24May 2020

In Training Why always comes before What

If you know what you are going to cover in a training session, you probably know your subject.
If you know why you are running the training session, you now have a purpose.

Knowing what you are teaching might give you good session notes.
Knowing why (and therefore who) you are teaching should give you a clearly defined set of outcomes.

Whenever a training session somehow misses the mark for the students, it is usually because there has been too much focus on what is going to be taught and not enough on why it is being taught.

Therefore every training session needs to have a very clearly defined purpose (a why).
And first and foremost this purpose must be clear in the trainer's own head.

Remembering the maxim:
'You cannot teach what you don't know and you cannot lead where you won't go'
a trainer needs to be clear why they are running the programme and therefore where they are leading their students, because if the point of the training is not absolutely clear in the trainer's mind, how can he or she be able to make it clear to the students?

Students are also busy people and will always have something else that they could be doing on that day.
So if a student is unclear why they are attending their training, there will be reluctant and resistant to learning.

However, if the student clearly sees how the training will benefit them personally, they will engage without any resistance.

Luckily for most trainers, the majority of students are happy enough with what they learn, but some students (and these are usually the more challenging, questioning ones) will always need to know why they are learning.

So before you walk into a training room - ideally before you even start to plan the training - don't just ask yourself:
What will my students be learning?
ask rather
Why should they be learning this and how can I bring that across to them?

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.