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9 Ways to Become a World Class Trainer

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At Traveling Coaches we spend all day talking to trainers. We hear their struggles and help them work through training road bumps, but our favorite part is hearing how they succeed every day to bring exceptional educational experiences to their learners.

As trainers ourselves, we are always looking to empower others. So here is a collection of thoughts from our Traveling Coaches team of experts. 
1. Ask open ended questions.
While this seems simple, it often helps a learner to think through what they are learning if they need to process a response that is more than just a yes or no.
2. Listening is as important as speaking.
Pay attention to who is asking questions and what questions are being asked. As well as those learners who remain silent. While this is often more difficult in virtual sessions, using the chat tool is a great way to get people to engage.
3. Training is often not a one style fits all solution.
An amazing trainer finds ways to teach one topic to a variety of learning styles. Think about those you have taught in the past. Did you have people that didn’t understand what you were teaching until they got to do it themselves? Did you have others that simply had to hear it to become a master? Or maybe learners who seemed to ask endless questions? Being able to adapt to a variety of needs will help you meet your learners where they are in their learning journey.
4. For virtual sessions, don't forget your tech setup.
Nothing is worse as a learner than not being able to clearly hear the instructor. Make sure you have a quality external microphone, dedicated headset, proper lighting, and multiple monitors. Without even changing the way you are presenting, you can radically change the way you are perceived in your online sessions.
5. Utilize closed captioning technology when you can.
Even tools like Teams have closed captioning capabilities. Let learners know they can turn on this feature as an added enhancement. To use live captions in a meeting, go to your meeting controls at the top of the screen and select More. > Language and speech > Turn on live captions. As a trainer, you don’t need to change what you do to change how it’s consumed.
6. Know your audience.
Have you ever had the request to “Train everyone how to use Excel during our lunch and learn next week”. While we can all come up with something, it won’t be a success unless you establish a few things first. You need to know who you are training and what expectations they have and if there have been any questions or concerns raised about the topic. You also need to know what success will look like. Is this a group that has never used Excel, or can they already create pivot tables faster than most of us can remember what tab you need to go to for that feature. And make sure to start the training with the end in mind. Tell your audience what they can expect to learn during their time with you.
7. Encourage audience participation to help gauge their understanding.
Whether this is using a visual indicator in a classroom setting or the chat in a virtual setting, make sure to check in. Ask for a simple thumbs up or thumbs down if they think they can now do what you just taught them on their own. It’s a quick way to check in to make sure you can keep going. Be able to adapt to anything unexpected that may come up.
8. Follow through if someone asks a question you didn't know the answer to.
Either help them find another individual who has the answer or help them get to the bottom of their question. The learner is your customer and the assistance you provide will be remembered.
9. Borrow knowledge to build knowledge.
Use topics, processes, and ideas they already understand to hasten familiarity with the new concept. If you are teaching someone how to use PowerPoint, draw on skills they likely already know from using Word.

While every trainer has their own style and skill set, learning from others helps us elevate our skills.