Please forgive me for bursting some bubbles here.
There are lots of folks who have given 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’re now a “trainer”. Unfortunately, they don’t know the first thing about training. In actuality, they’re a person with good platform skills.
Don’t get me wrong. The world needs people with good platform skills. There’s nothing more painful that listening to a presentation with so many ‘ums’ and ‘okays’ 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.
Training is about more than delivery. It’s a professional discipline.
Before someone can stand in front of a group of people, there needs to be some dedicated thought about the composition of 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. Were their sessions successful? I guess that depends on what you call successful. If participants leave the room saying it was great … but can’t remember what it was about … then I’m not sure the presenter hit the mark.
There are organizations like ASTD, ISPI and the OD Network committed 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.