Training & Instructor Skills
As a certified trainer and instructor, I have worked with hundreds of CPA firms and thousands of individuals in learning tax & accounting software and workflow resources.
In 2017, I transitioned from a sales and solutions consultant to training and learning specialist at Thomson Reuters. In my sales process, I often regrouped with customers post-sale for best tips and tricks, which drove my interest into pursuing a more organized approach to entrench firms and individuals in best practices for utilizing the software they had purchased.
As a trainer, I have delivered robust training sessions in all sorts of environments. I have instructed at live, on-site training engagements while working with hundreds of people at conferences and organizations Virtually, I have delivered hundreds of training sessions in private, virtual settings as well as one-to-many sessions in front of hundreds. (I am well-versed in utilizing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToWebinar, and WebEx.)
As a trainer, I worked extensively with sales representatives, internal consultants, and firms to understand the group’s unique needs for training.
As a part of my training process, I have often utilized the 5-Step Model for Structuring and Conducting Know-How Training.
“Sometimes we have absolutely no idea where we are, we need the smallest clue to show us where to begin.” - Cecelia Ahern
Determining the rationale is paramount to success in the training. Why does the group need to learn the content that is available, and what is most important to the firm in learning the content? What’s in it for the participants, and where is the value and benefit?
Next, after the rationale has been developed – establishing the training objectives helps to set the table. This helps to establish buy-in among the participants. “If you’ll do this along with me, this is what you’re going to get out of the session to your benefit.”
After the objectives have been clearly stated and understood, securing engagement and activity among the participants brings empowerment and involvement into the session. For example, demonstrating the ease of certain features in a program is a quick win that immediately secures buy-in and ease-of-use. Having break-out sessions based on features and functionality also secures buy-in and engagement in the training.
Frequent evaluation with the group is also paramount to make sure that the group is learning and in alignment with the determined objectives for the training session.
While evaluating, securing feedback is instrumental in determining next steps for the session or identifying topics that can be further addressed. Letting users know that they are on target or have missed the mark in a positive, constructive way.
Source: Keeps, E. and H. Stolovitch. 2020 “It’s Not Magic: A Time-Tested Model for Structuring Training Success.” In Know-How: The Definitive Book on Skill and Knowledge Transfer for Occasional Trainers, Experts, Coaches, and Anyone Helping Others Learn, 44-46. Alexandria, VA: ATD Press.