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Why Do Trainers Need Training?

The success of any training course depends on the trainers being equipped to deliver relevant and engaging content that incites positive change. How can trainers keep their knowledge, presentation styles and materials fresh if they don’t invest in self-development?

Starting Out as a Trainer

My nerves, energy and enthusiasm were fired up for my earliest training courses. I’d thoroughly researched the subject, double-checked all resources and was keen to make a good impression. By the end of the session, I received feedback from the participants and it was positive; I was on a roll!

That was over 30 years ago. If I delivered the same training course today, it wouldn’t be so well received. The technology, content and delivery styles would be dated. Delegates would switch off or leave the room and I certainly wouldn’t achieve the desired outcomes. That’s why continuous improvement is crucial to training success.

As trainers, we have to love learning, we need to stay curious and we must adapt in response to feedback. The only way that we can retain that energy, enthusiasm and impact is to embrace fresh ideas, new concepts and different ways of working. Therefore, training for trainers is no less important than training delegates!

What Skills Does a Trainer Need?

Being an effective trainer demands a wide range of skills, including expertise, presentation skills, resources that appeal to all learning styles and a focus on delivering the desired outcomes. Let’s look at these in more detail.

Expertise in Your Field

You may have decided to (or were invited to) become a trainer because you have specialist knowledge. You are an expert in your field and your insight, experience and enthusiasm for your subject can benefit others.

Unfortunately, I’m sure we have all sat through some presentation by an expert that failed to engage. Their content may not have been pitched at the right level or their style and tone may have been monotonous.

On this note, as trainers, we are occasionally asked to present a subject that isn’t our forte. If this is the case, research is key. You want to feel confident, not only in delivering the slide deck and activities but also in answering questions and responding to points raised in discussions.

Professional Presentation

Professional presentation depends on strong communication skills and technical know-how. These can be greatly enhanced through thorough preliminary research – who is your audience, what equipment will you be using, how long have you got and what are the desired outcomes? Armed with this insight, the training can be tailored to best fit the bill.

If you are delivering virtual training or using new tools to make activities interactive, practice in advance. The more we understand the technology, the easier it is to present with competence and quickly resolve any issues that may occur. There are many tools and ways we can encourage our learners to engage; learn how to use them effectively, rather than relying on the ‘Chat’ panel and slideshow.

Understanding of Different Learning Styles

Trainers also need to be in tune with a range of learning styles. We naturally favour our preferred way of learning; be that visual, auditory, kinesthetic or reading & writing, yet it is important to make our content accessible and engaging to all. This takes creativity and time spent designing resources. Do you share the important parts of your training in a variety of ways to get the message across?

Have Impact

I’m all about outcomes. I’ve been to some fun training courses, filled with activities and delivered with humour, yet they didn’t inspire change. The trainer was confident and the event was enjoyable at the time, yet the impact was minimal.

Training is an expense; it costs the delegates or company both time and money, so it has to add value. In the end, you want everyone to be able to implement new skills and knowledge in their role. They shouldn’t just know how to do this, but also feel sufficiently inspired that they want to do this.

How do Trainers Keep Learning?

Keeping up to speed with training resources, tools and techniques is a challenge because many of us work in isolation. Specialists in our field, we don’t always have a supportive team of colleagues. There isn’t someone to bounce ideas off, keep us informed of the latest training technology or hold us accountable. It’s difficult to try a different approach and get feedback before we stand in front of delegates.

That is why I launched Premier Training Club; a small group of professional trainers who are committed to the development of skills, tools and techniques.

All training club members meet virtually, once a month, to collaborate, troubleshoot, receive honest feedback and hone our skills. The session includes a masterclass, open discussion, recommendations and tactics to grow a successful training business. In this interactive club, participation is encouraged and we all learn from each other. Interested in joining? Contact me to book a complementary Insights call to find out more.

How do you keep your knowledge and skills up to speed? I’d love to know!

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Training & Development That Delivers Value

Is your industry struggling to fill vacancies, retain employees and have adequately skilled teams? These issues can be addressed through training and development. However, there