Two Powerful Ways to Make Learners More Receptive to What Trainers Are Saying



Fresh ideas from my new book Ingaging Leadership


Everyone in your organization needs top communication skills. That’s true for your executives, salespeople, middle managers and front-line employees. It is also especially true for trainers. If they only deliver information without motivating trainees to welcome and use it, the key concepts you want to teach are unlikely to “stick.”

Motivational Ways to Deliver Your Messages

Here are two simple strategies that will help ensure your trainees buy in and become fully invested in what you and your trainers have to say:

  • Explain the “why” – People will be more likely to act if they understand the reasons behind your training. You can explain, for example, “We want to train you to use our new company intranet because we understand that you are spending an average of an hour each day reading internal emails. This training will cut that time down to 15 minutes.”
  • Communicate the “What’s In It for Me” (WIIFM) – People become more receptive to new ideas when they perceive a clear and immediate benefit from putting them into practice. If you’re training salespeople to use new materials, for example, you can say, “If you take the training, you are going to close 20 more sales a month. That’s what happened when we tested the program in Detroit and now we are offering it to you.”

A Case Study that Proves the Point

Evan Hackel, CEO, Tortal Training and author of Ingaging Leadership
Evan Hackel, CEO, Tortal Training and author of Ingaging Leadership

I once worked with an organization that distributed a recorded audio clip to its entire sales force. At the end of the recording, salespeople were asked to send an email to a specific administrative assistant. Each salesperson who listened to the entire clip until the end would learn that he or she had received a watch – and a pretty nice watch at that. Yet only two out of the 800 salespeople responded to that offer. They were the only ones who listened to the entire message. The rest of the salesmen and saleswomen didn’t get that far.  Unfortunately, this is a common problem.

If the company had explained the “Why” and the “WIIFM” ahead of time, I’m willing to bet that many more of them would have gotten to the end of the required listening, would have gotten their watches – and would be putting the information they could have gotten into practice.