training impact

How to get more impact from training

This article explore how to get more impact from training, based on years of experience in designing and delivering training. These ideas apply to in-person training as well as virtual training.

Questions to ask yourself about the training you're looking for

Raise awareness or develop skills?

If you only want people to be aware of an idea, then a seminar style will achieve this. A seminar can be shorter and does not necessarily need interaction between trainer and participants. But if you want your people to use a new skill or change a behaviour, then a workshop style is required. A workshop will need more time or a reduced agenda.

Do the participants have common training needs?

When the participants of a training intervention have common training needs, then conversation, exercises and scenarios can all work for everyone. This increases their impact. The more the group has divers training needs, the more the impact is diluted, as not all the discussions are relevant.

Do the participants recognise they have training needs?

When you have one or more people who think they do not need or want the training provided, this will reduce the impact. This can happen through their not engaging with the training, through to being actively disruptive.

Factors that affect impact

There are a number of factors that can have a direct affect on the impact of training. At ITD we design and deliver training for people in organisations on subjects including communication, management, leadership and more. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years, and the ideas here are based on this experience.


The more relevant the content of the training, the more impact it has. We’ve noticed that this relevance isn’t just about what should be relevant, it’s about what actually is relevant. Do the participants recognise they have a training need in this area? Do they want to know about this subject?


The more homogenous the participant group, the easier it is to have impact for the group. If you have a group of people who do not have things in common, it is much harder to give the training impact for all of them. If the group have either roles or experience in common, it is much easier to create impact.

Another factor, is whether they want to be trained. If you have someone in the group who does not want to be trained, you can spend time trying to win them over, or you could just leave them out. Either way it may have an impact on the training.

Good use of time

Do the participants perceive the training as a good use of their time. If they do the training has a better chnace of having impact.

Content Relevance

The more the content is relevant to the participants’ everyday life, the better the chances of impact. This means not just the general subject, but the small details of case studies and how the behaviour displays in their daily work. How to do the behaviour in their specific role, not just generically.

Style of training

Both in virtual and in-person training sessions, we have noticed that a workshop style is preferred by many people. This means involving and engaging everyone in the group all through the session.

Telling or Sharing

Unless the subject matter is an area where a specific behaviour is required, such as health and safety for example, telling people what to do is not as effective as sharing ideas. We find sharing an idea, applying it to their world and discussing how it might work, is a far more effective way to gain impact with training.


Training interventions can be too long, just as much as they can be too short. Impact is driven by the training objective balanced with duration possible.

Amount of Content

Having too much content can reduce impact by forcing the agenda to be rushed and not exploring an area fully. When the objective is agreed and the balance of content, learning objectives and style of session established, the impact is easier to predict.


Careful consideration of all the factors discussed will help to increase the impact of your training. An open discussion with your training provider and asking their opinion on what is being asked for, will help to get it right.

There is not one way to get high impact training, different methods work for different objectives.

Case Studies

The following case studies give a few examples where we’ve noticed the impact has been particularly high. Explore more case studies here.

Even though this was a large group, 100 people, and even though the session was only 1 hour long, the impact was excellent due to the blend of relevance to their roles and form of training.
Reed Smith
Delegation skills training with this group of newly appointed Associates had high impact because it was just in time training; the right training at the right time for them.
Nudge training for a group of housing officers in this local council. Impact because the group has similar challenges and required ideas on how to communicate specific messages
Clifford Chance logo for website
Communication skills including assertiveness for trainee lawyers. Impact because it focuses on areas where they can typically struggle in a fast moving work environment.

Participant & Client Reviews

You know you’ve had an impact when you get glowing reviews.

Very interesting training

Rated 4.0 out of 5
May 28, 2024

The training was very interesting as the subject matter is very topical in everyday working life!


How to manage workloads, delegate and work with supervisors.

Rated 5.0 out of 5
May 7, 2024

Very insightful and engaging – would recommend!


Excellent Training Sessions

Rated 5.0 out of 5
May 2, 2024

The training sessions hosted by Martin were nothing short of exceptional. The sessions promised to be engaging, interactive and informative – and they delivered on all fronts.


Helpful and enjoyable

Rated 5.0 out of 5
May 2, 2024

Very helpful and enjoyable session with practical scenarios


Martin knows how to keep the audience focused on his topic

Rated 5.0 out of 5
April 25, 2024

Martins not only knows his topics but also is a master of presentation; keeping us focused on the issue. Break-away rooms is an excellent technique Martins uses in very appropriate moments to stimulate exchange and productive discussions. Very clearly structured presentations. Five stars, for sure!

Yuriy Rudyuk

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