The Way I See It... This Much I Have Learned

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Nick Wright, freelance development consultant for Paradigm and learning and development manager for international charity Tearfund offers these ten tips for trainers.

I’m sometimes asked by new trainers what advice I would give as they seek to develop their professional practice. The following list is not exhaustive but does contain some of the most important points I’ve learned from my own experience:

1. Be yourself, who is a trainer, rather than seeking to emulate a perfect role model.

2. Check at the outset that everyone is agreed on the learning goals of the training day.

3. Ensure that all participants are clear about what is expected of them and what they can expect of you.

4. Explain the methods you will use and, where appropriate, why you’re using them. Be prepared to negotiate methods with the group if that will engender greater buy-in.

5. Use your time with the group only to do those things that are best done together with other people. If you simply want to pass on information, put it in a handout.

6. Use a variety of techniques and tools that will appeal to participants with different learning preferences and styles.

7. Ensure that any practical exercises you use genuinely contribute to the learning goals of the day. If they don’t, don’t use them.

8. Check throughout the day that participants are progressing well, tackling any sticking points as soon as they arise.

9. Spend time towards the end of the day checking whether agreed goals have been achieved, allowing sufficient time to address those that haven’t.

10. Finish by asking participants what they will do practically to apply learning in the workplace.

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