Are you already working as a trainer? Maybe you want to move into the field. Either way, there’s always plenty to learn about the trade. Even experienced trainers can benefit from ongoing development, and like any industry, trainers never stop learning. From online training courses to Diplomas, there’s plenty of ways you can enhance your skills.
Becoming a successful trainer requires all of your skills to be on point. There are some careers where your skills in some aspects will cover a lack of knowledge in others. As a trainer though, if you’re not bringing all of the skills to the table, it can be difficult.
Let’s take a look at some of the fundamental skills you need to make it as a successful trainer.
Designing Training Courses
Have you ever completed online training courses, or attended seminars that are put together in a bland, uninspiring way? Chances are, these courses have been designed by someone who doesn’t understand how to engage participants.
There are many ways you can design training courses that incorporate a range of techniques to engage and inspire people. It doesn’t have to be non-stop entertainment, but you do need to bring some life to the content you’re delivering.
If you regularly find yourself talking to a room full of disinterested participants, it’s probably because of the course design. You can try methodologies like Game storming, which can encourage groups to find different ways of solving problems. Injecting some fun into your training is never a bad thing, as long as your content is still relevant.
Fit for purpose content
Course design starts with a set of goals. If you work as an independent trainer, understanding the specific needs of your clients is integral. Learning how to conduct a needs analysis will help you in this aspect. It can really pin-point what areas of learning are required in order to deliver a great ROI.
For internal trainers, speaking with managers about their core goals and desired outcomes is essential in designing a relevant, effective and engaging training course. Simply, generic content just doesn’t work.
To become a successful trainer, you must deliver quality outcomes for clients and management. But first you need to understand what they need, and design relevant content that is truly fit for purpose.
Learn and understand your course content
While this skill perhaps applies to delivery rather than design, a successful trainer knows the content they’re teaching. If you’ve designed your courses in a fun, engaging way, you’ll also find it easier to become a subject matter expert yourself. Remember, you’re just like everybody else, and if you don’t enjoy learning your training topics, it’s hard to imagine participants having a good time.
One of the most incredibly frustrating parts of any training course is running into a trainer who doesn’t know the content. This often leads to lots of reading from scripts or other written materials, and nothing sends a room of people to sleep quicker. So, if you’ve learned your content in-depth, it makes course design easier. People will be enthused rather than watching the clock.
The Art of Presenting Information
Think about the most mind-numbing training course you’ve ever attended. We could almost guarantee the information was presented in boring text-only slides. The trainer was also probably reading directly from those slides. In order to capture people’s attention and make your content memorable, presentation is the key.
Powerpoint slides don’t have to boring. With a little creativity and imagination, you can create learning materials that really connect with your audience. You just need to know how. If your slides and other course materials are falling flat, why not look into an online training course on how to maximise Powerpoint? You can even find training courses that cover all aspects of training presentation.
Remember, seeking further learning isn’t an admittance of failure – it’s quite the opposite. It shows you’re willing to do what it takes to become a successful trainer.
Facilitating Training Courses
Some people are naturally charismatic, and people love listening to them. As a trainer, this is a priceless quality to possess. But what if you’re not naturally blessed with the gift of the gab? The good news is, you can always learn these skills and develop new ways of doing things.
Now, it goes without saying that if you have a fear of public speaking, becoming a trainer might not be your ideal career. But if you’ve already got the basics down and want to take it to the next level, there’s always ways to practice and learn. Whether you attend courses on advanced facilitation, or simply practice your techniques in the mirror, you can always evolve the way you deliver information.
Here’s a couple of things you can try in order to step up your facilitation game.
Training courses should always be a two-way street. If you’re finding yourself doing most of the talking, there’s a good chance your participants aren’t retaining your information. This is where engagement really plays a role in successful training. Whether it’s ice-breaker activities, games or group work that encourages problem solving, there’s always something you can do to liven up the room.
People learn much better when they’re involved, as opposed to having someone read to them from a manual. It doesn’t matter how charismatic and entertaining you are – if participants aren’t involved in the learning, it won’t be effective.
Make sure you encourage questions and ask for participants to share their experiences. If you’re really listening and can use some of those stories as a reference point, this can create a really strong sense of engagement. It sounds simple, but it can be highly effective.
Understand learning trends and styles
Another thing you need to keep an eye on as a trainer is recent learning trends. Not every new idea is going to suit you or your training style. But being aware of participants’ learning needs can go a long way to making your courses a success.
It’s important to not just corporate a new training trend into your course for the sake of it. Anything you add in needs to add value. Sometimes it could be something as simple as using video. Think of ways you could do this that would really enhance the participant experience. For example, how about including a TED Talks video on a relevant subject as a way of breaking up the course material? It lets people hear a voice other than yours and gives you a reference point to explore interactively with the group.
This is just one idea, but by incorporating a range of methods to appeal to all learning styles, you can keep your courses fresh and exciting.
Consider a Diploma of Training, Design and Development
That’s right – just because you’re an experienced trainer, it doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Professional development is crucial to your success in any field, and training is no exception. Even if you’re an experienced trainer, why not try and consolidate your experience with up-to-date learnings?
You could complete a Diploma of Training, Design and Development and really take your courses (and career) to the next level. If you’re already working, look for blended programs that combine face-to-face, evidence collection and additional learning through online training courses.
Having a Diploma can also open up further career opportunities, which is never a bad thing!
Look for Online Training Courses
If you’re just too busy to commit to a full-time learning program, but you feel there’s certain training skills you’d like to further develop, consider finding a course online. This can be a great way to enhance the skills you already have, or address certain shortcomings you might have identified.
If you want to become the best trainer you can be, ongoing learning is essential. You can always enhance, develop, and refresh your skills. By bringing some fresh ideas to your already extensive set of skills, you can ensure you reach the top of your game and stay there. So, whether you want intensive in-person training or online training courses, always keep an open mind about your own professional development.