You have a tremendous opportunity.

Others ‘just don’t get it’.

Many experts have no idea how to develop and deliver training material. YOU, yourself,  may not be a trained instructional designer or certified instructor but consider the value someone trained to educate would bring to your instructional offering. Partnering could take many different forms or be executed in different ways.

Open you mind to the idea of partnership. It will save you time, effort and it just may save your ‘bacon’.

THE EQUATION

You know the old saying, “The whole is greater than the Sum of the parts…” Here’s my version for this discussion:

Topic Proficiency and Expertise + Training Development & Delivery Expertise

=

Audience Centered, Results Oriented Content with Expert Secrets & Tips for Practical Applicability

(i.e. the Best of Both Worlds)

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

The big deal is: not many people are doing this the right way.

If you’ve attended some courses lately you’ll see this. Some sessions bombard you with facts & figures. Others bore you with stuff you already know or that is of little value. At the end of some sessions you may say either, “That was a useless waste of my time!” OR “Wow they know their stuff. That was way over my head.”

Ask yourself:  would you hire them as trainers? Probably not. You may consider hiring the ‘know-it-all’s for some services because this stuff is way too complicated and you could never do it yourself.  WAIT A MINUTE! When you think back to the ‘free’ session, maybe the underlying objective wasn’t to sell education, maybe it was to sell services. Hmmm…

THE REAL PROBLEM

So, what’s the real problem?

  • Is it the advertising: should it be an introductory course or advanced?
  • Is the material too detailed?
  • Is the topic structured to facilitate understanding?
  • Does the material make unfair assumptions in knowledge or vocabulary?
  • Etc.

You get the picture.

Consider that the real problem was they didn’t know where to start or how to put the material together.

OPPORTUNITY TO DIFFERENTIATE

If you ask most training experts, they’ll agree that ideally they’d like to partner with an expert in the topic they are teaching. That way they can DEVELOP and BUILD the right material-right from the start: adding in the right discussions and exercises to get the audience participating and learning. Having someone give them the expert hints and tips adds TREMENDOUSLY to the value of the course.

I know what you are thinking.

In a perfect world you would combine the talents of a training expert and someone who is an expert in their field. Together magic would be worked.  The collaboration would be something to celebrate. The resulting material would be unique and would be differentiated from the competition.

But you don’t live in a perfect world. You have a small staff and you can’t afford to hire someone on full-time to help you develop and deliver instructional material for your seminars, webinars and workshops.

If you can’t afford a full-time employee or a contractor to develop and deliver material, consider hiring a Training Expert for a bit of consulting. That expert can save you time, money and embarrassment. As my friend Adele, says: “Consider the cost if you don’t.”

WHAT ABOUT AN ‘A LA CARTE’ MENU?

Here’s a way to think about hiring a professional trainer. You don’t have to hire one on full-time, rather you can determine where you are going to get the ‘most bang for your buck’:

  • Strategically (‘the big picture’):
    • Defining goals (audience and outcomes)
    • Developing the overall structure of your set of offerings
    • Fleshing out the overall structure of your seminar
  • Tactically (‘the more indepth, detailed view’):
    • Looking at your offering in a more detailed step-wise manner, as discussed in ‘Can you teach like a Trained Professional?
      • How the ideas and concepts are are divided into building blocks.
      • Does the sequence of these blocks make sense?
      • Have all the learning styles been addressed?
  • Practically:
    • Making it ‘real’ wit pragmatic advice?
    • Ensuring your offering hits the mark (which could include defining ‘the mark’)

NO THANKs, I’M GOOD!

Even if you already have an offering, consider having a ‘trained professional’ (trainer) look at it. OR have a trainer attend or listen in to your session. OR have a trainer interpret the feedback you’ve collected. You will be AMAZED at how they make sense of things and pick out a few things to ‘spruce up’.

So, don’t say, “No thanks, I’m good,” as you would to someone offering you an appetizer you didn’t want…

If you are open to these ideas your sessions will get better. Your audience will become a loyal fan club. AND you will have developed a distinct brand that YOU can teach/train your topic better than all the others.

PARTNERING EFFICIENTLY

So, how can I help?

My plan is to roll out a number of blog posts that will give you a more in-depth look at designing and delivering training. (These postings are not a replacement for in-depth knowledge a trained educator would have; rather, they will give you some simple ideas that you can apply to your work.)

Arming you with that knowledge will make you more efficient in partnering with an expert trainer. Think of it like going to your paid-by-the-hour accountant with most of the information he/she is going to ask for.

I promise to try to make this as simple as possible AND I will try not to use ‘instructor’-speak. Until next time, keep an open mind about partnering to leverage some training talent.

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Flickr Creative Commons Image by C.Quarles

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