Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Category Archives : trainers

Tip #653: Educational Instructors and Entertainers

On January 9, 2017, Posted by , In trainers, By , With Comments Off on Tip #653: Educational Instructors and Entertainers

“Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.”  Marshall McLuhan

When I saw a Request for Proposal seeking educational instructors and entertainers, it definitely got my attention and peaked my interest. I’d never seen anything like it before!

My first thought was that they might be looking for educational instructors who are also entertainers. Maybe they really wanted edutainers: people who educate in an entertaining manner, mixing wit and humor with information.

I’d like to believe that describes my training style. But I always want the spotlight to be on the learners, and I would imagine that edutainers want the spotlight for themselves. Perhaps I could qualify as a facilitative … Read the rest

Tip #643: Skill Sets for Classroom Versus Web-Based Training

On December 10, 2016, Posted by , In trainers, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #643: Skill Sets for Classroom Versus Web-Based Training

“Specialization, concentration and consistency is the key to outstanding performance…Love your zone!”  Israelmore Ayivor

I constantly see recruitment notices for organizations seeking individuals with expertise in classroom curriculum design and delivery, as well as web-based training design. This is understandable, since blended learning is a training method that can capitalize on the strengths of both instructor-led and web-based training.

However, it seems to me that the classroom trainer and the web-based training (WBT) designer require very different knowledge and skill sets.

Let me compare and contrast the required skill sets for the stages in the training cycle, so you can see what I mean. (For the purpose of honest disclosure, I specialize as a classroom trainer).

Needs Assessment:

Both the … Read the rest

Tip #617: If At First You Don’t Succeed, There’s Probably a Good Reason

On April 18, 2016, Posted by , In trainers, By ,,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #617: If At First You Don’t Succeed, There’s Probably a Good Reason

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” Confucius

The first time I tried to make yeast bread (using a written version of an oral recipe from my grandmother), I waited three days for the yeast to bubble. It had actually bubbled within the first few minutes, but I missed it. Feeling frustrated and foolish, I never tried to make her yeast bread again.

What brought this to mind was a meeting to discuss the effectiveness of a newly created participant-centered curriculum. The subject matter experts (SMEs) responsible for delivering the curriculum had essentially ignored it and presented their lecture-based curriculum instead.

Why? There were a number of reasons:

  1. They did not
Read the rest

Tip #583: How to Establish Credibility as a Trainer

On August 24, 2015, Posted by , In trainers, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #583: How to Establish Credibility as a Trainer

“In the end, you make your reputation and you have your success based upon credibility and being able to provide people who are really hungry for information what they want.” Brit Hume

Do you have any of the following characteristics?

  • You’re a new trainer.
  • You have less experience on the job than those you will be training.
  • You are new to the organization.
  • You are much younger than many in your audience.

Any of these characteristics can make it difficult to establish credibility in a training situation. Having more than one of these characteristics can seem like an impenetrable barrier to establishing trust in your knowledge and ability.

What can you do to establish credibility? There are four key steps … Read the rest

Tip #571: Tips for Transitioning Lecturers

On June 1, 2015, Posted by , In trainers, By ,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #571: Tips for Transitioning Lecturers

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” Gail Sheehy

When lecturers recognize the value of participatory learning, there is a relatively steep learning curve for them to transition into a facilitative trainer role.

It can be very daunting to let go of the role of an expert who shares knowledge and step into the role of a facilitator who enables participants to learn and apply what they learned.

Here are some logistical tips to help with that transition.

Moving from PowerPoint slide deck to participant manual:

  1. Take all of the content that is currently on each of your PowerPoint slides and place it into a participant manual as reference material.
  1. Consider the best way that your participants can
Read the rest

Tip #549: A Training Marathon

On December 22, 2014, Posted by , In trainers, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #549: A Training Marathon

“Energy and persistence alter all things.” Benjamin Franklin

I do not run marathons, but I have read about the process that marathon runners go through to build up their stamina. Long and short distance runs are part of the strategy. I know that pasta plays a role, too.

Because of my clients’ funding requirements and a probable lack of understanding regarding how much energy it actually takes to conduct a highly participatory training program, I am faced with the daunting task of conducting 10 days of training without any break.

I will be flying to Amman, Jordan (my third trip in three years, for three different clients) to conduct two days of training on Interest Based Negotiation (IBN) Strategies and … Read the rest