Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Can You Keep A Secret?

There are many trade secrets that I’ve picked up in my 6 years as a trainer and if you promise not to tell, I’ll share some with you.

Secret number one is that there is more to training then standing in front of people and speaking!

To maximise peoples learning there are many things that a trainer needs to take into consideration, even down to dress code. One trainer I know told me of a time when she accidentally put odd shoes on, as expected this was quickly picked up by her delegates. Her argument was that they were both black and she was in a rush

This brings me on to secret number two. Preparation and planning. The training process starts long before the delegates walk through the training room door, with everything from the computers being set up, to having workbooks, refreshments and even checking the lighting and temperature in the room. Not to mention the research that will have happened to enable the trainer to run the course in the first place.

The reason I became a trainer was so I could help and support people gain new knowledge, skills and confidence in something that will benefit them, and there’s nothing better than watching the look on people’s faces as things suddenly click into place. No two days are the same even if it is the same course being delivered as the day before, and there is always an air of anticipation on what the day will bring.

Secret number three is that trainers have a ‘tool kit’ of experience, knowledge and ideas to help enhance the learning experience. You have to quickly read peoples body language and establish everyone’s learning styles so that they get the most from the session. Accelerated Learning techniques are also used-this doesn’t mean talking at twice the speed and rushing through things! It’s about how people learn and how the brain processes information. Smells, sweets, group exercises, toys and a variety of learning methods are all used to optimise the learning.

Secret number four is that training is not about teaching but about a fun, informative, supportive learning environment, the focus being on the learners and how they can get the best out of the day.

Truth be told training is pretty fun and in addition to the learning and support material that you get to take away you just may also find out the difference between a koosh ball and a tangle but Ssh that really is a secret.