In this article, we will review some common principles for training field teams. While organizing, you will often run trainings for volunteers and staff so that everyone stays on message and learns the skills they need to be good canvassers and phone bankers.
For best practices on the skill of canvassing and phone banking, please visit our guides:
Have an agenda
Outline an agenda so that everyone is clear on what to expect.
1) Introductions (2 mins)
2) Context on campaign and how canvassing will help (2 mins)
3) How to canvass (5 mins)
4) Give an example (1 min)
5) Practice and Roleplay (15 mins)
6) Set goals (2 mins)
Give quick context
Give background on the skill that you are covering and why it's important for the campaign. This will help new people understand the importance of field outreach and feel more invested in the skill.
Keep it simple
Most people are able to learn the skill of canvassing and phone banking and can get better with practice. It's not rocket science so keep the content simple and easy to digest. It should not take more than 10 minutes to explain the skill you are teaching.
Lead by example
Leading by example gives people a visual and concrete way to learn the skill. If you teach someone how to canvass, show them a mock example of a canvassing conversation.
Spend most of the time practicing so that people build confidence and hone their skills.
Always give volunteers and staff specific goals that are motivating and realistic. Relate their personal goals to the overall daily goals and campaign goals. For example, give a phone banker a goal of contacting 6 people and dialing 40 numbers in the hour they are calling. Explain that that will help the campaign contact 100 people that day to get out x number of voters in X precinct.