How To Write Training That Works: new managers


How to write training that worksWriting training material is a specialized job. But often, in a small business, nonprofit organization, charity or similar circumstances, there isn’t the budget to bring in a specialized supplier. Here’s the HTWB solution, with Jackson Rawlings…

To see all articles in the How To Write Training That Works series, check out the category “Training That Works” in the side bar to the right —>>>

Training new managers

Writing training material geared towards those who have recently landed a promotion or new job in a management role requires more than anything that you should think and act like (and hopefully be or have been!) a manager yourself.

Maybe you’re focusing on a core skill or perhaps you’re giving a general introduction to multiple skills required to excel in management.

In any case it’s worth considering these five elements:

Use ice breakers

Getting your learners acclimatised is important because it will allow their true personalities and therefore management styles to shine through.

This is what you’re aiming for: you want to be able to identify the sort of learner and manager they are from early on so as to be able to tailor your material to them.

Loud extroverts will want plenty of time to talk for example, while quieter, introverted types will perhaps need more coaxing for input.

In terms of writing the material then, think about this initial ‘getting-to-know-each-other’ time and factor it in to your time-plan.

Focus on soft skills

This is by no means a hard and fast rule: it may be that you’re teaching your manager(s) about a specific technical skill relevant to their particular role.

Usually though, management training centres more on soft skills like communication and confidence building.

In that sense, it’s important to provide evidence and examples of these skills in action because they aren’t as obviously effective as ‘hard’ skills.

Keep it varied

As mentioned, you may have a mix of extroverts or introverts (and all that’s in between) in your group.

In which case, some activities will be better geared towards some individuals than to others.

Public speaking or presentation practising, for example, will be a breeze for the extroverts but may induce nerves in the introverts.

Don’t focus all the time on one activity then; even if you are predominantly focused on one skill, there will be plenty of different ways to approach it.

Think about this when creating your material and it will prevent individuals from feeling excluded.

small__6829422155 (1)Be authoritative

This I can’t stress enough.

How do you expect your managers to exude the necessary confidence and self-belief required for the role, if their ‘teachers’ possess none of those traits themselves?

Not only does this help to build trust with your delegates, but also it will make the whole session run more smoothly – confidence in your methods will project a straightforward and easily understood image throughout.

Get all your facts straight in the material and use the correct tone of voice; somewhere in between formal and chatty.

Use humour

Like many others I’ve mentioned in this and previous posts, this tip is not exclusive to a particular subject area, but in here it’s particularly relevant.

Management can be a dry topic, depending on the focus, so don’t be afraid to inject a bit of well-intended humour into your material.

Using humour is in itself a communication skill that can be extremely useful in management, as a means to building rapport or for defusing charged situations.

By using it, you’re showing your learners how it can be effective, as well as making the experience more pleasant for everyone.

So those are my top tips for writing training material geared towards those new to management. If you have any others which you feel are important for this subject, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Otherwise, remember:

  • Ice Breakers are a great way to build confidence
  • Focus on soft skills but give demonstrable examples
  • Mix it up, think about the differences in your ‘audience’
  • Be confident and authoritative in order to build trust
  • Have a laugh with it!

Next time, we’ll be looking at another niche and giving some tips specific to writing for that subject matter. See you then!

Don’t forget – to see all articles in the How To Write Training That Works series, check out the category “Training That Works” in the side bar to the right —>>>

How to write training that works

Jackson Rawlings

Thanks for reading!


Jackson Rawlings
Digital Marketer
Silicon Beach Training

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  1. Some great advice here, but I’m not 100% with you on the public speaking and Extravert/Introvert thing.

    What you’re doing there is conflating “E vs I” with confidence and shyness. I know it’s semantics but its important for anyone writing material for trainers or (my speciality) training people in presentation skills, to know that you can have (for example) shy extroverts and confident introverts.

    • Hi Simon – Jackson, who writes this column, is away at the moment but I’m sure he’ll be interested to see your comment when he gets back. So watch this space!