What kind of training facilitator are you?

In June, my book What’s Your Formula: Combine Learning Elements for Impactful Training was released. While the majority of the pages revolve around a periodic table of learning elements, there is also a chapter about an “X-factor” that can have as much impact on any training program as the elements used to design the program. That X-factor is the presenter.

In July, the Association for Talent Development published an article I wrote to expand on this idea of an X-factor in their monthly publication, TD magazine. The article was entitled Presenter, Know Thyself. This concept revolves around a presenter knowledge/ability learning matrix. The article goes into more depth about how to navigate this matrix to become a more effective presenter.

Why is it important to know where you might fall on this matrix? I’ve found this matrix to be very helpful in reassuring me, as a presenter, that I don’t need to be able to do everything perfectly.

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Help! My podcast was highjacked!

Ok, “highjacked” may be a little extreme. Maybe “I yielded the interviewer seat to a professional colleague so I could be the subject of the interview” is more like it.

You may have heard that I have a book coming out tomorrow.

At some point in 2011 I decided I wanted to write a book, but my writing was rusty. My 2012 New Years Resolution was to start a blog in hopes that I could knock off the writing rust while compiling some ideas about learning and development. Here we are, about 10 years after I had the urge to write a book. And in today’s Train Like You Listen episode, Sophie Oberstein (author of Troubleshooting for Trainers) spent some time grilling me about this book.

Today’s episode is a little longer than usual, so if you don’t have the time to listen to this witty back-and-forth between Sophie and I, then just trust me, my book is awesome and you ought to buy it!

I write that last arrogant suggestion in quasi-jest (if you think the book could be helpful to you as you put together your training programs, I’d love if you bought a copy!). I’d like to thank each and every one of you for taking some time out of your schedule to read my posts and listen to my podcasts each week, thank you for the likes and comments and shares. Thank you for the emails and direct messages you’ve sent. You make me feel like I have something to offer the learning and development community.

Now without further ado, this week’s podcast…

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What should a Train The Trainer session look like nowadays?

On Monday, we shared a podcast recording with Ajay Pangarkar who has created a number of LinkedIn Learning courses on the topic of train the trainer and presentation skills.

This conversation got me thinking about Train the Trainer sessions in two ways:

  1. It got me curious about how people feel about facilitating Train the Trainer sessions within their own organizations, and
  2. It also got me thinking about what Train the Trainer sessions look like in an Age of the Pandemic, where so much of our training is done virtually.
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Survey Results: The Burden of Going All Virtual

In a post last week, I asked a series of questions to get a better idea of the effort that you’ve needed to apply as you bring training programs to a completely virtual/online environment. If you didn’t have a chance to respond, I invite you to check out the survey questions and add your own responses here.

I promised to share results, and after a week’s worth of data collection, there are some interesting findings, including the fact that one virtual meeting platform is being used FAR MORE than any other, and there is definitely more in-person training that is still happening than I would have hypothesized. Here is the way the survey results have come in to date:

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What kind of facilitator are you designing for?

A few weeks ago I asked: “What kind of facilitator are you?” and I shared this model:

As part of this post, I also asked the following two poll questions:

Into which quadrant do you think that you fall?

Into which quadrant do the people you design training for generally fall?

If you haven’t had a chance to respond to those questions, I invite you to share your thoughts now by selecting the choices that best fit you and your situation. The answers I’ve received so far offered some interesting data points.

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What kind of facilitator are you?

Designing effective training is one thing. Designing training that can be delivered effectively (by you or by someone else) is a bit of a different animal. It doesn’t matter whether the training is being delivered in-person or virtually, the person delivering the session is an enormous X Factor in whether the training will be effective or not.

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5 Job Aids to Help with Your Next Virtual Session

Over the past month, our Endurance Learning team has offered several free webinars on basic ways to put together an engaging virtual session and the importance of the “producer” role. If you missed either session, you can access a recording with the following links:

During each session, we shared some data and several job aids, which I also shared on LinkedIn and received a lot of positive feedback. Instead of having to search through the webinars or my old LinkedIn posts, I thought I’d collect all of those job aids and put them in one place.

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When technology attacks (Virtual Training Edition)

What happens if there’s some sort of technological glitch (or worse, a catastrophic freezing up of your computer) when you’re delivering a virtual session?

A few weeks ago, my colleague Lauren Wescott offered a series of virtual sessions focused on the role of a producer. A producer exists to ensure your presenter can focus wholeheartedly on presenting information and engaging the participants.

One important way a producer can do this is by helping troubleshoot issues with the technology while the facilitator focuses on delivering a high quality session. Below is a guide that may help you identify some potential issues your participants are having specifically with Zoom (we’re working on a similar job aid for other platforms).

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