Executing the Learning Conversation

November 1, 2016 in Greg Owen-Boger, Posts for Buyers, Talent Development, Training, Video

In this video, produced by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), Greg Owen-Boger, Turpin’s VP, explains why training is a conversation, not a speech.

 

I was working with a subject matter expert recently and she came into the coaching session saying, “I know that what I’m doing in this three-hour onboarding program isn’t working.” She says, ” I do this all the time, but it’s not working and I need some help.” So I was talking with her and she said, “Well, you know, I’ve typed out my script. I’ve got it in the notes section of PowerPoint. I’ve printed it off. I’ve laminated and I’ve got all these things lined up. And, you know, the night before training, I read through my script and I get it in my head.”

The problem is, though, that training isn’t a speech or something to be recited. It needs to be more of a conversation. And as we were talking she said, “You know, I think I do my best teaching at the bar afterwards.” And I asked her to talk about that a little bit. She said, “Well, it’s conversational. I’m answering questions. I’m responsive to what the learners are interested in.” And I said, “Ding ding ding! That’s it. Let’s move that bar, figuratively of course, into the classroom.” And it made all the difference for her.

Which Hat to Wear? SME or Trainer?

March 2, 2010 in Author, Delivery, Greg Owen-Boger, Preparation, Training

This post was inspired by a train-the-trainer session Dale Ludwig and I led two weeks ago.  We were working with a group of SMEs (subject matter experts) in the insurance industry as they prepared to deliver enterprise-wide training sessions.

Of course the SMEs knew a lot about their topics.  The problem was they wanted to share most of it with their trainees.  This desire is typical not only when training, but when delivering every-day presentations as well.  So, during the training session, we helped the SMEs switch hats.  They needed to take off their favorite, most comfortable hat (the SME Hat), and put on a slightly less comfortable one (the Trainer Hat).

When you switch hats like this you’ll realize that trainees and every-day audiences don’t want or need to know everything you know.  (Nor do they have time for it.)  What they need is to be engaged in a well-developed, listener-focused, concise conversation.

So, put on your Trainer Hat the next time you develop a training session or presentation.  Get clear on your objectives.  Think about what your listeners need to learn from you in order to take the action you want them to take.  From there, create an agenda that includes only the information that will help you reach your goals.

One thing that happens when you take off your SME Hat is that you feel like you’re not demonstrating your expertise.  Don’t worry.  When you zero in on what your listeners need and want to know about your topic, they’ll feel like you really care about their perspective and understanding.  And that’s a good thing.

by Greg Owen-Boger, VP and Trainer at Turpin Communication


Need help preparing for your next presentation?  Take this online presentation skills course today: “Preparing a Presentation.”