Training the Trainer: A Crash Course

Here’s a short compilation of places to turn if you’re looking for some help with your training programs.  Whether you’re just getting started in the training field, you’re asked to do a presentation every once in a while or you’re a seasoned training professional, there’s something here for everyone.

All-around Amazing Training Tips

Anyone who ever gets in front of a group to present – whether as an occasional “extra duties as assigned” job duty or as a professional trainer – should have a copy of Bob Pike’s Creative Training Techniques Handbook on their bookshelf. Written in plain English and loaded with practical ideas, tips and suggestions that can be used immediately.

Building a Foundation in Adult Learning

Malcolm Knowles is the father of adult education.  At some point in their careers, all training professionals should read The Adult Learner since it’s the foundation of every adult learning principle they (hopefully) integrate into their training design.  The language is very academic.

Jane Vella built upon Knowles’ work in adult education with her book Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults.  She offers a set of principles in dialogue education and illustrates them through stories from her experiences in working with groups across cultures and around the world. 


Elearning doesn’t have to be a boring set of slides that a learner is required to click through in order to complete a course and receive a certificate.  Michael Allen’s Guide to Elearning illustrates this point and offers tons of ideas and examples, painting a picture of what elearning should be.

Professional Associations

The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) is the principle professional association for folks in the training field.  Their website offers plenty of resources – both free and fee-based.  An annual membership comes with a monthly subscription to T+D magazine and discounts on training materials and conferences.  Personally, I learned a lot from the ASTD discussion boards on their web site during my first year as a trainer.  By attending various ASTD conferences I’ve had an opportunity to attend sessions led by such thought leaders as John Kotter, Ken Blanchard, Bob Pike and Michael Allen. 

Industry Magazines

The following monthly publications are free to those in the training industry and provide a slew of insights about training trends, ideas and best practices:

What did I miss?  The comment section is all yours.

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