What’s in Your Effective Trainer’s Toolkit?

Training and career development are vital in any business that wants to progress and grow, but do you have an effective trainer’s toolkit? The effective trainer encourages people to learn and creates the desire to apply the new skills. If you can inspire people to want to change, then you can make a real difference to them, the business and yourself. Being a trainer can be one of the most rewarding jobs, as you see people develop their skills and confidence.

The purpose is to develop self reliant, skillful employees, who can do the job to the required standard and think for themselves. A top-down, fact-dominated, mechanistic approach to learning will no longer produce what is needed in today’s organisations.

On our recent Effective Trainer’s Toolkit, participants learnt the basics of successful training. The tools they identified and practiced to enhance the learning were:

Tangible Tools

  • Start with the training needs assessment to identify the real needs of the business and trainees.
  • Have clear standards to work to – standard operating procedures and develop a skills matrix to identify where the strengths and gaps are.
  • Pre-course briefings get the trainees thinking about the course before the event.
  • Having a good comfortable and inspiring venue or training environment helps aid the learning.
  • Ice breaker exercises should reduce fears and get people talking to each other.
  • Visual aid is not just PowerPoint. You can have a variety of creative props to aid your message. Flipcharts can be very powerful as they are interactive.
  • Written material in the form of handouts/manuals provide the extra theory and visual content.
  • Questionnaires/profiling can help self awareness and interest.
  • Metaphors/stories/quotes add variety and impact for your message.
  • Passion and energy for your subject will create impact and inspiration
  • Action plans encourage implementation and commitment.

 Intangible Tools

  • It is important to think about your own mind set, so you can get into a confident trainer mode. This requires energy, focus and openness.
  • Setting expectations at the start to establish a training agreement with all involved helps establish the right behaviours.
  • Questions are a powerful way to get learners thinking and check understanding.
  • Moving people around so they work with different people creates energy and variety. It can aid attention
  • Adding fun and/or surprises can generate energy and hold attention.
  • Getting trainees to take action and do something practical checks understanding and re-enforces the learning.
  • Reviews help re-enforce the learning and allows monitoring of progress.

 The key learning from the two days was:

  • Be prepared and do your research.
  • Have clear objectives for the training and apply them.
  • Identify what changes are needed and engage the trainee in these.
  • The trainer needs a ‘can-do’ attitude.
  • Engage people by whatever appropriate means necessary.
  • Continually look at how you can make your training more effective.
  • You need to include a variety of delivery.
  • The pace of delivery is important.
  • You need to be audience focused – they are your CUSTOMER.
  • It is good to have things there such as sweets/water/glasses/biscuits.
  • It’s OK not to know everything.
  • You need to recognise that you cannot deliver everything

 Delegates’ Outcomes

Effective trainers toolkit
Marina Baker and Gillian Muhl at Dorset Volunteer Centre

Some of the results of attending have already been identified as:

  • Increased overall confidence to step up and deliver training to a higher standard.
  • The opportunity to twice put the learning into practical application during the course and get feedback; built confidence and understanding.
  • Endorsed the importance of energy, focus and openness as a trainer.
  • Given lots of ideas to improve presentations as well.

Thank you for a really interesting and stimulating two days. Your lovely warm, encouraging and relaxed style and all the fun exercises enabled us all to get really engaged and learn so much.”  Marina Baker

If you would like to improve the confidence, skills and repertoire of your trainers, please contact us.

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