The job of a trainer encompasses many challenges. It’s certainly not as easy as just explaining how to do something or blithely littering conversations with words of empty encouragement.
In order to be successful, a trainer must have strong emotional and mental composure. A trainer is also expected to know a great deal about the subject matter they teach, if not considered to be an expert on the subject. Most likely they will be dealing with a wide variety of people who may not all learn and process information in the same way, or even at the same pace.
Know your audience
One of the most important things to consider when training one or more people, is exactly who they are. The strategies devised in order to train these individuals should be based on the understanding of them, as knowing the audience is what forms the backbone of the training. This is the reason why most, if not all trainers, will begin by asking a group to introduce themselves, sometimes along with a reason for their attendance at the training sessions.
A funny thing happened on the way to the session today……
Including a good amount of humour is always useful during a training session, as it can liven up an otherwise boring and quiet environment. If a joke is well placed, it can aid the retention of the information or topic, giving the person a joyful, memorable moment to link to their work. There are however, boundaries which must be acknowledged when making a joke, as it must be both appropriate and respectful.
Sitting in a room for a lengthy amount of time listening to a trainer talk, can hardly be described as thrilling. This is due to the nature of training sessions being mostly passive. With the possibility of one or two people drifting off to sleep, this is where simple humour would be a good thing to consider. But as would engaging them with the training and involving them in discussions, by asking and answering questions.
Go the extra mile
Trainers may need to stay after their official working hours, as one or more people may stay behind, in order to privately ask a question they didn’t want to ask in front of the rest of the group. When they do so, they have the expectation that the trainer will be ready to answer their questions in a cheerful manner.
Training sessions can have their own unique and unexpected events or questions for the trainer to deal with, and no amount of preparation can equip a trainer for these events due to their unpredictable nature. Therefore a trainer must be prepared to face and have to deal with these events and questions, expecting to have to answer difficult questions, or adapt the session and material so it is more suited to the group.
In conclusion, the role of trainer in not about knowledge alone, but also having the ability to deliver information in such a way that is can be understood, is informative and interesting. It’s a real skill, but one which can be gained and developed over time.
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