A Fresh approach to 70:20:10

The 70:20:10 approach first emerged from research into how effective & influential managers believed that they had learned; 70% from practical experience, 20% from influential people in their orbit, and 10% from formal training. This macro formula quickly grew into a blueprint at a micro level too for designing and executing training programs. This division has been reflected in many training courses, including our own, but in this blog post we wanted to delve deeper into this and apply the 70:20:10 rule to the 10% set aside for structured learning.

Delving deeper

Traditionally the 10% was, and often continues to be, a “lecture ‘n’ listen” training program. We believe that that’s not really the most advantageous use of that time. Instead, we break it down into its own 70:20:10 components so we can spend 70% of the time putting the information gathered into a practical learning experience, using work-related examples, 20% of the time spent on feedback, peer learning, and coaching/mentoring, and 10% on the direct dissemination of information in a lecture style presentation.

Using the above segmentation, we capitalise on the importance of the 10%, by creating an engaging and inspiring learning environment, where participants are able to convert what they’ve learnt in the “lectures” into a practical activity.

The 20% that’s spent on peer & coach feedback is the connecting tissue of the lecture & practical, allowing a condensed but incredibly effective display of this traditional formula, appropriated for modern audiences.

Structured learning & development

As you can imagine, there is a proper order in which to approach this format. Firstly, we look to the 10%. This structured learning segment should prefix the remaining time with a detailed outlay of the key goals projected for the session. It should shine light on the key points within the goals, in a succinct, but detailed manner, with note taking encouraged, and a lower audience participation than the coming segments. This allows for the presenter to efficiently move through the goals without interruption, so the concepts being explained are remembered.

Practical applications

Next is the 70% where you take the concepts from the initial lecture and put them into practice, using industry specific examples. This is pivotal as the important information detailed in the first section is immediately put into work related activities which reinforces the points and greatly increases knowledge retention through active engagement.

These sections will include delivering genuine, current, real life presentations, offering spontaneous case studies in preparation, structure, delivery and visual support that can be worked through as a group to produce greatly beneficial solutions that can be applied to their actual working environment.


Finally, the 20% of coach & peer feedback. After learning & performing with the previous segments, teams can regroup with the presenter and discuss the results of their practical time. Debriefing like this allows for all participants to voice strengths, weaknesses, methods, problems and solutions to the remaining group.

The result of these discussions are an in depth analysis of real world, industry specific situations which provide unparalleled benefit to participants, because they hold immediate relevancy and can actually be utilised long after the training session is over.

This section is also a great team bonding and strengthening exercise that allows team members to discover and explore the talents of their colleagues, gives voice to those that may not feel heard, and encourages a team mentality.

secondnature training consultancy

Secondnature uses this approach of dissecting the 10% structured learning section into its own 70:20:10 components to deliver award winning training sessions for Group Presentation Skills, Pitching, Tendering & Conference Presentation Skills, and 1-1 Presentation Skills. Our philosophy of sustainable learning and powerful, continuing ROI provide tailored programs that are delivered in a confidence-boosting learning environment with premium courseware materials. Get in touch with us today on 1300 067 876, or by emailing info@secondnatureuk.co.uk and keep up to date with us on twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google +.

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