EMail is not an application that really requires "training."
Most people get a hold of a new email ap, fiddle with it to make sure they can do basic tasks (send email, receive email, add attachments, etc), then they want to be left alone.
Still - we have to be prepared for the group that expects to be walked through the entire process.
The group we had earlier this week was not that group.
Young. Self-motivated. Computer-savvy. Curious.
They had already been fiddling in the new system for a week.
Smartest thing we did - went around the room and asked what their problems / issues were with the new system.
We then chucked the agenda and moved forward as a Question / Answer workshop with their own accounts in Live.
Understand that none of the trainers (including me) had ever been through training on this product. And this group uses BlackBerries (which I have touched once - for the Executive Vice President of Academicky Stuff's training).
Things we knew, we shared.
Things we didn't know, we wrote down and, time permitting, we figured out together as a group.
Things the students discovered, we let them share and wrote down and encouraged them to let us know if they found other cool tips.
Of course, in any group - there is always 1 person who is much slower than the rest. And, of course, this person is the highest ranking person in the room.
Most of the time, our strategy is to make sure we have 2 trainers or a trainer and a tech person in the room to "isolate" the person requiring extra care and feeding.
In this case - he didn't want the trainers to mess with him after he got his initial answers and worked with the team members sitting next to him if he had further questions.
At the end - problems they were having (mostly with Calendar and the BlackBerry) were solved, a few "we need to figure this one out" takeaways were given, and everyone thought the time spent was useful.
The "workshop" format (students bring in their own projects / issues and work on them in real-time) in the classroom seems to be working so much better than the old school talk and practice using "my" examples.
So the next challenge is....how do you train old-school trainers who are used to having an agenda how to facilitate this sort of session? Throw them to the wolves (the way I learned how to do it)? Come up with a "system"? So many of our projects over the next year are going to demand this sort of give and take. How do we get them ready?