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Community of Practice in Assessment (COPA) Session 2

Photos of our COPA Town Hall Meeting on 28th January 2010
"The Art of Telling Stories in Training" by Mr Leslie Choudhury

The 2nd Community of Practice in Assessment (COPA) event was successfully held at Tourism Management Institute of Singapore on 28 Jan 10, with more than 80 people attending the event.  Participants consisted mostly of trainers and assessors from the Retail, Tourism and other industries, joined by HR professionals, directors and executives who came to listen to the hot topic of the evening – The Art of Telling Stories in Training.

After a sumptuous dinner and networking session, Managing Director of CBLD, Ms Elizabeth Chan gave the opening address to kick start the session.  Following that, Mr Leslie Choudhury, one of the world’s top 10 communication gurus, spoke on how to use story-telling to sustain interest and bring across important points in an impactful way during training.  He showed the audience how to inject excitement, humour and suspense into our training programs, by varying our tone and by harnessing the power of our body language.  He also showed them how to combine music and video to tell a story in an entertaining and captivating manner.

After a dynamic and humorous session delivered by Leslie, participants were invited to break into groups to discuss the challenges faced in training.  Most agreed that obtaining the Learners’ Profile would help in adjusting the training program to meet learners’ needs.  In the absence of learners’ profile, trainers need to have a collection of good ice-breakers to enable them to find out as much about the participants as possible.  It was noted that about 10% of learners would generally fall behind the others in “catching up” with the lessons taught.  Participants concurred that efforts should be taken to coach them or pair them up with another learner, to enable them to gain as much as possible out of their learning.  While every effort is taken to get to know the learners and engaging them, “attitude problems” can be overcome by dealing with the issue of “What is in it for the learners”.  Other challenges identified included time constraints due to training time limitations, sufficient preparation of the materials as well as logistical challenges which can be minimized with adequate preparation.

Overall, participants commented that the session was very useful and would enrich them in their training delivery.  Leslie was a fun, engaging and inspiring speaker, and a role-model for trainers who want to achieve a high level of engagement in their training delivery by catering to all styles of learning. There was also good feedback from participants on the group discussion for being a forum where they could share their challenges and ideas on how to overcome training issues.

Elizabeth summed it up in her debrief/closing address that the challenges raised during the discussion were common issues that trainers faced and they must be prepared and armed with good training strategies to overcome those issues.  She also reminded participants of what have been taught in the ACTA (Advanced Certificate in Training & Assessment) program and urge them to constantly practice them in their training delivery.

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