Once a trainer understands that he or she is responsible to show the participants the how-to to overcome their competency gap, the trainer would also be able to understand that they must be the role model of what they preach. The enabler to achieve this lies in the ability of the trainer to:
1. Understand the audience,
2. Create content, and
3. Deliver the training.
Although one can still make an honest living out of being a trainer that only delivers training, the one that can do all three (3) would naturally have an added advantage.
Understanding the Audience
In the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, author Stephen R. Covey mentions to. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This is also true when it comes to training.
A good trainer, like any good person, would apply empathy to understand another’s situation and perspective before attempting to lead them to see things from a different angle or persuading them to try new approaches to achieve a targeted level of performance.
For trainers specifically, understanding adult learning theories, basic concepts of psychology, and fundamental human motivation can provide a huge advantage to engage the audience on a deeper level.
Crafting an explanation about something can often be overlooked or taken for granted. Just like trying to teach running to an abled person who can already walk – seems easy until you realise that there are more to running than just “walk faster”. There are many elements like running form, techniques, muscle flexibility and stamina building that needs proper planning of content, sequence, and strategies to impart.
A good trainer who empathises with the leaner would know that the content of training needs to be planned, packed, and presented in a manner that is easily received and digested to ensure the learning process occurs. Trainers should be able to realise that they must create the content with the appropriate depth and breadth to fit the targeted training objectives, the audience, the time available, and the choice of platform.
Plenty of trainers still put a high amount of emphasis on delivery. Public speaking and presentation skills are often considered as the critical success factors to training delivery. Although not entirely wrong, but training delivery should not be given such a narrow definition.
Yes, being word savvy, having stage presence and injecting theatrical elements are always a bonus, but it should not be the only “go to topics” when talking about training skills. Training skills encompasses the ability to encourage participation and invite involvement of the audience in their own learning process. The strategic element of selecting the right approach, the right teaching style, and the right decision in determining a training’s session flow, pace and structure should be given more attention to instead of theatrics.
Here are just some of the examples of what a trainer needs to be able to do / have to ensure his or her training session is effective.
+ Utilizing Training Aids
+ Identify Learning Needs
+ Observation skills
+ Create Presence (Grooming & Body Language)
+ Goal Setting (setting learning outcomes)
+ Plan, Conduct & Debrief Learning Activities
+ Prepare Presentation Slides
+ Writing (outline, training materials, reports, etc.)
+ Storytelling skills
+ Language Proficiency
+ Subject Matter Expert
+ Voice Control (annunciation, intonation, pace, etc.)
+ Questioning skills
+ Engaging / Connecting with People
+ Creating Conversation