Presenting Ain’t Training

Before the grammar police issue me a citation, I know my title is grammatically incorrect. It’s a play off the title of the wonderfully informative book titled “Telling Ain’t Training.” For those of you who have never read the book, I highly recommend it.

It reinforces the concept of training vs. lecturing. To summarize, training (in the corporate sense) should not consist of the “trainer” standing up in front of someone and talking for two hours. Rather, it should consist of the trainer making the effort to involve the learner and fully submerse them into the content.

That’s where my title comes into play. Too many corporations have fallen under the false assumption that presentations=training. By definition, a presentation is the act of formally presenting something.  It is also a pretty one-sided conversation. The presenter talks and we listen. That does not make for good training. I won’t go into what it takes to create good training, but the most important rule to follow is this: engage your learner. When you find yourself standing and talking for long periods of time, you have ceased to be a “trainer” and have transitioned into a “presenter.” I’m not sure about you, but I don’t like to hear someone talk for hours on end. No matter how brilliant they are, I can only handle so much information dumped on me at once.

Save the presentations for multi-level marketing schemes. I’ll take a good old training session any day.

For more information about adult learning, instructional design or elearning, visit www.learntoelearn.com.

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