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Logistics Before Training

Review the "when, where, what, who, how and why"

Firm up the "when": Determine the day, date, time needed for training (including set-up and tear-down). If you're conducting the training "on-site" at your facility, reserve your training location (room, work area, etc.) a few weeks to a month (or longer) before the training date. Below are things you should consider when setting the date for training.

  • Determine which day of the week is going to be best for training. Mondays are typically "catch up" days. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are usually best. Friday is, again, probably not a good day.
  • What time of day (or night) is best for training; before the shift, after the shift, or during the shift? If your company runs three shifts, scheduling can be a challenge. Most trainers schedule training between shifts so that some employees get trained after their shift while others get trained before they go to work. I caution you not to conduct safety training after employees have worked through the night. They will be tired, unmotivated, and the drive home could be dangerous. You would not want an employee involved in a vehicular accident after one of your safety meetings!

If you're going to be conducting the training at an external location such as a restaurant or motel ("off-site" training), the logistics (scheduling and reserving the training room) should be completed a minimum of two months before the training date. Coordinate any catering (coffee, water, pastries, meals, etc.) that might be included in the training session. Don't be surprised if you have to change the training date. The earlier you can get these initial logistics out of the way, the better. Always reconfirm the training date, time, and location one week prior and again on the day before. When it comes to training logistics, if something can go wrong.. well, you know.. it will!

Decide where you will be training: Depending on the training, you may not be able to train on-site. (such as rescue-at-height training) How far away is the training, and how long will it take to get there? Make sure you get the correct street address, telephone number and contact person. You may need to make travel arrangements for attendees. As you can see, the logistics of off-site training can be a real challenge.

Decide on what kind of training is best for the subject: Some safety subjects, like confined space entry, might be conducted on-site at the location of the confined spaces you're training employees to enter. You might be able to teach the subject in a classroom and create a "mock" confined space. However, online training would not be the venue of first choice because you can't conduct the "hands-on" portion of the training that's typically required for confined space entry, fall protection, personal protective equipment, electrical safety, etc. Make sure you have the necessary training resources (equipment, devices, and materials) needed for the training.

Determine who will be participating in the training: Most likely, you will be training new employees and experienced employees. Each category presents its own set of challenges and will determine the type of training presented. What interests new inexperienced employees may be totally boring for the "old heads" in the company.

Read the material in each section to find the correct answers to each of the questions. After answering all questions, click the "Check Quiz Answers" button to see your score and a list of missed questions. To correct a question, return to the question, review the material, change your answer, and return to the last section page. Click the "Check Quiz Answers" again to recheck the results.

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1. When is it best to reserve an on-site training room?

a. No need to reserve as it's on-site
b. The day before training
c. A few weeks prior to the training
d. A couple of days prior to training

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Practice Makes Perfect

Be sure to get ready by practicing your presentation. If you have a training script, read the script. You should conduct at least one "dry run" in front of a mirror, or a friend who can give you some objective feedback. Practice being yourself, not someone else. You'll be able to uncover technical inaccuracies or inconsistencies. You'll learn how to say it better each time.

The idea is that you need to create a "mental script" so that you are not expressing ideas, concepts, principles, or instructions for the first time. Each time you practice, your mental script will improve. If you practice the presentation several times prior to the actual presentation, your presentation will appear more polished.

If you use notes in your presentation, and you don't practice, you'll be glued to them. Nothing looks more unprepared or less sincere than a trainer who reads cards. Learn to express yourself without being dependent on cards. Practicing will allow you to do that. Practicing will also improve your confidence level and that will show.

2. Why is it a good idea to practice presentations at least once prior to the training date?

a. Practice creates mental scripts
b. Practice ensures perfection
c. Practice prevents nervousness
d. Practice guarantees expertise

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The ABCs of Room Arrangements

Your training room can have a large impact on the success of the training session. A training room must be arranged to support the learning objectives as well as the number of students participating. The typical safety trainer will not be able to pick and choose the rooms they'll be using for training. You get what you get. You must make the best of it in terms of learning environment.

  1. Accessible: Make sure the room is accessible to everyone including those with disabilities.
  2. Acoustics: If you have a large room with poor acoustics, students may not be able to hear or understand what you're saying. Poor acoustics can dull the sound or cause echoes, especially in large "halls" with wood floors and walls. You may have to use a microphone to make sure everyone can hear what you're saying.
  3. Convenience: The training room should be nearby to restrooms, telephones, snack area, lunchroom, etc. It's important to have those areas convenient to the training room so that when students take breaks, they don't have to spend a lot of time getting to and from break areas.
  4. Climate control: Be careful to set the temperature in the training room just a little bit cool. If it's too warm, you'll have students falling asleep. If it's too cold, students will let you know. You're not going to please everyone. It's a good idea to know where the thermostat is located and how to operate it. If sunlight is entering through windows, make sure it's not causing discomfort to students.
  5. Distractions: The training room should have windows, but make sure there isn't a lot of activity going on outside to distract students. The more you're able to keep distractions and noise, both external (talking) or internal (noisy equipment), out of the room, the better. Never train in a room with a telephone without disabling the ringer somehow.

3. A training room located near restrooms, rest areas, and snack areas fulfill which criteria below?

a. Acoustics
b. Climate control
c. Convenience
d. Accessible

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The ABCs of Room Arrangements (Continued)

  1. Furniture: Make sure the chairs are comfortable and in good repair. You don't want your students falling out of their chairs during a safety training session. How would that look! Make sure you place a table in the "front" of the room for your supplies and equipment. Don't allow too much space between the instructor table and the front participant row. Reducing the amount of space between you and the learners will help you "connect" with your students and they will also be able to see, hear and follow you better. You may also want to consider positioning a table for refreshments in the back of the room.
  2. Positioning student tables:

    Boardroom arrangement is used often, but not well suited for training because many students are located far from the trainer and all students must turn to watch the instructor. You may be "stuck" with this setup, so try to make the best of it by limiting the number of students and, if possible, separating the table into sections.


    A classroom setup allows 10-150 participants to take notes and works best for lecture, presentation, or demonstration. This arrangement requires a lot of space per participant.


    Small group arrangement is great for small classes. This arrangement encourages interaction. The trainer will be able to connect with students very easily.


    A group horseshoe arrangement facilitates breakout sessions for group interaction when there is only one room for plenary and small group discussion sessions. Seats may be placed all around the table or only around the half facing the stage to make switching between presentation and group discussion easier.


4. Which training room arrangement below is used often, but not well suited for training because many students are located far from the trainer?

a. Classroom
b. Small group
c. Horseshoe (CBT)
d. Boardroom

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The ABCs of Room Arrangements (Continued)

  1. Obstructions: Have you ever taught a class in a room that contains structures such as posts or pillars that may obstruct student views? Needless to say, it can be a challenge.
  2. Lighting: Make sure there is enough light in the room. Too little light makes it difficult to take notes, and can invite "sleepy-heads" to doze off. If the room has windows, make sure you can adjust the amount of light entering the room. Make sure you have adequate ambient (general) lighting to cut down on glare. Sunlight coming from behind your projection screen may wash out the image on the screen. If your training room is used often, try to get light switches with "dimmer" capability. All or nothing light switches can present a challenge.

5. Why is ambient lighting best for training?

a. It is easier to see the trainer
b. It reduces glare
c. It makes for a more relaxed experience
d. It casts shadows in the right places

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The ABCs of Room Arrangements (Continued)


Arrange for a room to accommodate the number of participants. Remember that a room that is too large can be as bad as one that may be too small.

  • Give students at least 25 square feet (5x5 ft) per student to allow for two feet between students sitting next to each other.
  • Rooms should have at least 10-foot ceilings to allow the use of visual aids

Workable Walls

Most trainers hang flipchart pages on the walls: the session objectives, small group work, and so on. Here are some questions to ask if you're going to use walls in the training:

  • Is wall space available or do windows surround the room?
  • Does art cover the walls or are they open with enough space for your material?
  • Is the front of the training room opposite the entrance to avoid distractions when people come and go?
  • Are you using markers that will absolutely not bleed through so there is no danger of ruining walls?

6. How much physical space should each student have while participating in classroom training?

a. 25 square feet (5x5 ft) for each student
b. Four chairs to each table
c. At least three feet between students
d. 9 square feet (3x3 ft) per student

Check your Work

Read the material in each section to find the correct answer to each quiz question. After answering all the questions, click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and check your answers again.


Training Room Checklist

You can use this checklist as a quick reference prior to training:

  • Reserve a space appropriate for the number of attendees.
  • Accommodate for those with disabilities such as hearing, seeing, or mobility issues.
  • Arrange for necessary technological items (acoustics, laptops, projectors, screens, speakers, microphones, etc.) and support.
  • Find out whom to contact if there are technical (or other) problems.
  • Determine which wall will be the front of the room, with the entrance at the rear to minimize distractions when people enter and exit.
  • Select a seating arrangement that supports the goals of the session and the presenter.
  • Build in time for room set-up changes.
  • Use comfortable chairs (and adjustable chairs for longer sessions).
  • Create aisles and easy access to seating, so that participants do not feel cramped. Keep in mind that various cultures have different views regarding personal space.
  • Distance between people is appropriate.
  • Provide surface for writing, laptops, and beverages if needed.
  • Have a space reserved for refreshments if necessary.
  • Find space for the trainer's personal items that is out of the way and not distracting.
  • Make sure all technology works ahead of time.
  • Locate visual equipment (screens, flipcharts, etc.) so that participants can see the materials.
  • Check for and maintain adequate air temperature control, and lighting.
  • Avoid challenging odors, enticing aromas, and exterior noise.
  • Place "Welcome" signs on outside doors indicating the event and the time.
  • Discuss housekeeping items, such as the location of restrooms, coatrooms, and exits, near the beginning of the session.

Reference: Wallace, M. (2002). Guide on the side - room setups for presentations & training - one size does NOT fit all.

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