Are you looking to provide training opportunities to your team in the format of a lunch and learn?
A lunch and learn is an educational training session where a topic is discussed over a lunch hour. They are generally a voluntary, more informal event where employees can engage with each other while learning something new that may help them in their organizational roles.
Lunch and learn events can feel like a hard sell. If you are going to ask your employees to take their lunch hour to listen to your training content, you want to make sure it feels worth their while. Lunch and learns should be engaging and enjoyable. And if done right, hosting a lunch and learn has the potential to improve employee satisfaction and the quality of employee training.
LUNCH AND LEARN PREPARATION CHECKLIST
Planning a lunch and learn is a significant responsibility, so preparation is key. It can be easy to worry that you may be forgetting something. To prevent any last-minute hiccups, below is our checklist for developing an effective lunch and learn:
- Venue: Consider where your lunch and learn will take place. Some ideas for this include the board room at the office, a restaurant, or a hotel conference room. If you are hosting an online lunch and learn, prepare your setup through a service like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
- Catering: It is not a lunch and learn without the lunch! Make sure you make arrangements for catering your lunch and learn well in advance. If you are hosting an online lunch and learn, arranging the lunch part of that equation may seem complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. With countless online food delivery services, you can deliver food to your team’s locations, or allow your employees to order food and reimburse them. While you can also opt to simply ask everyone to bring their own lunch to your lunch and learn, providing food may help you get more attendees and make your event more enjoyable.
- Topics Discussed: It is imperative that you choose the right topic for your lunch and learn. Complex or formal instruction is probably not suitable. Choose a topic that can be covered in a short period of time. For example, email etiquette or a vendor presentation would be useful in a lunch and learn setting. Introducing a new method of production would probably not be effective for lunch and learns. Your lunch and learn topic should be focused and concise, since you will only have about an hour to convey all of your content. When deciding on your topic, consider the priorities and challenges in your organization at this time, an develop topic ideas that address them. Are you teaching more technical skills, such as the implementation of a new software in your company? Or are you looking to increase your employees’ soft skills? These are the questions to ask when developing your topic. Since lunch and learn events are particularly brief, you want to ensure your topics are engaging and make sense for a more informal environment. This is why lunch and learns are best for training on manageable topics such as:
- Business etiquette
- Email etiquette
- Social media
- Managing change
- Team buildingBasically, any topics that are light, relevant, and engaging, while also being able to deliver information in a short-format presentation.
- Developing Content: Lunch and learns are more than social activities. They are used to convey important information, which is why you cannot underestimate the importance of the content. The content that you use should be focused and relevant. It should also be informal and interactive to better engage your audience.
- Audio Visual Equipment: Consider how you will be delivering your content. If you plan on having visuals such as PowerPoint slides, ensure you have a plan regarding how you will work out the technical components of your lunch and learn. Arrange to have your projector set up with your slides and if you need audio be sure to arrange to have a mic set up before you present your content.
- Marketing Materials: Do you have marketing materials you want implemented into your lunch and learn? Perhaps you want to display your company banners, or provide swag to your team. Be sure to have any marketing components for your lunch and learn prepared and set up ahead of time.
- Distribution of Materials: When presenting a lunch and learn (or any training for that matter), you need to consider the subject of take away material. What will you provide? What type of follow up will be necessary? Take away materials include handouts, quizzes, self-tests, websites, reference materials, and white papers. Your topic will determine what materials you need to provide. Always prepare your materials ahead of time.Handouts are useful tools that allow the participants to follow along with the presentation and take notes. Taking notes helps participants engage with the material on a personal level. It is important, however, to make sure that handouts are focused and not filled with too much information. Handouts are supplementary material. They should not provide all the information in your presentation or people will simply read ahead and not pay attention. Consider the following for creating and distributing handouts:
- Basic points
- Room for notes
- Interesting graphicsWhen you create take away material, make sure to review it carefully. You do not want to send out the wrong information. Include your contact information in the handouts, and make more than enough copies for your class.
- Advertising: It’s not an effective lunch and learn if your turnout is underwhelming. Give everyone plenty of advance (about 2-3 weeks) so they can adjust their schedules and plan their tasks accordingly. Inform your team of your lunch and learn via email calendar requests (this allows you to get an easy RSVP), posters in common areas, and even word of mouth around the office. When advertising your lunch and learn, focus on the impact and value of attending it, and don’t forget to mention any incentive for going (like a free meal).
We hope this checklist can help you effectively prepare for your next lunch and learn. Are you looking to train your team on putting on lunch and learn events? Check out our Developing a Lunch and Learn Workshop for everything you need to train on lunch and learn events.
Originally Posted by Katelyn Roy on