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Making your training manual work for you long term

As an experienced trainer, you’ll appreciate the value of providing your delegates with training manuals or workbooks.

But at the end of your training event, is that it?  Do your delegates walk away, some leaving the manual, others taking them home to gather dust on a shelf?  If so, you’re missing an opportunity.

You need your manual to be more – a valued resource which will be referred to regularly – and ultimately as a sales and marketing tool for your business or organisation.  But for this to happen you need to make people want to keep using it.

Here are five ways to keep your manual in front of your delegate:

1. Be authentic.  Be bold.  Be different.

Your manual should be an extension of your training style, your personality and the relationship you want to promote with your delegates.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself.  It’s easy to forget you’re still speaking to people when writing and presenting a training manual.  Be genuine and project yourself – your personality will shine through.

2. Specialise and offer a resource

You’re the expert, and your manual is the perfect place to emphasise your skill set.  Use your manual to showcase your knowledge and ability.  Don’t hold back on offering information – remember you’re the one with the expertise and the more you offer, the more you’ll get back in loyalty and valuable referrals to new clients.

This is a great way to get your brand in front of other interested parties.

3. Longevity and interaction

A current ‘buzzword’ in training, marketing and sales is “engagement”.  Getting some delegates to actively take part in your training sessions can sometimes be a struggle – a good manual can encourage engagement during and after the training event.

Challenge your people, ask them questions and leave them with things to think about so they will need to refer back to your courseware.  Have actionable points which can be followed up on at a later date either online or in person.

4. Design and usability

Remember not to overwhelm your reader with huge blocks of text.  Break the information down into bite-size chunks with regular summaries or ‘takeaways’.

Make use of ‘white space’.  Allow reasonably sized gaps between content allows time for mental digestion and reflection.  Don’t overwhelm your delegate by clumping everything together.

Structure your entire manual in an easy to use format.  Use traditional navigation methods such as contents, index, chapters, sections, subsections, exercises and quizzes.  Make it easy – even fun – to use.

5. Choose a suitable binding method

The way in which your manual is bound should be dictated by the overall purpose you are supplying the manual for.

Ring binder

A wire-bound manual allows the manual to be fully opened on a table to work from.  This is especially useful when working at a computer or working in the manual itself.


Ring binder

A perfect-bound or “paperback” style will give a more “published” appearance and with its printed spine will stand out on a shelf. .


Ring binder

Another option is the ring binder which can be useful if you plan to update your training manual with additional modules.

Pages can be added and removed easily.  this option provides flexibility.



Tabs and dividers (which can be custom-printed), and storage pockets for additional pages can help you make the manual easier to navigate.

Bear these points in mind and your manual should be more than just a rarely consulted reference guide.  It will be a regularly referred-to resource and should act as a marketing and sales tool long after your training session has finished.

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Why choose The Training Manual Company?

How much time do you spend producing and/or checking and packing your own training course materials? There is another way - a way that gives you back your time to spend on what you are good at - developing, marketing and delivering your training.

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