Imparting training is an art and like any other craft needs to be harnessed and constantly developed. Somewhere I read that – Good trainers don’t teach subjects but they teach people – I would like to modify that statement a little and say Good trainers don’t teach subjects but they motivate people to learn what is being taught.
You do that by setting the following professional standards for yourself as a corporate trainer and actively engaging your audience in the learning process:
1. Know Your Audience – before you begin with any training session, make sure you’ve done a complete analysis of your target audience, there is nothing worse than holding a training that is ill-matched to the needs of your participants.
2. Be Organized – as a trainer you are responsible for what you teach. Make sure you know your topic and have all the relevant material / equipment at hand. If conducting on-site, do a cross-check with the client to see that everything you require is available there (projectors, flip-charts, power points etc).
3. Start On Time – this will make or break your reputation. A trainer that doesn’t start on time is seen as unreliable and unprofessional. If you are on time but some participants are late, then still begin your training session on the scheduled time, waiting for everyone to arrive shows disrespect for those participants who did show up on time!
4. End On Time – extending a training session beyond its scheduled end time shows you’re poor time management skills. You may end 5-10 mins earlier than planned but try not to go over the scheduled end time. (Sure there can be exceptions to this sometimes but don’t make it a habit).
5. Admit What You Don’t know – even though as trainers we are supposed to be subject matter experts, don’t make the cardinal mistake of pretending and giving wrong information when you are unsure about something. There is nothing wrong in admitting that you are not sure, then just promise to look it up and get back to the participant(s) and then do follow-up on that promise!
6. Treat Your Audience with Respect – Everyone should be treated with respect. With adult learners we need to be more aware. Don’t talk down to them, they have professional experiences, families, responsibilities, they may be subject matter experts in their field, so try to motivate them on a professional level. Remember they are there to learn something that they can then instantly apply in their work. Adults learn better when they are actively involved, so make your training an interactive experience rather than making them just silent observers.
7. Be Flexible – one of the most important capabilities of a trainer is the ability to be flexible during your training. Sometimes you may need to change your teaching style to adapt to your audience, shorten or jump topics. You may need to improvise your activities, come up with different examples, find new ways to explain the same topic etc.
8. Get Feedback – as a trainer the most vital thing for me is not only to provide feedback to my participants to keep them motivated but also to get one. As trainers we need to be reminded of our effectiveness and encouraging your participants to do that helps you to stay focussed on your strengths and work on your weaker areas.
9. Keep Your Skills Up To Date – as a trainer you need to constantly keep your skills and expertise brushed up, never stop learning and developing yourself. The more you learn the more you improve as a trainer, simple as that.
10. Have a Sense of Humour – this definitely helps in building a good rapport with your audience and also in making an intensive topic a little more enjoyable to learn!
11. Be interactive – Adult learners have a relatively small attention span, so to keep them mentally present throughout the training, session should be more interactive. Involve them in the session & make them share their learning.
Training can be a very rewarding profession if it accomplishes its mission!