Is Your Instructor-Led Training Working? 5 Keys to Effective Training

Is Your Instructor-Led Training Working? 5 Keys to Effective Training

Let’s be honest. Accounting and auditing training can make the most fitful sleeper feel like a narcoleptic — when the training’s ineffective. Too many slides. Droning instructors. Irrelevant information. Unfortunately, these types of training problems are rampant within the industry.

But, just because the status quo may be set at boredom doesn’t mean you have to settle for less-than-amazing training — in fact, you shouldn’t. When you combine the right instructor with excellent instructional design, you can transform an organization.

Before you plan, teach or attend your next accounting or auditing training, make sure you engage in training that swaps yawns and boredom for fun and insight. To do so, uphold these five hallmarks of effective training.


1. Attendees stay engaged.

No one learns well when they’re bored and just talked at. Effective training requires sound instructional design that captures attendees’ attention and answers the timeless question: “What’s in it for me?” A long lecture with no class involvement is a sure-fire way to eliminate engagement. Conversely, too much interactivity without any guidance can be discouraging to learners. Instructors must find the right mix of lecture and class interactivity to make sure that learners want to stay awake and pay attention!

What to look for:

  • People aren’t distracting themselves with mobile devices or computers.
  • Attendees ask frequent questions and offer suggestions to class discussions.
  • Conversations occur between attendees, not just with the instructor.

2. The content is relevant to the audience.

No one needs to know everything about the accounting and auditing worlds all the time. Effective training reflects attendees’ specific jobs and needs — and gives them the knowledge to improve their work when or before they need it. Instructors need to know the audience well and provide information that adds on to their existing knowledge, rather than reiterating what they already know or teaching irrelevant material.

What to look for:

  • Content is relevant to the audience and their knowledge level.
  • The topics relate to current events and any pertinent regulation changes.
  • Activities relate to attendees’ roles and responsibilities.

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3. The instruction is hands on.

You never really know if you’ve gained knowledge until you apply it. Effective training sessions don’t just share information with attendees — they use real-world examples and activities to bring the lessons to life. By applying new information and thinking through problems or exercises, the instructor can identify and fill any gaps in attendees’ understanding and help ensure the training sticks outside the classroom.

What to look for:

  • The training includes a healthy balance of presentation and application.
  • Exercises are varied and reinforce the lessons.
  • Attendees have opportunities to work alone and learn from each other.


4. The instructor brings expertise — and energy.

We’ve all had that special teacher who transformed how you thought about a subject. The same is possible with accounting and auditing training. With some of the potentially dry and challenging topics you encounter in our industry, the right instructor can make the difference between boredom and engagement…and actually make accounting seem cool!

What to look for:

  • The instructor is energetic and engages the audience.
  • The instructor relies on their knowledge and a clear presentation to share information.
  • Attendees receive thoughtful, helpful answers to their questions.


5. The training has reasonable, measurable learning objectives.

When instructors try to cram too much or too little information into one training session, the worst outcome occurs: No one learns anything. Participants walk away feeling that either the class was a blur of information that was hard to decipher or that the class droned on too long. Either way, learners feel their time was wasted. Effective training includes specific goals for what information every attendee should walk away knowing — and meets these goals throughout the workshop. And not only that, there should be a way to objectively measure that those goals were met effectively.

What to look for:

  • Attendees know what they’ve come to learn.
  • The instructor reinforces exactly what people should know at the session’s end.
  • Activities, discussions and slides reflect and support the learning objectives.
  • Post-course assessments measure that objectives were effectively met

Ultimately, effective training keeps people engaged, offers invaluable lessons attendees enjoy learning — and most importantly, enables them to retain and apply their new knowledge immediately. Remember, just because something can be boring doesn’t mean it has to be. (Now if only everyone could live life that way!)  

Is your training on track

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