When Training the Trainer Makes Investment Sense

We can all remember good and bad training courses

Chris Dawes, founder and Managing Director of Swindon-based Open Dawes Training, which provides CPD accredited public speaking and presentation training, looks at how ‘training in training’ brings a return for your business, when we consider that it wasn't the content of these sessions that made them "good" or "bad".

train the trainer

For many business owners, capitalising on their knowledge and expertise by creating and delivering training is an obvious and potentially lucrative step. Owner managers of SMEs become subject matter experts, often having worked in their particular field for many years, building up a wealth of experience and knowledge which can help others.

Equally, business people may have to deliver training as part of a sales process, with the successful sale and adoption of a product or service depending on training the client in its use. But just having that knowledge may not in itself be enough. Formulating it into a training programme is another step – and then it has to be successfully delivered.

As one business owner recently said to us: “I’m happy to talk to people about what I do, but it’s a world away from formally delivering a training course. Yet if a client is not provided with quality training, then the uptake and positive perception of our products or services could be reduced. Let alone justifying charging for training, whose purpose is to add value.”

Successful training can lead to increased sales, strengthen customer loyalty and enhance the trainer’s (and so the business’s) reputation by demonstrating knowledge and expertise.

We’ve recently helped an accountancy client with training in delivering workshops to their clients, on using accountancy software. We’re not accountants or software experts – that’s our client’s domain – but we have been able to help make their training more effective.

Here are some simple techniques which will ensure your training adds value.

  • You know your stuff, but ‘impostor syndrome’ is common. However, don’t let it make you question your knowledge.
  • Training is not a scripted drama. Make a logical timeline of the topics you need to cover and how that is embellished with content and context is up to you on the day, and will vary from course to course. Less script means more of you!
  • The more engaging you and your training is, the more will be learnt. This also makes it more enjoyable for you.
  • Whilst one-to-one training can be flexible, with groups it is often better if the flow/order is maintained. It is OK to say, “hold that question, as we will be moving onto that shortly”.
  • Much of the coaching we provide in our presentation skills training applies here: slow down, take pauses, breathe and make it a conversation not a lecture.

We also draw on other key areas of our presentation skills training to ensure your knowledge is conveyed and received in the best possible light, covering areas such as nerves, dealing with audience interaction (or lack of) and questions, creating the structure and flow, preparation, dealing with the unexpected, verbal/physical communication and starting/finishing.

Providing and receiving good training is mutually beneficial and so deserves to be given the same consideration as the products/services you are selling.

Open Dawes Training runs public speaking and presentation training for groups and individuals, either in-house or at Open Dawes’s head office training centre at Nexus Business Centre in Swindon. It is one of an elite group of small businesses in the Small Business Sunday network run by returning Dragons’ Den star, Theo Paphitis. For more information call 01793 238259 or email enquiries@opendawestraining.co.uk.

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