My favourite thing in the world is to train. My second favourite thing is to train others to train….and to do it well.
I have been told anyone can be a trainer. These words make me crazy. Really crazy. Why? Just because you are good at what you do does not automatically mean you can train others to do it. Yet, it happens all the time in the training world. You know your stuff and now you have been asked to train others. Some can pull it off but many fail as a trainer. There is so much more to it than just being a subject matter expert.
I take my role as a trainer seriously. Every time I stand up in front of a group, I know I need to do it well. As a fellow trainer and great friend once said: “It is like a switch is flipped on when we get in front of an audience.” It is so true. It took years of knowledge and perfecting our skills so we can automatically go into training mode. We make it look easy when it is anything but.
For me, training is not just part of my job description, it is my profession. I invest time and money to learn and practice my skills. I watch others train and adopt some of their great tips and tricks. I read to keep current on the latest ideas and best practices which I incorporate into my training repertoire. Training is my passion and my business. I just wish everyone who trained felt the same level of commitment and pride in what they do.
One of the things you can do right now is to create your own list of best training practices; things you will do every time you are in a training situation. Recently, I helped a client develop some of their own training best practices for their organisation. They wanted to own it so they could do better not only for their organisation but for their customers and clients. Some seem really simple but once implemented can make a huge difference.
Here are some of their best practices to get you started:
- Tailor their training to match their audience by way of preparation, expectations, needs, and outcomes.
- Have clear start and end times.
- Double check technology before you start.
- Arrange for healthy beverages, snacks, and meals to maintain energy levels.
- Ensure your participants are comfortable and feel safe.
- Learn about your audience before the session.
- Have clear outcomes and objectives.
- Have a Trainer Tool Box which contains trainer necessities.
- Communicate expectations early in the session.
- Repeat important points – remember the rule of 3’s.
- Develop standards for disruptors; know how to identify and deal with them before it happens.
- Generate fun even when the topic is serious.
- Maintain a global vision blended with detail.
- Draw on the audience’s experience.
- Supply more references for self-directed study.
This list is a just a beginning but it helps create a sense of purpose and direction. Next time you find yourself in the role of trainer, think about your best practices.