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What Makes a Good Corporate Trainer?

đź•‘ 3 minutes read | Feb 14 2022 | By Becky Gendron
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A well-executed training project delivered by subject matter experts will result in an accelerated speed of learning and improved learner engagement. To achieve this outcome, the trainer must be highly skilled in the content, a compelling communicator, and adapt quickly to diverse conditions. Training is only as effective as the trainer providing it.

According to Harvard Business Review, although organizations spend more than $350 billion globally on training, they are not spending their money effectively. The training you select to instruct your learners has a direct impact on the effectiveness of training.

When selecting a trainer, consider the following three instructor competencies to ensure your next project produces actionable and desired results.

1. Strong Industry Knowledge and Subject Matter Expertise

A great trainer should have in-depth knowledge of the industry and topic that they will be training in. They should know what goes on in the marketplace, including industry concepts and best practices. By having this understanding, trainers are unable to simplify the training content into teachable and relatable chunks of information that relates to their business needs.

Evaluating the selection of talent available will help to benchmark the expertise, qualifications, and knowledge potential for your training project. The following resources can be used to evaluate a trainer’s industry knowledge and subject matter expertise:

  • Professional bios, profiles and resumes
  • Portfolios (teaching videos, course materials, etc.)
  • References, student evaluations, and endorsements

Organizations frequently turn to outsourced training providers as a powerful resource when in-house staff either lack the expertise or time to deliver training.

Consider a long-term strategy for on-demand access to expertly vetted training talent. The ability to tap into trainers with a particular subject matter expertise and industry knowledge eliminates the need to search for a new trainer for each project.

2. Communication Skills

Arguably, one of the most important and obvious characteristics of a good trainer is the ability to effectively communicate. Whether communicating highly technical, sensitive or challenging information, a trainer must be able to clearly and concisely teach the content.

A great trainer will be able to articulate their strategy for communicating to individuals with varying learning styles. To evaluate a trainer’s communication skills, ask questions like:

  • How do you accommodate both visual and auditory learners?
  • What materials will you provide for the course?
  • How do you keep learners engaged, especially during long days of training?
  • When a learner is struggling to understand content, how might you help them overcome the challenge?
  • How will they accommodate and administer virtual training sessions?

A phone or virtual meeting will help you vet a great communicator from a poor one. Trainers should be articulate, responsive, and compelling.

3. Flexibility and Creativity

An effective trainer must have the ability to be flexible and think creatively. Training plans may work perfectly for one set of learners, but they may be ineffective or disengaging for another set of learners. A great trainer must be able to read the room and adjust their training delivery to meet the needs of the learners. Let’s say a planned training session includes a lot of collaboration and group work. However, the learners would prefer a more standard approach to the lesson. Trainers must be flexible in their approach and think creatively to adjust the method of delivery on the spot. Additionally, learners may have less or more background than you originally were told. It makes no sense to teach material that is already known or skip over material that learners may not know. A trainer needs to adjust their content to fit their learners’ needs. Each training solution is going to have its obstacles, and a trainer must be able to open to change and quickly adapt.

While the list of characteristics and training skills that great trainers possess could go on and on, these are a few tips to help you identify a great trainer for your organization.

To learn more about the benefits of partnering with a training provider for training talent, read Three Tips to Give You Confidence When Selecting a Training Partner for Talent Outsourcing.

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