Many people are subject matter experts (SMEs) who have (or are considering)  sharing their expertise in workshops, lectures or webinars. Many of these SMEs are accomplished speakers and masters at communications: both written and verbal.

The challenge is that many aren’t professionally trained as teachers/trainers/instructors OR  instructional designers (the folks that design and build teaching/training material). While that might not sound like a ‘biggy’, it is. If you are advertising that your sessions will teach or train people to do something, you need to pull together and deliver the material that will deliver on that promise.

That is where this blog comes in. My target audience is those of you that are somewhat new to teaching/training/instructing OR are occasional teachers/trainers/instructors. (Note: I’ll interchange the use of the words teaching, training and instructing.) My objective is to give you the most important advice that will impact your results (just like following the 80/20 Rule).

This page to ‘collects’ and organizes much of the advice I’ve shared about training. I’ve divided the material into the stages as outlined below to help you quickly locate blog posts that may be of interest.


Key advice to START with YOUR AUDIENCE as your design point:  what do they need, what is their learning style, what ‘language’ will you speak to them in and how should you organize your training material.

After you decide on your session’s objectives, one of my best design tricks to ACCELERATE DESIGNING a session is to ‘cheat’ by creating a ‘super summary’ or cheat sheet (instructors call it performance support  material). Cheat sheets also have other benefits.

This blog post is very important if you are dealing with CULTURE CHANGE. A quick overview of the stages of culture change with emphasis on what trainers need to know to set the stage for successful culture change project: from leveraging sponsors, including motivation and showcasing successes to provide reinforcement.

“Cheating on the Job Made Easy: Just KISS” is written about the design of Performance Support (cheat sheets/handouts); however, the thoughts and concepts apply to the DESIGN OF EFFECTIVE TRAINING. This post covers: attendee objectives, providing context and motivation, designing for the right depth and delivery of content.

One of my favourite posts, “Team Teaching without a Mutiny, Murder or Meltdown” was written to help ensure and inspire good team teaching habits; however, it covers many good training DESIGN ELEMENTS: design points (goals, purpose), what to communicate (what language to use), planning development and deciding on roles/responsibilities.

This article includes some plain and simple advice inspired by Harvard opting out of final Exams.  Knowing that Universities are starting to EMPHASIZE  ‘PRACTICALS’ to ensure students can apply concepts, you should consider doing the same.


“What Trainers can Re-Learn from Domestic Chores” is a lighthearted look a lessons re-learned from painting. The necessary evil of preparation is explained and examined while trainers are cautioned about tackling a request to shorten sessions.

A surprising comparison of ski racing and training  looks at what it takes to be a legendary trainer/instructor. The importance of walking through material and technology is discussed.

“Traps Trainers can Easily Avoid” encourages trainers to freshen up their material and discusses the MOST IMPORTANT PARTS of your training session.

This blog post emphasizes practical lessons and stresses caution when preparing for a ‘no-brainer’ or using the work of others.

If you are using technology to demo or broadcast, here are some very practical tips: plan, synchronize and remember: less is more.


No matter how large (or small) your session is, these blog posts provide some hints and tips on how to ensure your product is delivered as advertised.

“What you can Learn from your Washing Machine”  is a very humorous story outlining my number#1 technique and other delivery secrets.

The one of the KILLER techniques to making learning stick  is outlined in this blog post about Mike Holmes and Larry King. (The art of questioning is introduced).

This blog post outlines a helpful remember on what to do when you are pressed for time or fatigue starts to hit.

“Training Tricks learned from Halloween” gives training delivery advice that is not spooky such as do not alienate your audience. Techniques on how to keep your audience interested and engaged are discussed.

This blog post from the ‘Pirate’ Series on Team Teaching offers very important advice in delivering a tightly integrated program.

More lessons learned from ski racing. Trainers are encouraged to ensure that their material flows from topic to topic and how to handle situations when they are at the brink of spiraling out of control.

This down to earth look at domestic chores  advises trainers to “Beware of the Deadline”. If you’ve every been jammed for time because of flight schedules, you’ll certainly relate!

“Practical Lessons Trainers can Learn from Domestic Chores”  outlines some delivery advice including “Don’t get Cornered.”


As Will’s photo says: “Consumers seek meaning and a brand they can trust…”  These blog posts encourage and outline how to brand  your team and material.

This article outlines how good team leaders will brand their teams. Learn how to craft your marketing material with special emphasis on BRANDING your Team of Trainers.

Once your program is tightly integrated, then collect supporting feedback and use it to promote your Team’s BRAND and your offerings! I call this ‘Branding for Dollars’  in this blog post. 


Flickr Creative Commons Images: Design Lightbulb by DeaPeaJay, Caution Sign by Mark Sardella, Delivery Man by James Justin, Branding & Authenticity Image by WIll Lion