05January 2021

What's Your Point?

You cannot deliver a clear message to your students unless that message is absolutely clear in your own head.

You could say this follows on from the maxim of:

'You cannot teach what you don't know and you cannot lead where you won't go.' It all comes down to the clarity of purpose.

Often training misses the mark because the company or the maybe even the trainers themselves, although they may have a fair idea of what needs to be covered, do not have a crystal clear image of exactly why the training is being scheduled, and precisely what it is aiming to achieve.

So just like a good speaker needs to have a clear grasp of exactly what the key message is, an effective trainer needs a firm grasp of not just what, but exactly 'why' they are training. Is there an actual end goal to the training? What do we hope to see as a result of the training?

It comes back to 'What' and 'why'.

It is not just a matter of knowing 'what' you need to cover in a training programme, it is even more important to understand 'why' it needs to be covered. For instance, if you are running an induction programme for new employees, it is essential in the planning stage to be clear exactly what is the key message you are trying to put across.

It is not simply a matter of going through the motions of teaching orientation, core values and company structure. That may be all part of the 'what' that needs to be covered, but the real thrust of the programme will depend on understanding exactly 'why' you are covering these topics.

If the company aim is to make sure that everyone feels comfortable, happy to be part of a new team and reassured that they have made the right choice in joining that company, then that will have an influence on 'how' the induction material is going to be covered.

There will be an emphasis on 'helping', 'supporting' and 'relaxing', as the new employees make their way into the company.

On the other hand if the real motivation behind the induction is to make sure new employees understand how they are expected to conduct themselves, what the company expects of them and that any abuse of privileges will be frowned upon, then the emphasis and tone delivering pretty much the same type of material will be completely different, with a greater stress on 'expecting', 'striving' and 'control'.

So, for a training programme to be successful, it is not just a matter of covering the right sort of material, it is vital to understand from the trainee's point of view, from the trainer's point of view and from the company's point of view, exactly 'why' the training needs to take place in the first place. It is therefore useful for each training programme to have its own little mission statement, a few words or a line that encapsulates what the programme is aiming to achieve.

This article was written by Michael Ronayne, director at The Art of Training and Public Speaking and four-time UK National Public Speaking Champion.

To discover more of Michael's top training techniques, check out his professionally accredited Train the Trainer course.

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Michael's superb training style is underpinned by an incredible depth of knowledge and experience. Like all true experts, he delivers what he knows with ease and simplicity, exampling the skills he is teaching as he does so.

Very informative and great anecdotes which illustrated points and provided visual markers.

The most interesting training that I have ever taken part in! Experience + Wisdom + Perfect teaching approach.

The training was spot on. He really listened to us and customised his responses throughout.

Loved the creation of visual examples through the use of body and how relating the experience really helps demonstrate the message.

Very approachable and motivational. So much information, brilliantly delivered.

Loads of great analogies and stories - very friendly and helpful.

Very approachable and knowledgeable and good use of examples to simplify the material.

In just one day Michael was able to teach a class of children how to craft their own personal stories and experiences into powerful and engaging speeches that resonate with an adult audience as well as with a younger audience. It is a marvellous way to help them increase self-confidence and in the process - almost without them even realising it - become natural speakers and excellent communicators.

Michael has a style of speaking which draws the audience into his world, captivates them and leaves them with lasting memories of some of the descriptive phrases he has used and the information he has included. He also has the ability to pass the skills he uses in his own speaking on to those he trains.

Very good rapport, attention to detail, individual support, positive atmosphere and encouragement - a great place for learning.

• Very great example; how to express yourself, how to be engaging and how to match body language with what is said.