Thursday, April 23, 2009

Few more Queries in Training

Q- I want experiences of trainers speakers on how they entered the training speaking industry. Is it better to work with a training company for a year to understand the industry better or is it better to launch yourself directly as a freelancer. My personal outlook (the Questioners') is that most successful trainers speakers today launched themselves directly into the industry.

First there is a difference between Trainers and Speakers. Few of our colleagues do both, but I don't think the "Trainer Speaker" terminology isn't appropriate.

Speakers who have directly launched themselves into this industry (I'm not sure whether they considered it an industry!) were experts in their field, either as Professionals OR have written books which have been successful. They were invited to speak at various Forums and they did an excellent job of the same. The audience loved them, learnt from them and understood their books better. More books got sold. Meeting organisers wanted these Speakers now at any cost and offered them fees. And thus this became an industry. This people are known as "Key Speakers" or "Motivational Speakers".

"Passionate Trainers" are different. They love standing in front of a group and creating a difference, they love being with others, for them the "high" is seeing that the learners change and implement the learning's. They keep up-to-date with knowledge, concepts and books and share this knowledge to the participants making it easier and simpler to understand so that the participant can implement the same in his workplace or personal life.

Today another category of Trainer has evolved and that is the "Job/Business Trainer". Training is either a Job or a Business proposition. This person gets into the field because when per day rates are quoted, he feels "wow" - he multiples it by the number of days in the month and says the earning is 'great' and a good business to get in without realising that a "Passionate Trainer" will not train for more than 10 days a month. The Job/Business Trainer is a person who has public speaking abilities, uses gimmicks in his training, creates a "high" but at times unable to influence the participant to change.

There could be inter-linking of all the three above.

Now you have to reflect, why are you here and why do you want to be here?

A Speaker, a Trainer or just someone who looks at this as a job or a business.

Remember for a drinker there is a difference between 'Well-brewed Coffee' or a 'Instant Coffee' similar like 'Wine' and 'Port Wine'. What do you choose to be????

My experience:
1992 onwards,
When I was first appointed a Faculty in Public Speaking, for a 10-session course of 2 hours each, I was paid Rs. 200/- for the whole course as honorarium.

For my first module on Personality Development, paid by kind "a wall-clock" of Rs.500/-; for my first Dramatics workshop of a month's duration, paid by kind "a wrist-watch" of Rs 450/-.

It's been a long journey and an enjoyable one.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Queries in Training

I was asked a few questions on Training. I replied to them and thought would be interesting for my blog readers too. (This is from an India perspective)


1. what should one do to get into training sector?

Depends on why you want to be in this field and what's your personal vision.


Various ways you can get into this field:

a. You could start by conducting sessions in schools and colleges. And then move on to training the entry level staff of companies.

b. Join a Company in the Learning & Development Department (part of HR). You may have to initially get into coordination of Training and may be more of an observer. This would strengthen your content knowledge. Once you are comfortable in the modules, then you could start by handling small modules along with a co-trainer.

c. Join a Training Company. Again initially they may put you in co-ordination. They may also ask you to first start marketing (i.e. developing business). Then again you may get chances to co-facilitate and thus become a Trainer. They would also certify you on certain key programs in the long run.

If you want to directly get into freelancing and expect companies to give you assignments, I don't know 'why' they will give the same to you. Training is a cost and should give the client Return on their Investment.


are there any courses or diploma available?

ISTD runs a Diploma program in T&D. It's a Distance program, self-reading and a few sessions in between. My opinion is that it takes Training theoretically.


2. How can one contact right people to start with the T&D ?

For what?

If for getting business, then you need to learn marketing & business development skills and also need to be known for your Training skills.

If for connecting to trainers and sharing & learning, then you need to use linkedin more.


3. What is the scope , future & opportunities in this sector?

I don't see training as a business or a job but more of a passion! And when there is passion, the scope, future & opportunities are the 'zenith'.

If you want to be in this field because you believe in the power of change, then you can for yourself create as many opportunities as you want. If you are here, just because it's a "earning" field, then with every slowdown, recession, you are gonna face 'frustration'.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Story Telling is a powerful training tool

Yes, undoubtedly Story Telling is a powerful training tool. Not only in training but stories can be used powerfully in presentations, group motivation and discussions. My personal belief is that bulleted conversations has it's strengths but if one can use a appropriate story, the understanding is far better and deeper.

I believe, "Leaders who use stories with their teams communicate much powerfully".

As a Trainer, when using stories, I find the participant reflection richer and the retention longer ... and not necessarily only factual stories. Even fables, stories from the panchatantra etc. have the desired effect.

But how many Trainer's use Stories?

At times we get so involved with concepts and processes that the motivational aspect of why should one learn the skill or the behaviour is not at all tackled

An additional thought:

In India, (where I majorly deliver my training interventions), our culture supports Stories.

Most of us live in a joint family system (nowadays changing!). The role of the grandparent was to entertain kids with stories. The stories used were from our epics... the Mahabharata or the Ramayana etc. Other stories of Buddha, Panchatantra were narrated. The fight was between the Rakshashas (evil) and with the Gods. Thus was imbibed in a child "family values". Values which became part of one's conscience.

We didn't require any training on Principles and Values for inside we knew what it meant.

Presently I see that Grandparents are themselves busy in the corporate world and dont retire... they are sooo busy. Further due to the break-up of the joint family system, grandchildren are not under the 'guidance' of the grandparents... so no stories.

Is there a co-relation between this and the fact that we are seeing a lot of compromise on one's "value" system and thus more and more scams?

Quotation of the Day