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Impact & Repetition – Keys to Better Training

If I were to ask you where you were when you first heard about the Twin Trade Towers getting hit on 9/11, you could tell me instantly with exacting detail. But if I were to ask you for details about New Year’s Eve 2006, it might take you a little longer to pull those details together (and likely some of those details are a little fuzzy).

What is it about our memory that makes some things stick so much better than other things?

Two factors—Impact and Repetition.


The events of 9/11 only happened once, but they were incredibly impactful. It was something new, unexpected, shocking, and emotional. Just like the Kennedy Assassination, the Moon Landing, and the Challenger Explosion, it was an event that had a lasting impact and we all remember where we were when it happened.

(Fascinating side story: my mom was in the exact same classroom on the University of Michigan campus when Kennedy was shot as I was when the Challenger exploded.)

Chances are, New Year’s Eve 2006 wasn’t nearly as impactful for most of you, so even though it was more recent, your memory isn’t as sharp.

The reason I bring this up is that you will be tasked with teaching your team several skills throughout the course of 2020. How well they remember those skills will dramatically impact your sales and profits.

One way you can make your staff trainings more memorable is to make them more impactful. Do something new, unexpected, even shocking. Do something fun (fun is an emotion, equally as powerful as sadness). Do something different.

Not only will it make your training more enjoyable, it will make it more memorable.


One of my favorite quotes is from Percy C. Buck, a Professor of Music at University of London, who wrote in the book “Psychology of Musicians”,

“An amateur practises until he can do a thing right, a professional until he can’t do it wrong.”

This explains precisely why I am not a professional golfer. It also explains why most training programs fail. We often only train to the level of amateur—until we can finally do it right.

Repetition is an important part of memory. Have you ever wondered why you can sing along to songs on the radio you never even tried to learn? Repetition. When you study for an exam, what do you do? Read your notes several times? Repetition.

Repetition of action teaches muscle memory. Repetition of thought trains the brain.

As you Hire Traits and Train Skills, keep in mind that the two most important elements in your training program need to be Impact and Repetition. That’s how you get those skills to stick.

-Phil Wrzesinski

PS One way to make your staff training more impactful is to download and follow the steps in my FREE eBook Staff Meetings Everyone Wants to Attend. Whenever possible, always choose the most fun option.

PPS These same two principles—Impact & Repetition—also make your advertising more memorable. Who knew? Oh, yeah, you did because I’ve told you this several times before.

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