In TTT (Train The Trainer) sessions, do you cover only module (content) or also address individual capability of mentor (facilitator)?
A training program is designed by a professional based on training need analysis. Learning and Development team can run past the content through key stakeholders who had requested specific learning outcomes, they may or may not get the content and methodology signed off by business unit leads before rolling out communication training calendar and facilitation dates.
The whole ideas is to ensure training is effective, the fundamental question is - was enough focus given to capability of resources who will actually deliver the session to targeted audience?
In most Train The Trainer (TTT) sessions based on a manual, the facilitator runs you through the key themes of the module – talking points against each slide, questions for the participants, re iterate key message after each exercise, role play, gallery walk, audio or video and how to apply the learning.
1. Assess the Trainer
This whole workshop is conducted based on a fundamental assumption that every participant of the TTT session is already a trainer and just needs to be acquainted with the module. However to ensure training effectiveness, both the module and the mentor (Facilitator) should be equally capable to stir interest. If enough time was invested in designing the module to address business and personal training needs, it is important before the content is rolled out, adequate time is spent on the facilitators as well to ensure the impact of the training is not defeated due to facilitation faults and failures.
2. Presentation Skills
You really do not have to be a rock star or Tony Robbins kind – as far as presentation skills are concerned. However to meet the objective of any training, the right amount of confidence, the right control on body language has to be acquired otherwise it is huge distractor for the participants and affects learning.
3. Handling Conflicts
There could be questions from the audience related to module or other aspects of training, which has to be taken care in the TTT session. The horizon should not be limited to module alone as the overall successes of future trainers who are attending your TTT depend on how they can handle an audience. If there are questions that get parked, and that is perfectly fine as long as the facilitator gets back to the one who raised the question after checking his resources.
4. Command on Language and pace
A facilitator who has language issues in terms of vocabulary or fluency first needs to work on that and bring that to presentable standards. There are trainers whose people connect abilities and great sense of humor actually outweighs little issues with language and accent, however you have to be exceptionally talented to have that kind of impact. So it is better to play safe and get the language bit right first for aspiring trainers. In the TTT session, you can share relevant links or self- learning mechanism or a few pointers and tips to assist the participant in that zone.
5. Expertise on Subject and beyond
It is very mechanical, if the facilitator knows only about the module and nothing beyond. There has to be relevant sections that the facilitator needs to be aware of beyond just the training portion. For example, if a training is pertaining to sales skills, and a few examples are mentioned from the auto industry including a few influential names, if an additional question comes from the audience pertaining to one of those names, and you look tongue tied as you have the faintest idea, it is a very embarrassing situation. Always suggest facilitators during TTT, to be aware of the background of whatever real time examples they are sharing.
It is the way you handle the whole session and a facilitator’s ability to create a long lasting impression by ensuring the key takeaway of the training is well accepted by the audience - that actually builds his credibility. It is very important that these subtle and yet critical aspects of training which cannot be identified in individual parts is emphasised during TTT workshops
7. Audience Connect
Facilitators should be made aware that each trainer has their own style, which should not be compromised, however if there are certain behavioral changes required to build the right audience connect, they need to assess those gaps and bridge them. If you are a very serious type, intellectual minded, serious social connect issues, always in lecture mode and that is making you unapproachable, before you train, you probably need to work on those aspects of your personality. This is a key topic in any TTT as if you can connect; the learning is half way through already.
8. Outcome Focused
Educate the facilitators to be focused on the learning outcomes. The method and methodology is only to facilitate that smooth and seamless transition of learning from one source to another or from one situation to another. So instead of focusing only on talking points, methods etc, the facilitator can use his discretion to modify patterns slightly without affecting the substance of the module, to ensure the outcomes are achieved effectively.
9. Feedback Mechanism
The essence of any TTT session is to educate aspiring trainers that every feedback - verbal and those written on feedback forms are taken into consideration seriously to rectify individual traits or change the module content. For example if the participants believer there were too many exercises included in the module, time was not well managed, participation was less etc. The reason those came from the audience is because those were hindering their learning process.
10. Dress Code
If you have business leaders attending your TTT session and you enter in your jeans, jacket and junk accessories. Enough said. Do we need to complete this paragraph or better left to imagination? A huge learning distractor. How you carry yourself from minute one is something that give you control on the entire session - and that includes what you are inside and what you wear outside.
This is an edited version of what was originally published by Triond