As a small business owner, it’s important to train and educate your audiences.

We’re talking about your customers, employees, vendors, contractors. The idea that a simple business mission and vision statement will get everybody on the same page is simply not true. It must be drilled home, every day.

There needs to be an ongoing commitment to education at all levels. And, with you in charge, it’s your responsibility to lead by example. However, if you are not a great teacher, and don’t understand the different ways to create good results, this post should help you.

One of the keys is retention, how much you (they) keep & actually use. Did you know that the effectiveness of learning can be measured?

Here’s how.

In 1969, a gentleman by the name of Edgar Dale discovered the “Cone of Learning”. The most impactful way to learn is shown at the top of the cone. The actual “doing” and “simulation” score highest.

An example of this may be the use of flight simulators. The new pilots get to train and perform the “real thing” without leaving the ground. They actually implement their learning, and experience failure as well.

So, if you are lecturing to your network, it is not as powerful as having them take a test, a quiz, a scoring game, etc. Give them something they they actually must complete before it’s checked off as “done”. Create a higher, deeper experience with it.

And, keep in mind – while the chart is easy to read – it doesn’t mean that everybody will take to it the same way. It’s an ongoing effort, and you need to practice. Make it fun, and help to increase their dedication to learning along the way.

edgar dale

What do you think? Will you change the way you educate and train your audience?


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.