out.
In any vocation, there are people who never try anything new. It may be because they don’t have a desire to do anything new, or they’re scared to try, or they blame other people for their lack of success, or they have some form of general fatigue that prevents them from even thinking about doing more work than is necessary.
We’ve now spent two paragraphs trying to convince you that you need to do more than the bare minimum. If you’re still interested, carry on reading.
What should a learner take away from your session?
A successful training session is one in which the learner leaves excited to think about the topic by themselves. Whether you’re doing a single 60 minute session or a two-week program, you know that real change and growth requires much more time, and your learner must be willing to improve on their own.
Trainers often give their learners worksheets or workbooks as physical takeaways from the session. Trainers hope that the material will continue giving the learner direction long after the session is over.
With this blog post, we want to show you how to improve the chance of the learner using your workbook. We will show you how to apply the principle of personalization.
We’ve previously talked about how learning is an individual journey. You need to demonstrate to each learner that they have been heard and understood. You need to be able to show that you know who that person is.
If you’re a good trainer, you can have 2-4 moments of personal interaction with each learner in a single session. That gives you enough material to write a paragraph about them. Use that material to write a personal letter to each person. You can give them that letter at the end of the session. This allows you to have a special moment with each person.
Our suggestion is to include the letter in your workbook, so that they may keep the workbook as a keepsake.
A template from us to you
If you’re not sure how to write a personal letter to your learners, we’ve included 2 templates for you below.
For a highly engaged learner:
Thank you for attending my program and participating in it so passionately. That means the world to me. My favourite moment of yours was when <insert moment>.
Based on your performance, I am confident that you will have no trouble practicing the lessons we discussed in the training program. Please go over the exercises in <insert workbook chapter>.
Thank you once again for being an excellent learner. People like you make my work enjoyable. If you can have any questions, you can reach out to me at <contact details>.
All the best!
For an unengaged learner:
Thank you for attending my program. Unfortunately we did not get enough chances to interact. I would have loved to get to know you a little bit more. <optional> I did like when you <insert moment>.
Nevertheless, I am confident that you will benefit from the lessons in the training program. For you, my recommendation is to focus on the exercises in <insert workbook chapter>.
Even if I couldn’t make you comfortable in the session, I’m glad you attended it. I enjoyed our brief time together. If you can have any questions, you can reach out to me at <contact details>.
All the best!
These simple templates can be adapted for each of your learners, and helps them realize that you paid attention to them.
If you have more to say to each person, we highly recommend adding to our templates or even ignoring our templates and writing your own letters. That would make us happy, because then you understand the need to do more than the minimum.
How to embed your letter into your workbook
We recommend putting your letters as the first page of your workbook. If you’re using physical spiral-bound workbooks, it’s easy. Simply print out your letter, punch holes, and add your letter.
If you’re using PDFs (like now in the age of virtual training), do the following:
- In Google docs, write your letter to one person.
- Click File > Download > PDF document (.pdf).
- Go to https://www.ilovepdf.com/merge_pdf.
- Click Select PDF Files and select your letter PDF and your workbook PDF.
- Arrange the files with the letter in front.
- Click Merge PDF in the bottom right corner.
- Your file should automatically download. If it doesn’t, click Download merged PDF.
- Use a filename that contains the name of your learner and save your file. Example:
- Repeat for each learner.
You now have individual workbooks for each learner that you can share with them.
Results and Outcomes
If this feels like a lot of effort, that’s because it is. However, it’s not too much effort, because as a trainer, you can never be in a position where you’re doing too much for your learners. The effort that you put in will be noticed by your learners and clients. Your learners will:
- Feel seen, heard, and acknowledged.
- Have a higher chance of using your workbooks and takeaways
- Will have a higher chance of remembering you and the lessons you taught.
What do I do if I have a huge number of learners?
If you have 30, 40, or even more learners in one program, it becomes really difficult to write personalized letters to everybody. It becomes impossible to have a moment with each person. In this case, you have 2 options:
- Pick 5-10 of your most engaged learners and write letters to them.
- Leverage the client, a producer or assistant to help set up personalized material for every participant.
In case you pick a select number of learners to write to, consider having a standard letter for everybody else. Even if you just use mail merge to write a simple email, the fact that someone’s name is mentioned to them is enough personalization for people to feel included.
Your learners are adults, and adults should be able to focus on their own learning and development. Treat your learners like the individual adults they are, and they will respond in kind.