6 things training has taught me

It all started nearly 20 years ago

social media training
Photo: Belinda Nugent, 2014

I’ve been delivering training for nearly 20 years and for the first couple of years I struggled to translate the skills I’d been honing as a journalist and PR practitioner into tangible skills that I could clearly define and teach others.

I cut my teeth on media skills, working out that providing I understand the psychology behind my techniques and I can clearly document the processes I use to implement what I do for clients, it’s easy to package communications training to meet a range of objectives.

These days the demand for media skills isn’t as high as in the past, so I also deliver public speaking and social media – the latter being the current star.

6 lessons learnt as a trainer

On the back of two solid weeks of training delivery in six workshops across five towns in regional NSW, I’ve come up with a list of six things, fresh in mind, that I’ve learnt from being a trainer over the years.

  1. Most people don’t know what they don’t know. Some of turn up to a workshop not expecting to learn much and are taken by surprise. Others don’t come because they THINK they know what you’re going to deliver, only to ask when is the next workshop.

    Kim V Goldsmith Social Media Matters
    Photo: Derek Motion (Western Riverina Arts), 2015
  2. Never assume who the tough nut (or nutter) will be in your workshop. I admit to losing sleep knowing a particular someone will be attending my training sessions, only to find on the day they’re an ally.
  3. The power of story telling should never be under-estimated. Sharing working examples and real life experiences makes the theory come to life. (Although, I recently had someone tell me they disliked my stories…)
  4. My energy as a presenter comes largely from you. Most of my workshops are four hours with a brief break in the middle – that’s a long time to talk to yourself. The groups who come expecting to be spoon fed, not asking questions or responding when I ask questions, just looking back blankly, make it feel like eight hours.
  5. Fear of making mistakes is one of the biggest barriers to people learning. It stops people from asking questions and results in many lost opportunities.
  6. There will always be people who either don’t value what they haven’t paid for (in the case of training delivered to community groups) or can’t see why they should have to pay for advice or resources provided outside a workshop if you are there anyway. These are not the people I want as clients.

I am passionate about what I do. I couldn’t do it without that. In part it comes from continually learning and taking on new information from each of the workshops I deliver. It’s also why I ask for feedback – the good, the bad and the ugly. There hasn’t been a lot of bad or ugly over the past 20 years, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be trying to stay on top of my game.

There are more workshops to come

To find out what workshops are happening near you go to https://kvgoldsmith.com/workshops or contact me to discuss your private training or coaching needs.

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