In a discussion I had with Thomas Moore, a top-tier developer, consultant, trainer and author, I asked him to share his 10 tips for trainers and for training. In part 1 of this two-part series, Thomas describes those attributes that have made him a well-respected trainer.
Here are Thomas's top 10 attributes for Effective Training:
- Effective training begins with the ability to establish a rapport with your audience. You must be able to analyze the group you are working with and come at the material from an angle they will understand and be able to relate to.
- As an effective trainer you must establish yourself as an expert in the field early in the presentation. Sometimes this is simply an introduction of yourself and what you do but in a classroom where the students are more knowledgeable you will need to go deeper into your background and accomplishments.
- Know the material you are presenting and lay it out in an orderly fashion. If you feel comfortable doing so, practice in front of a mirror or present the material to your peers. Practice your examples and demonstrations so that you know them by rote.
- Being able to think on your feet is an important aspect of a successful trainer. Inevitably things will go wrong in a presentation and you will have to be able to cope with the issues and work through them with many people watching your every action.
- Be honest with the group you are presenting to. If you don't know the answer to a question, admit it. You can always respond with: "I'm not sure but I will check into it". You gain the respect of the audience and establish yourself as a human being, not some kind of hero. Always, however make sure that you DO check into it and that you get back to the individual who asked the question.
- Have a purpose for your presentation. Share your expectations with your audience. Divide any presentation into segments and establish criteria for each segment that you attain with the group you are presenting. Ensure that the subordinate goals are reached by the audience before leaving a section to move on to the next.
- When training you must keep topics on track deviating very little from the scope of what you are presenting. You will receive queries from your audience that will provide for some minor wandering off topic but you must be able to steer the material back to the original content.
- One key to a quality presentation is to have an assortment of examples and analogies. It is often helpful to draw upon your own experience even when in unrelated areas. To illustrate complex concepts you must draw comparisons to a variety of easily recognizable elements.
- In front of the classroom you must be able to express each concept in terms the student can relate. Often this will require restating information using a more elementary perspective. When questioned you may even need to express the thought in a third or fourth manner. A great deal of patience will assist in handling this diversity.
- A strong finish is needed for any delivery to be successful. You must be able to summarize, restate and clarify the entire lesson in a concise manner. Using some posing queries you must analyze the audience to ensure that they have captured the material and will be able to apply the concepts learned.
I welcome your comments here or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.