Saturday, 12 December 2015

Do Trainers Make the Worst Students? Invest in Yourself and Improve As a Learning Professional!

Expert Author Katy Caselli
Are you interested in breaking into the training and development industry? Are you wondering how to get started? Or are you already in the profession, but struggling to help your organization put training on the agenda, allocate resources or provide the support needed to even get started? Do you want to have engaged, active students who use their new skills and knowledge to make big improvements to their organization? The answers to these problems and more are out there!
First: Some Hints if You Are Just Getting Started:
• Ask to work with employees who are already in a training role (we always need help). This will give you an inside scoop on key concepts learning and development professionals use frequently, and give you some solid experience.
• Learn about building credibility, improving your presentation skills, and designing effective training programs. Look for a few entry level certifications, such as in Instructional Design, Technical Training, or Creativity in Training.
• Ask your leader if you can start to help solve certain business problems with learning as a solution, then take a short, targeted course and start drafting a plan.
• Volunteer as an instructor or presenter. Try schools, hospitals, elder care facilities, non-profit groups and museums to gain practice, poise and confidence.
More Self-Investment Ideas:
Companies need experienced experts to step up from within organizations to act as instructors. You are standing on a mountain of experience, skills, insight and other abilities. If you are interested in going from "Subject Matter Expert" to "Expert Instructor" or to rise in title from Training Coordinator to Training Consultant, Training Specialist or Training Manager, then start a "Self-Investment" attitude, and set learning and development plans for yourself! Determine what you need to become better at instruction, training design, determining training effectiveness or building credibility by showing results. Do you need to be better at influencing others? How about creative training techniques? Designing assessments and post-course work assignments for students? How about needs assessment?
There are some amazing resources out there! There are thousands of articles, blogs and consultants online. How about eLearning classes, books, mentors, and associations? Conferences, certifications and benchmarking are also valuable ways to dig deep into a particular subject. The point is to not stop looking for opportunities to grow stronger in your profession. The more confident you are of your skills and technique, the more you can help others to learn and develop.
Here is another great way to get better! (And, best of all, it is free!). Ask for genuine feedback.
Ask someone you know and trust, a professional who is supportive of your career, to give you constructive feedback on your next presentation or learning session. Ask them to take notes on clarity, lesson organization, stance, demeanor, and tone. How is your use of eye contact, filler words (like aah and umm), and other mannerisms? Did you seem credible, polished, and prepared, or distracted and nervous? Meet in private after the presentation for their report and be sure to thank them for their time and effort. Feedback truly is a gift that can enhance your career for the better. Alternately, set up a video camera in the back of the room and see for yourself how you do.
Training in organizations will always be a need, though the resources and priorities are often cut during poor economies. I have stayed in the profession despite downturns in organizations over the last 17 years. The key for me was showing concrete results from training, though business measures that proved I was saving the company time, quality rejects, safety incidents and especially money. So as a trainer, no matter how busy it gets, find ways to gain experience, education, credibility, make training effective and generally become a valuable and trusted "performance advisor" to your company.
Visit For low cost training courses especially for training professionals, and use coupon code BuildGiants for a 30% discount. A quick win for trainers: learn best practices and draft your plan to correct organizational problems in a single afternoon!


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