Andrew Tattersall Maximising Training with 20 Minute Bite-Size Sessions
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By Andrew Tattersall


Andy Tattersall explains what bite-size training is and how you can use it to convey short, targeted training sessions on specific subjects.


FreePint Topic Series: Best Practices in Information Skills DevelopmentIn our increasingly busy professional world, there are many problems when encouraging staff development. One of these is time, that being time spent developing, facilitating and attending training. It all adds up. A simple solution is to reduce the time spent delivering some training to just 20 minutes.

Why Bite-Size?

Whilst this might seem a radical idea to anyone involved in staff development, it is a lot more effective than you might imagine.

Firstly, workshops and seminars are often one or two hours long and contain several different ideas and technologies which can be broken down into more digestible chunks. Many traditional workshops try to cram in a variety of ideas, and have a variety of different, overlapping audiences, often with the hope that most people attending will take on board some of the content.

For the training facilitator countless hours can be lost creating workshop materials for such sessions that often skirt over a wide variety of topics. The expert can also waste time by covering the same problems and discussions repeatedly as attendees focus on their own interests.

What Can You Convey in 20 Minutes?

A session being just 20 minutes long allows the facilitator to achieve many things:

  • Focus on a specific technology, idea, concept or process
  • Spread training out over a more manageable period, rather than deliver heavy, complex workshops
  • Break content down into shorter sessions so that it becomes easier to update them as individual sets, rather than one large piece of work
  • Offer something new to clients and the workforce that fits in with their busy work schedules
  • Use bite-size as a platform to deliver taster sessions for bigger workshops
  • Bring a more informal aspect to training 
  • Use bite-size training as a way of showcasing a diverse skillset.

Bite-size sessions last 30 minutes, with 20 minutes for a presentation and a further 10 minutes for questions. This is a novel yet effective way to increase the impact of training and removes many of the barriers staff face when choosing what training they attend.

20 minutes might not sound much, but when you drill into a technology, work process or idea, it will more than suffice.

Find Out More 

Andy Tattersall's Subscription Article "Making a Difference with Short, Face-to-Face Sessions" goes into detail about how bite-size training works in his organisation, what you can do to make it attractive for delegates to attend, and how to maintain and transfer sessions. 

This Blog Item is part of the FreePint Topic Series "Best Practices in Information Skills Development".

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