In my early days as a trainer, I desperately wanted to get it done the right way. I researched a lot about the dos and don’ts of being an excellent trainer and closely observed other trainers who were ahead of me professionally. I believed that playing by the book would bring me the fulfillment and impact I looked forward to.
A few years and many goofs later, I have learned that being a trainer does not have to be uptight and hard work. Today, I love what I do, and I do it effortlessly because I identified and dealt with the following myths, I am going to share with you below. I hope it helps you become a more impactful trainer. See you at the top!
1. Anyone can be a trainer if he/she understands the subject.
There is a place for both technical skills and training skills. Knowing how to do something does not necessarily mean you can teach someone how to do it too. To be a good trainer, you need skills such as communication, patience, creativity, emotional intelligence, etc.
2. Your audience does not matter if you have a good knowledge of the content
Remember, every audience is different. Understanding your audience (education level, beliefs, values, professional background, etc.) will help you tailor your content appropriately to maximize learning. Even If the training content is precisely the same each time, participants will most likely not end up with the same knowledge.
3. Experience makes up for lack of preparation/planning
Always take time to go through your slides/course content before a training session, no matter how familiar it is. There’s usually something you can tweak for your audience.
4. Trainers have to appear as prim and proper role models
It is good to be a role model, but it is better to be a practical, down to earth person who shares experiences of both failures and successes to inspire others.
5. More course content means more learning
Overload of information most times leads to fatigue, confusion, and less learning such that it defeats the purpose.
6. Trainers don’t need formal training
All trainers experienced or not need to be trained on how to deliver quality training. It could be online or face to face. The most important thing is that you continuously take advantage of personal development opportunities.
7. Admitting that you don’t know something makes you look incompetent
It is okay to say you don’t have the answer to a question but that you will find out. Sometimes, your trainees may even have solutions that you do not have.
8. You have to finish your slides within the allotted time
Time management is a crucial skill for trainers. However, sometimes, as a trainer, you may spend more time explaining a topic leaving you with limited time for the others. It is tempting to rush through the remaining slides but remember impact is more important than fulfilling all righteousness.
9. You have to impress your audience with big vocabulary and terminologies
Communicating clearly with your trainees and explaining the meaning of critical terms is more important than impressing them with big words. You may need to make a list of terms and keywords that will be used in the course of the training and explain their meaning at the beginning of the class.
10. Trainers need to keep to the plan and presentation style decided for the training
It is important to plan but equally essential to be flexible and able to adapt when necessary. Feel free to switch from lecture style to role play to case study to lecture training styles as you deem fit.
11. Trainers should avoid being personal, e.g., giving examples of their experiences
If using yourself and samples of your own experiences will help you drive home the point, please do but be careful not to give out privileged or confidential information entrusted to you by, e.g., former clients and workplaces.
12. Every question asked in class needs to be answered
Answer as many questions as you can but be mindful of questions that derail the topic and are not within the scope of your course content. It is okay to say that you will respond at the end of the class.
13. Starting late means you have to make up for it with extra time and close late.
Sometimes, it is tempting to take up additional time when you start late, whether or not it is your fault. However, that does not always work out well because your trainees may have other plans after the training and become distracted after the allotted time. It is advisable to ask for permission before exceeding the time given.
14. Feedback has to be given at the end of the training
Often, feedback is given when the training is over, and nothing more can be changed about the training. The feedback is, therefore, only useful for improving subsequent training. Try collecting feedback halfway through the training to enable you to improve the remaining part of the training. It is also advisable to ask trainees for their expectations from the training.
15. It is your responsibility to make everyone understand the lesson.
Learning is a joint responsibility of both the trainer and the trainee. Don’t be too hard on yourself when it seems some of your audience did not understand the lesson. Do your best to carry everyone along but know that there are many reasons why learning objectives are not met, and some of them are not the fault of the trainer.
I wish you all the best!