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One of the biggest misconceptions in the business world – regardless if it’s employee assistance, supported employment, or any other profession – is that if you are an expert on a certain topic, then you can be a trainer.  However, understanding a given subject does not necessarily translate into knowing how to help others learn the topic as well as you. In truth, the secret to successful training is to train the trainer FIRST… before they can train others.

Think back to a recent training session you attended, and ask yourself i you were “engaged.” Did the activities make you interact with the subject being taught? Or did you find yourself listening half-heartedly while multi-tasking on other things at the same time?

presenterAfter the event, were you able to implement the new skills rather quickly? Or did the new skills dissipate rather quickly? Did the training materials used in the training ADD TO the learning process before, during or after the event, or are you asking yourself as you’re reading this right now… What training materials?!

If the answers to these questions are positive, then the people involved in your trainings are skilled in not only the subject matter, but in the modes of adult learning. This is outstanding news., and you should be pleased with your organization’s training efforts.

However, if your answers are NOT positive, then the training department is dysfunctional. Unfortunately, this is all too common. Many speakers are accomplished professionals who know their stuff, but they don’t know how to convey it.  But presentations needn’t be a chore when the speaker THINKS.

TTransform how you think about your role.  Your first job as a speaker is to be a memory-maker, so don’t be the supplier of solely facts and data. You are there to present and inform, but more importantly, you are there to create a learning environment. Presentations should focus on digesting content into directly applicable skills.

THE NEXT POST ON THIS BLOG will offer additional tips using the THINK approach. This article originally appeared in the December 2013 Employee Assistance Report. For more information, visit the “Employee Assistance Professionals” tab at http://www.impact-publications.com Additional information is available at http://www.kevinoc.com  and   http://www.jkhopkinsconsulting.com.

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