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What’s the value of a train the trainer session?

Just training someone how to present doesn't mean they'll present any better than they used to.

One of my favorite topics to design and deliver is presentation skills. When people present better, they have the opportunity to change the world.

Over the past few years, as I reflect on these sessions, I’ve begun to question the value. Is a presentation skills or train the trainer session worth the investment of time and money? Too often, when I peek in on what people are doing after attending such a session, I would have to say: no, the investment of time and money wasn’t worth it.  

The single biggest reason I feel this way is the same reason that many other training programs – from sales training to leadership development and all sorts of other topics – are also poor investments of time and money. After the training wraps up, people go back to their desks or their offices, and they play catch-up on emails and phone calls and other work. Any enthusiasm they had for applying newly learned skills fades away as the demands of their day-to-day job take hold.

Recently I had an opportunity to design a workshop and try to reverse this pattern. InsideNGO recently asked me to help put together a follow-up course to their foundational Training of Trainers program.

There are two things I like about this project:

  1. It’s completely online. This means that content can be fed to participants in their natural environment – at their desks, during the work day. Principles of adult learning and key concepts to engage people will be in front of them during the natural flow of their work day.
  2. It supports real-world application. While foundational training programs are necessary, all too often that’s where the learning stops, and learners are asked to go back on their own and perhaps try to maybe apply something they learned and hope they get it right. This course will challenge participants to put their foundational knowledge of presentation skills to use on a real-world presentation. Participants will receive support and feedback from course instructors and their peers in order to continue to build and advance their presentation skill set. After all, if you don’t use it you lose it.

If you’ve been presenting for a few years and want to sharpen your skills or if you just want to engage with some others who are at the same point in their training delivery journey, feel free to check it out and see if this might be something you’d be interested in.

Whether you’re relatively new or extremely experienced in the world of learning and development, I’d love to hear from you, too. What are some strategies you’ve put in place to boost the odds that participants will apply what you’ve taught them?

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