A proper training room setup is designed to make learning easy and engaging. Gone are the days where a presenter could go on and on with little visual accompaniment. Companies that still rely on purely analog methods of training new hires will find that their people are generally behind the curve. It’s hard to stay focused when there isn’t much to focus on, and this is where A/V solutions come in. A/V technology is ideal for improving training impact, making presentations easier and more interesting to follow, and easier for participants to save for future reference.
What does the ideal training room setup look like?
It depends on what kind of material a company is relating to its people, but most businesses lay out their training rooms so that the participants all face one direction. On one wall is the presenter, hopefully backed up with some impressive A/V technology that gives them real presence in the space. But what does that technology look like, and how can it help trainees? These are the A/V components in a top-notch training room setup:
- High definition displays with interactive capabilities – The focal point of the training room should be one or more digital displays arrayed behind or next to the presenter. There are many displays on the market, but the most popular options are those that allow for interactivity. Interactive whiteboards, like the SMART Board and Google Jamboard, are the leading edge in presentation technology. The latest models are designed with common sense in mind, allowing presenters to connect to, access and operate the whiteboard with almost no training.An interactive whiteboard is a valuable addition even if it will only be used by the trainer. The presenter can, with simple gestures, scrub through a presentation, play videos and other media, annotate over slides when needed and run a brainstorming session with everyone else on the spot. For high priority training, where it is essential that the participants walk out knowing critical concepts, a presenter can utilize assessment software to quiz the room. This can guide the trainer, helping them determine where additional emphasis is needed.
The room’s layout will determine if one display is enough for the space. If the presenter is expected to roam the room while teaching, then a pair of displays may be needed to ensure that people can follow the material at all times. Fortunately, shadows are not a problem with whiteboards and displays, and they can be tied together so that the presenter can operate both simultaneously. The trainer can even control the presentation using a phone or tablet.
- Room conferencing technology – For some companies, training is not confined to a single room, but instead encompasses an enormous number of employees. This is especially true in some areas of public service, where new hires are taken in during short hiring periods. This means a lot of people need to be brought up to speed as quickly as possible. Instead of sending trainers to several locations at once or staggering training sessions, video conferencing technology can be brought to bear. Room conferencing technology can be integrated into one or more rooms, and this allows a trainer to present information to several groups at once. Room conferencing options from Polycom ensure the best audio and video delivery, with numerous features that enhance the experience.Polycom’s RealPresence Touch, for example, lets users start a conference call with a single button press. This is great for training rooms that are used by a lot of presenters. Intuitiveness is a needed trait when it comes to conferencing. Polycom’s products also come with lost packet recovery, which maintains connection stability even when a network is anything but stable, NoiseBlock, which eliminates ambient noise like rustling paper, and SoundStructure, which increases available audio configuration options. With SoundStructure, it’s possible to control an array of microphones without any worry of feedback or echo.
- Crisp audio technology – All the pretty visuals in the world won’t mean a thing if they aren’t backed up by a coherent speaker. A gifted few can go without a microphone and audio lifting, but that’s not the reality for most speakers. And for those trainers, modern audio equipment ensures their presentation goes off without a hitch.Audio is an extremely finicky thing to manage in a training room, and that’s because rooms are rarely designed with acoustics in mind. Because of this, microphones and speakers, which form the backbone of audio solutions, have to be arranged very carefully. Fortunately, this is what A/V integrators do, as they can model a space by its acoustics and determine whether it makes sense to place the microphones in the ceiling or on the table.
This kind of approach is backed with audio enhancement and control hardware like amplifiers, switchers and touch interfaces, which allow the presenter to control microphones and speakers in the room. Audio technology is important for facilitating meaningful conversation between the presenter and participants, and should not be left out of any A/V solution.
- Additional room controls – The room itself is part of the experience, so it should also be set up to maximize training outcomes. Every room is different in this regard. Some need the lighting to be brought down. Some need to be locked down so people don’t constantly flit in and out of the space. Whatever the needs are for a particular room, an A/V control interface will enable users to set all of those parameters with a single button press. Every presenter can come up with their own preferences and assign them to a profile, which can be accessed in the future so there is no time wasted setting up the space.
Training rooms are one of the most important spaces to outfit with A/V solutions. New hires and veterans alike make use of these rooms, picking up the skills they need to be productive, safe and in compliance of company standards. Clearly, that’s some important stuff, so keep participants engaged and comfortable with a modern training room setup.