Training Facility Pros and Cons, Cont.

Ultimately the usefulness of the training space and the comfort of the participants in the training space is the trainer’s responsibility. You must do everything you can to plan for and set up an appropriate training space that provides a comfortable learning environment. This section on training facilities and the learning environment will heighten your awareness of what the trainer needs to pay attention to in order to successfully accomplish this responsibility.

Consider the Training Space

In deciding on a location for your training, please make sure you have a large enough room. If you are presenting an informational, lecture type of training with no activities, which in most cases is not recommended, you would only need to allow 12-20 square feet per participant. For a training offering the practice of skills and other activities, the type of training that is most beneficial to participants and that is recommended you provide, please allow 30-35 square feet per participant. This will provide enough space so that tables can be placed 4-5 feet apart, participants feel they have a comfortable amount of “personal space” and there is plenty of room to move around while taking breaks. (Giving participants 10-15 minute breaks will help them stay comfortable in the physical environment, while recharging their focus.) Compromising on space will make for a training that is uncomfortable at best or possibly miserable for all.

You will also need to determine if the space has a solid wall or a retractable wall between training spaces. If it is a retractable wall, find out if there will be an event going on in an adjoining room. Trainers should stand with their backs to a retractable wall so the sound travels away from the other room. Find out if the event in the adjoining room will be noisy, with clapping, music or use of a microphone. If there are 3 rooms in a row and a noisy event will be taking place, ask if the middle space can be kept empty. Avoid rooms with columns and posts that would block the view of participants. Those who end up sitting behind such obstructions cannot see the trainer and often lose their connection to the presentation causing them to give in to distractions such as texting or talking with their neighbor and you find you have completely lost their attention.