A Key Question

A Key Question Trainers Must Ask Themselves First
By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.

As trainers, speakers and seminar leaders we present a lot of information and ideas to participants in our sessions. We involve them in activities that are geared to enhance their skills and improve their performance.

[amprotect=all]These ‘benefits’ are enshrined in the goals and objectives of each workshop or presentation that we lead and facilitate.

Yet, it is my experience that too often we fail to ask one crucial question: How is this ‘stuff’ that we present useful in the real world of the participants?

Here are some spinoffs on that question:
•    Is it useable?
•    Is it relevant to what they do?
•    Is it adaptable?
•    Is it timely?
•    Has it been tried before? If so, what happened? What are the reasons that it is not currently used?
•    Has it been used successfully elsewhere? How and under what conditions?
•    Has it failed elsewhere? How and under what conditions?
•    Is it future proof? How will the fast moving changes that characterize our world impact this ‘stuff’ that we present and train on? For how long will it be useful and applicable?
•    If there are participants from a variety of disciplines and job fields in the session, is the ‘stuff’ that we are presenting applicable across the board? Is it that flexible in its orientation, applicability, and design that everyone present can see its relevance to what they do… or to what they desire to do?
•    As we present and train, have we discussed ‘how to apply’ our ideas or techniques in the kinds of varied real world situations that will confront our trainees and participants?
•    Have we discussed the limitations of what we present and offered suggestions on how to neutralize and or minimize these limitations?

Trainers must ask these questions first – before they develop their training sessions and presentations. Not only should these questions be asked first… they should be asked continuously throughout the process. This also means that the trainer must keep the questions in the back of his/her mind as the training or presentation is being conducted or facilitated. [/amprotect]