Training of Trainers 2: Where few trainings have dared to go before

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February 23, 2017

Training of Trainers 2: Where few trainings have dared to go before

By Brian Washburn

CEO Endurance Learning

“I don’t know, I’ve really begun to sour on train the trainer programs.” I was having dinner with InsideNGO’s Libby Spader and Kim Kucinskas, and we were talking about the concept of training people to deliver better presentations.

“I hear your concerns,” Libby said to me, “but what if we offered some way for people to actually practice the skills they’ve learned after the Training of Trainers course?”

I was intrigued.

According to a variety of studies, including this one from McKinsey, organizations spend precious resources on training without realizing much of a return on that investment. For any training intervention to be effective, the learner must attempt to apply what they’ve learned when they finish the training session. One of the biggest reasons people don’t apply what they’ve learned in training is that they return to their desks and have a bunch of emails and voicemails and work that they need to catch up on.

“What if we brought the learning and the application of the skills to our learners’ desks?” Libby asked me. There, on the patio of a pizza shop on the outskirts of downtown Seattle, the idea of InsideNGO’s Training of Trainers 2: Practical Application of Tools and Techniques (TOT2) was born. It would be a course taught completely online and would challenge Training of Trainer (TOT) participants to put their learning into action.

It’s been my experience that most training participants return from training programs and conferences energized and excited to put new ideas into practice. In addition to the aforementioned work waiting for them when they return to their desks, another barrier they may find is the lack of support or guidance in new ways of doing things.

The TOT2 program has been designed to ensure that what’s learned in the original InsideNGO TOT program is not forgotten. It’s also been designed to offer the support, guidance, and structure to help participants abandon old ways of presenting in order to adopt new presentation design and delivery skills. Participants will be asked to put what they’ve learned in the TOT1 program to use on a real project or presentation they’ll need to deliver in the near future, and they’ll have an opportunity to film themselves presenting in order to gauge for themselves just how far they’ve come.

I’ve worked in the learning and development field for almost two decades. I’ve seen basic presentation design courses and I’ve seen advanced presentation delivery courses. I haven’t seen many organizations offer support in helping people implement what they’ve learned in one course through a follow-up course that challenges participants to demonstrate that the investment in their professional development can be directly applied to their work.

If other training programs followed InsideNGO’s lead on this, it’s quite possible that organizations would find a much bigger return on their training investments.

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