Truth be told, developing online training programs for an organization is anything but an easy task.
Improving your skills as a trainer, on the other hand, is much easier when you know where to start from.
Maybe a change in your mentality, training and development tools that might have flown under your radar, or some more empathy could do the trick. In any case, this is the guide you’ve been looking for.
In this article, you’ll get to know all the necessary training skills that trainers should have in order to transfer knowledge and enjoy a successful career in the training industry. What’s more, you’ll get to know the best tools for training that trainers can use to simplify their workload and make their courses shine.
To save time, here are the essential skills for trainers:
Every trainer needs to have specific skills as well as training and development tools to be effective. First, let’s look at the following list that includes both soft training skills and hard.
1. Advanced research skills
One of the most important hard skills a trainer should master is research. And since it’s 2020 now, let’s talk about internet research. Advanced and analytical internet research.
Searching on Google has a lot of secrets, some of which you’re going to find out in a bit. For example, do you know how to use Boolean operators and symbols in your searches?
Start by using “and,” “or,” and “not” in that little but powerful search box. Add quotation marks to search for a specific keyword exactly as you write it and use the minus sign to tell the search engine to ignore the term you’ve put before it.
This type of advanced Google searching can help you find relevant and reliable content for your training courses in half the time. Also, you will be able to find websites that you may haven’t heard before but feature information and content that might be useful even in the long run.
However, you need to evaluate websites as well as critically assess research papers.
To check whether a website you are visiting is worthy of your attention, all you have to do is browse through all menu items and check the footer for the last date it was updated.
2. Strong communication skills
Training is about people (also known as human beings). What makes us different from the rest of the living organisms is that we have the ability to communicate with each other in a direct manner.
This is why one of the essential trainer qualities and skills you need to be an effective trainer is communication. In fact, it can easily make or break the learner’s experience.
Imagine a trainer that isn’t good at explaining concepts. Or someone who doesn’t pay attention to their learners’ concerns. These are all barriers to learning. And the responsibility rests with the one responsible for training delivery — the trainer.
So, to be an inspiring and engaging trainer, you should be adept at listening, questioning, explaining, and giving feedback. In other words, you need to learn how to communicate everything. These training skills can be practiced throughout a career. As long as you know how crucial communication is, the more you train people, the better communicator (and trainer) you’re going to be.
3. Organizational skills
Strong organizational skills always get you far. Both as a trainer and a person.
Skills like managing your time will help you stay on track.
In learning, training, and development, trainers need to complete various tasks before they deploy a training program. From collecting all the materials required to delivering training efficiently, mastering organization is vital.
Another critical skill for trainers that is totally related to organization is problem-solving.
The truth is that the more organized you are, the more problems you will have solved proactively. This will lead to an excellent learner experience since you will have taken care of everything beforehand. Plus, less stress for you.
4. Adaptability skills
Things don’t always turn out the way we expect.
Sometimes life gets in the way. Delays, troubles, and unforeseen circumstances can simply happen. So, what can you do?
As a trainer, you need to be prepared for the unexpected. Which, of course, means that you have to be adaptable. Have a plan B for almost everything, play around with your tools and see how some features can help you prepare. Second-guess yourself and think of anything that could possibly go wrong. Now, fix it before it even happens.
And before you even know it, adaptability will turn from a training skill into a personality trait.
5. Enthusiasm for lifelong learning
Learning should never stop for a trainer.
As part of the training industry, you must develop lifelong learning habits so that you can keep up with all the advancements in a market that keeps changing.
But another reason why you need to invest in lifelong learning as a trainer is to be able to empathize with your learners and put yourself in their shoes.
Sometimes when trainers build courses on a daily basis, they tend to forget what it really feels like to be learning something new. There’s fear, frustration, excitement, fatigue (yes, it happens!), boredom, and so much more that goes through your learners’ minds.
And, from time to time, you need to see through your learners’ eyes to be an effective trainer to create engaging, fascinating courses. From all these skills for trainers, this one might be the most important. Keep learning, so you never forget what it’s like to be a learner.
The must-have training tools for trainers
Before we get into it, let’s explore the often-asked question: What are training tools?
Training tools are all those programs, platforms, or templates that help trainers deliver their training to their learners. In reality, there are literally dozens (or maybe hundreds) of training and development tools out there.
Some of them are quite specific to training (hello, LMS!) while others are tools that can also support other professions as well (looking at you, social media!). So, in a nutshell, all those tools that help you do a better job as a trainer better are training tools.
Here are the four main categories of training and development tools every trainer should have in their toolbox:
1. Learning Management System (LMS)
The best training tool for trainers who want to create courses, manage users, and track the performance of their online training and learners is an LMS (Learning Management System).
Trainers should not only know how to use an LMS. They should know how to make the best out of it without the hassle.
2. Content authoring tool
To understand the value of eLearning authoring tools, you need to understand what an authoring tool really is.
In essence, authoring tools are software platforms that let trainers add a variety of media and multimedia files to create engaging training. If you want to build interactive courses, for example, an eLearning authoring tool sounds like the best way to go.
3. Video editing software
One of the most overlooked training tools for trainers is video editing software. The reason why videos are powerful is that they offer a vivid and engaging learning experience.
Today, you can edit a complete video even on your smartphone (and for free) so, it’s never been easier to make your courses more fun and captivating. Play around with various video types to rock your courses. The most common formats include:
Talking head videos
and many more.
So, all you have to do is figure out which one(s) best fit your needs and plan accordingly.
If you’re camera-shy, for example, screen recording apps such as Screencast-O-Matic can prove really handy when you want to record your screen and explain complicated topics clearly.
In any case, whether you’re a subject matter expert creating courses for sale or a corporate trainer, learning how to use video tools will your learners’ experience, and add an extra touch to your courses.
4. Social media
Yes, social media as a tool for trainers.
It might sound a bit odd but social media can be really powerful training and development tools.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an overwhelming surge in popular social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, etc. This, alone, means that this is where your learners like to hang out when they have some time to spare.
As a trainer, connecting with learners on their favorite platforms is an excellent way to personalize the learning experience. Integrate a social media tool with your learning management system to encourage learners to connect with others who might have taken the same course.
Also, make sure you create Facebook groups or other social media micro-communities to allow your learners to share ideas with each other and engage in conversations about their training.
And if you want to sell your online courses, social media are also great course marketing tools to reach potential learners who might be looking for courses you’re offering.
The world has never been more interconnected. Use it to your advantage.
Conclusion: This is what it takes to be a good trainer
So, that’s all, folks!
To be a good trainer you need to build or improve these essential training skills and spend some time learning and mastering the training tools we described above.
Do your research, interact with your learners, and never forget to be understanding and adaptable. Play around with some eLearning tools for trainers and always remember that a good trainer never stops learning.