Becoming a Corporate Trainer

6 Tips to Becoming a Corporate Trainer

1. Become an expert in at least one skill

That’s right, sometimes all it takes is knowing one skill better than average. Skills can be in any of these areas of corporate training: professional development, continuous improvement, technical development, and safety. My advice, pick a skill that is needed in the workforce today, a skill you have extensive knowledge and experience with, and you are truly passionate about, then add other skills to your portfolio.

Note: Just because you know how to do something doesn’t necessarily mean you are an expert. Be cautious when calling yourself an expert, usually, this is a title others give you, you don’t give it to yourself.

2. Learn how to take big concepts and break them down into manageable chunks of information

Well good for you, you have a skill others call you “the expert” in; however, it means nothing if you don’t know how to train people to replicate what you know. Molding your skill into a teachable format requires some extra effort on your end. You have to learn the world of adult learning. Take the time and research how to become an adult educator and become proficient in adult learning methodologies.

3. Learn how to read a room and adjust your style of communication to the level of comprehension in that room

This tip also takes time and experience, but here is how you can get started: Corporate Training 101; ask about your audience. Who is taking the class? What work do they do for the company? How many years of experience does the newest employee have versus the most seasoned employee? Why are they being asked to take this class?

“Know your target audience. Always keep them at the forefront of your mind. Understand their lifestyle and what they are looking for. Gather their feedback and use it to tailor your approach. The voice of the consumer is an essential input into the development of any fashion business or blog.”[1]

-Imran Amed

4. Learn how to engage and control the space you are instructing

Again, adult learners are not the same as school-age learners. For all they know, you are pulling them away from their tasks to take another course on something that nobody will remember 1 hour after the class has ended. Make your course memorable, impactful, and fun. You want repeat business, don’t you? Then take the energy of the class and turn it up, get them moving, get them thinking, have them share their experiences, and let them solve problems together. Create a safe learning space by setting expectations at the beginning of class. Carry it through by adding music during breaks and providing snacks and drinks. As a trainer, prepare for individuals to want one-on-one time with you during breaks. *Build a relationship*

5. Learn how to price your product/service

“How much do I charge”? This is the question I have been asked more than any other question. The answer is “market comparison.” To do this properly, you need to answer these questions:

1.     What makes your product/service unique from others?

2.     Who offers a similar product/service?

3.     What are they charging? (And think about this, is it eLearning, is it virtual, is it onsite, is it offered as open enrollment or in a private setting, what are the colleges charging?)

4.     What does a livable hourly wage look like for you?

5.     How long does it take you to develop the content? Is this completely new content, or am I adding to content already developed? Is it out of the box?

6.     How long will it take you to instruct?

7.     Will you have to travel?

8.     Will you need to purchase food?

9.     Will you need lodging?

10.  What is the market demand for what you are offering?

11.  Are you going to price based on the course you offering or are you pricing yourself?

6. Learn how to connect with the right clients

Every organization needs its workforce to be skilled and competent. There are a plethora of options employers can choose from when it comes to selecting a training course or program and for that matter, a trainer. My advice, offer to meet the client and provide a demo as pro-bono, this is going to save you a lot of headaches, because:

1.     You get a feel for the culture and possibly can tour the facility

2.     You have the opportunity to clarify and ask questions

3.     You can review the expectations and add information into the course (creating a more team-oriented delivery)

4.     You start building a lasting relationship or you avoid a catastrophic one

And here’s a bonus: If you are starting out, check with your local community colleges to gain experience. If you have a skill that organizations need their workforce to know, community colleges will skill you up in adult learning methodologies, let you sit in to observe other corporate trainers, and they may even hire you as part-time!

[1] Imran Amed Quotes., BrainyMedia Inc, 2022., accessed January 4, 2022.

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