Archive for the ‘Train-the-Trainer’ category

6 Proven Methods To Make A Dry Training Session Come Alive

April 4, 2009

There are times whereby you have to conduct trainings that are highly technical, theoretical or academic-based. To a trainer, one of the first few considerations in such seminars include how to work with the participants without losing their attention or having them dozing off. A challenge worth taking on indeed.

As the training engagements came in, I’ve encountered the different training subjects that provided varying levels of complexity. Not only is one limited by training time, there are also a number of constraints that affect the outcome and quality of the training. When the topics demand such rigorous examination, the audience interaction may need to be better planned and balanced. One must create some ways to make the training come alive and with vibrancy.

Hence, here are some quick tips I can offer you when you are faced with dry training sessions:

1. Address the WIIFM: What’s In It for Me. Make them accept and understand the importance of your topic to their work.

2. Share captivating personal examples and stories. This will make them sit up and listen to you instead of just being focus on the bullet points. For example, when you point out a concept, share the stories after that on how you applied the concepts.

3. Make your PowerPoint slides interesting to view. You can use graphics and filling it with colors. Test out your PowerPoint to ensure they get the point across yet can be interesting to look at. (This is mostly applicable for dry topics. For soft skills, it must be to tone it down instead.)

4. Keep the information simple unless this is a full academic course requiring close examination, keep the concepts easy on the ear and just highlight the major points. The details can be read by them in the notes. It’s not that you are under performing, it’s that human mind cannot take in so much deep information at one go. If you must go heavy, may sure you spread out the deep academic contents through the trainings.

5. Energizers are also useful whenever you see the energy and enthusiasm dipping. They can go beyond mere clips and can include mini exercises such as head rotation and arm stretching.

6. Vary your tone, body language and delivery to keep the audience glued to your “performance”. Grab their attention with jokes, quizzes and mini-rewards if you wish. Let them know you are the ‘star of the moment’.



How You Can Master The Art Of Training

March 30, 2009

This year has been extremely amazing, the trainings contract and speaking engagement have been coming in much more and faster than before. These few weeks continuously saw the training sessions lined up one after another. Thus, it provided me plenty of great opportunities to interact with so many people. I thank them ever so sincerely for the chance to share with them. It has made my work as a trainer and public speaker so worthwhile.

Throughout life, we seek improvement and progress. In order to attain greater advancement, we acquire attitudes, skills, techniques and strategies that will propel us towards our dreams. And behind the scene, within every lesson and workshop that you attend, is the person who ensures that you gain such competency, the Trainer.

When I was conducting the workshop, Train-The-Trainer, for a major government institution a few weeks ago, I stressed on the importance and responsibilities of the trainer. We are not here just to spend time nor pass the days. We are here to transfer the skills of competency, from a newbie to a ‘know-how’, from a know-how to an expert. We should seek to make this difference in our participants’ lives.

The 5 day training came to a most touching conclusion, where all of us, the participants-trainers and I, reaffirmed our commitment towards adding the value to our future participants and quality to our trainings. We had got to know each other better over these days of teaching, of practice and of sharing. I know in the deepest of my heart that they will emerge better trainers than before. They had shown that they had it in them.

The journey to become a trainer is by no means easy. While the ‘Trainer’ tag is easily pinned on, the expertise and effectiveness is hardly a god-given. It takes continuous learning, coupled with fine-tuning for betterment.

In a nutshell, here’s how you can master your training skills:

1. Get some experience in training. Being in the game is important, and experience is what is needed. You need to step into this industry first.

2. Get some humility to learn from your previous training experiences. Without humility, you can’t learn effectively.

3. Get reflective on how you can improve from your encounters, content delivery and training methodologies.

4. Get a mentor from the training industry who will coach you, share specific training techniques and help you work on your training skills intensively.

5. Get feedback from participants and observers. They can highlight ways where you can better appeal to them and enhance their learning.

6. Get creative. Experiment with ways to deliver your training so that you can discover your style of delivery.

7. Get on your feet! Nothing beats the power of taking action. Persistent action.

Here’s wishing you the very best in your training career!


What Really Matters In Making Your Mentoring And Coaching Relationship Work?

July 6, 2008

It has been to a privilege and honor to get to know so many friends over these years as a trainer and consultant. Some of whom I’ve gotten to know better through mentoring them. It truly warms my heart to see these dear friends making leaps and bounds in their career and achieving breakthroughs in their personal lives.

One of the most common questions I’m asked in my Mentoring and Coaching workshops is this: “Wekie, what really matters in making such mentorship and coaching relationship work?”

My answer is: Your Heart.

It’s your heart that allows you to touch lives and change them for the better. And it’s your heart that can move the toughest of stone will.

But what does it mean by The Heart of Mentoring and Coaching? Let’s explore what does this entails:

1. Sincerity within yourself

2. Selflessness of service

3. Commitment to improvement

4. Passionate in being positive

5. Acceptance of others

6. Confidence in rising to the challenges

7. Gratitude and Appreciation of each other

As you continue to mentor and coach someone, check yourself against these traits that lie within your heart. When you want to make your mentoring and coaching work, your heart will be there to make it Excel Beyond Excellence!

7 Things Every Trainer Must Help Their Participants To Do (If You Don’t, They Won’t Learn Well…)

July 5, 2008

Yesterday was the conclusion of the extremely intensive 5 day “Train-the Trainer” workshop at the major government institution. Over these numbers of days, my participants and I have gotten to know each other better.

In addition, I could truly see their commitment to become excellent trainers and make a change in their own lives. I could feel the surging of emotions as we bade farewell to each other.

And I truly wish them, every single one of them, the very best for whatever is to come for their future. Better lives can be created; lives can be changed, with faith, commitment and passion.

On my way back, I did some reflection. I dawned upon what I’ve always been sharing with these participant-trainers over the last few days. And that is: People can indeed learn, if we can help our participants skillfully and artfully. Trainers can truly make things happen to get others to learn well.

Hence, here are the things every trainer must help their participants to do:

1. Help to get them to take personal responsibility for their own learning.

2. Help establish meaning and sense in the training topics.

3. Help them to open up and share their opinions.

4. Help to bridge the concepts and theories with real life applications.

5. Help them to be more involved and participate in the activities.

6. Help them enjoy the training.

7. Help them help themselves.

It is also through training that people improve and lives get changed. Therefore, our consistent effort must be there to keep helping participants to achieve the abovementioned areas.

In this way, the quality of your training will Excel Beyond Excellence!

How To Overcome Your Participants’ Learning Resistance In Your Training?

July 3, 2008

Over these few days I’ve been traveling to and fro a major government institution. This is because I have been conducting a 5 day “Train-the-Trainer” course for the organization’s people. The training is specifically designed to help the current trainers of the organizations to acquire even more advanced training skills and competency in capability transference. Today was training Day 4 out of the 5 days.

While we have discussed and worked on many different aspects of trainings, one major topic today stood out: Learning Resistance.

If you have been conducting training, you will realize that from time to time there will be some participants who display resistance to learning. They tend to cast doubts on your sharing, suggestions and strategies. They question your methodologies and disbelief your ways of application. And you just get the feeling that they are “not getting it”

Hence, here are some steps you can overcome the learning resistance in your participants:

1. Have awareness of the learning resistance in the different topics you teach.

2. Be sensitive in your mannerism of speech and delivery to such resistance.

3. Acknowledge to the particular person that his resistance and doubts are valid.

4. Make the resistance appear normal to have rather than a sore thumb. “Normalize” it.

5. Give the solution and answer the issue directly. Address that resistance and suggest how to reduce or eliminate it.

6. Provide the assurance that you, as his trainer, will be there to support him and answer his doubt in the course of his application of your solution.

7. Get an open commitment. Ensure that his mind is somewhat open enough to give it a go and is committed to make it work overall.

When you artfully apply these suggested steps, you will be more equipped to handle and overcome the resistance that appears in your lessons.

Practice until they become a natural flow and an instinctive reaction to your participants. Your training will thus be even more poised to Excel Beyond Excellence!

What You Must First Understand If You Want To Become A Successful Trainer

May 15, 2008

Yesterday evening was a presentation meeting with a difference. The Brilliant Advanced Toastmasters and UBS Toastmasters Clubs decided to organize a special meeting that focused on developing training skills for potential trainers.

Having been a trainer for 18 years, a mentor and a coach for numerous professional and novice trainers over the years, I was invited as a guest Evaluator to provide feedback and advice on the training skills of the presenters. In the midst of my comments, I highlighted several “first-you-should-know” concepts about being a competent trainer.

To add on, here are some of these important concepts you must first understand before you embark on this interesting journey:

1. A trainer is also a performer. (It does not mean that you have to be hilariously funny or jump frantically around like a chirpy chimpanzee.)

2. Command and control is extremely important to the trainer.

3. A successful trainer must have sufficient audience relating skills.

4. A training is not a mere speech, not a briefing and most definitely not a lecture.

5. A training, while focusing on the skills, is first and foremost, a people connection process.

6. You must first establish your credibility with your participants.

7. Always be mindful of your stage setting.

Keep working on your training skills by first digesting the above pointers. Wishing you a journey of Excellence towards becoming a successful trainer!