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Train the Trainer: Learn the Basics of Becoming a Trainer

Training webFor someone who is used to working independently with minimal interaction, the thought of sharing and presenting in front of an audience can be frightening.

If speaking in front of a crowd is fearsome, then training a group of people is enormously overwhelming. However, it’s not something impossible to do.Being a trainer requires certain skills and competencies to be effective in that field.

The most basic requirements, though, are for one to have knowledge of the content to be trained (preferably a subject matter expert in regards to the content) and have the confidence to present the content in front of a group of people. When these basic requirements are present, the technical competencies can be learned by taking courses that teach the basics of training.

Technical Competencies of a Trainer

  • Training Needs Analysis – Before providing training for a certain topic, there should be a reason why it needs to be done. The trainer should identify the needs of the department or organization by gathering data through interviews, surveys, performance results, etc. The data will then be organized and analyzed to identify where the gaps are. Training is one action plan to bridge one or more of the gaps identified.
  • Module Design – Once it has been established that the action plan will be to train, the next step is to develop the materials that will be used in training. This is where subject matter expertise will be useful. It is much easier to write the contents, including activities and assessments, if the person knows the topic well.
  • Presentation Skills – Another important technical competency to learn is presenting the material in front of a class. Being a trainer is different from being a speaker. A trainer doesn’t just stand in front and talk the whole time.

An effective trainer facilitates learning, engages the class in healthy discussions, and observes every participant all throughout the session to see if they understand the material. A speaker’s goal is to share information; a trainer’s goal is to share and make sure the information is accurately understood by conducting assessments and evaluations.

In cases where the trainer is the only person involved and responsible for everything related to the training, knowledge in administration tasks may also be required. Having a successful training class requires having a conducive training venue, well-prepared training materials and effective communication about the course. It is an advantage if the trainer knows how to manage all of these for a more effective and successful training run.

Ashford Global IT offers a course entitled Developing Training for Non-Training Professionals. This course covers the skills and competencies mentioned above and aims for participants to be able to present the materials they have developed before a group of people as its culmination activity.

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Mary is a leading trainer in Microsoft® and Business Applications.

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