I get really irritated by people who call themselves trainers when they don’t know the first thing about training. These are the folks who gave a presentation at some point in their career and, at the end, everyone told them what a great job they did…so they assume they are now a ‘trainer.’
If you fall into this category, I hate to burst your bubble but you’re not a trainer. You’re someone with good platform skills.
Don’t get me wrong. The world needs people with good platform skills. There’s nothing more painful than listening to a presentation with so many ‘ums’ and ‘OKs’ that text betting starts on how many will be uttered by the end of the presentation. People with good platform skills help us listen better and encourage interaction necessary for learning to take place.
But training is a professional discipline. Before someone can stand up in front of a group of people, there needs to be some devoted thought about the audience, the goals and objectives of the presentation, the learning content and the means to measure comprehension. I’ve seen people who don’t prepare for a session because they rely too heavily on their platform skills. Was the presentation successful? I guess that depends on what you call successful. If people leave the room saying it was great … but can’t tell what it was about … then I’m not sure the speaker hit the mark.
There are organizations like ASTD, ISPI and the OD Network that are dedicated to training and the inter-related disciplines of human performance improvement (HPI) and organizational development (OD). There’s even a training-related certification called the CPLP (Certified Professional in Learning Performance) that demonstrates mastery of learning performance.
So, the next time someone tells you they are a trainer, make sure they have the stripes to back it up.
PS – the 2009 HR Florida conference is looking for quality speakers . . . if you or someone you know fall into this category, please visit the Call for Presentation page on the HR Florida web site. Thanks!