Sunday, October 6, 2013

So you want to be IT corporate trainer?

First let me admit that I am NOT A number one or an ace IT trainer , there are lot of trainers more experienced and better than me. But I do want to share some experiences which I feel can be useful for developers who want to jump in to IT corporate training. Its possible some of the experiences below are important for me and for other trainers they are just pint size.

Do not jump just for money
If you are motivated to jump in this field because some trainer said he earns 80 thousand per day, its better to stay away from this field.Training is a humble profession and you should have that attitude of sharingknowledge, delivering quality training and believe me rest, so called money will follow.

As a trainer the most satisfying thing is to see those satisfied eyes of participants saying “Yes, we benefitted”.

Jack of ALL master of none

For some people this point would look odd and weird. We need to understand we are in to training and not development. In development I do understand we want specialized skills. For example if you are doing web programming you would like developers who know ASP.NET and MVC in depth.

But in training if you just stick to one topic, I doubt you will be billable for a full month. I know one design pattern trainer, who just does design pattern. But how much DP courses are available across India and how much comes in his kitty is doubtful.

So you need to have an overall diversified portfolio spread across atleast 5 known and demanded technologies in corporate world.

A good timely paying vendor / marketing person is the KEY

This is the most difficult part, creating chemistry with a vendor / marketing person. Do not even think about going directly to companies at the first stage, it’s a long process. A good vendor pitches you , talks about you , markets you for months , so that you get the stage.

So be reasonable, let your vendor earn some money and you keep getting business.

Things slip between trainer and the vendor on the below two occasions:-

  • When the vendor does not pay on time. This is the case most of the time. I had my bitter experiences with vendors on the same issue. I have never looked back at those vendors again. Even if I am not getting work, its fine. I find it’s unethical to not pay trainers when you have already got money from the company.
  • When trainers does not perform. This is again one more place where things are wrong. If you think the training has crashed do not charge the vendor, say sorry, take the learning’s and improve in your next training. Believe me how good you are , you would have a day slip someday.

One more golden rule to remember with vendors, if a vendor delays more than 2 months, just stop training with him, I bet he will ever pay you. Just start hunting  new vendor, there are plenty of good ones.

Discuss, Discuss and Discuss

Once a vendor pitches you and the customer approves your profile. Take a call with the customer, discuss the complete agenda, understand what the customer wants. Ask him every detail right from software installation, type of participants, which topic to emphasize on etc.

Do not take the training just looking at the agenda its very much possible ground situations can be very different and challenging.

Before training

  • Mute your mobiles. Some participants consider phone ringing as a casual attitude of the trainer.
  • On the first day be present 1 hour before. Helps out to understand if images or installation have any issues. You are in charge, if any issues of installation happenit’s at the end of the day trainer’sproblem; believe me no one comes to rescue. Doing escalation just escalates the problem more.
  • Interact with the attendees and see how much in depth they know about the topic. If you have good experienced people that means your training bar has to rise higher. If you have lot of freshers , you can go with step by step approach.
  • Just revise what topics you will start with, what you will say and what you will demo. I do this in my mind when I travel to the training location.
  • If you are travelling outside ensure you have internet dongle (like tata docomo). Indian hotels do not have great internet connections. You will need it if someone asks weird doubts in between of the sessions.
  • Ensure you have access to Chalks, duster, projector blah blah. Especially ensure the chalks are not mild  in color and you have atleast two different colors so that you can make an effective presentation.
  • Some company stresses on attendance ensure those are at place. If not SMS the training co-coordinator.

During training

  • Ensure that at least90% people are present before you start the training or else you need to repeat topics for every person who comes later.
  • Start with a small introduction of what you do, do not over glorify yourself it just raises the training expectation higher. Let your training quality speak what you are.
  • Any topic you take from the agenda start with a bit of theory and then demos.Have three proper breaks in the whole day. People get fed up with 3 hours of movie, 8 hours of training is not entertaining.
  • While doing demos identify your weak participants focus more on them and ensure the good ones sail themself smoothly.
  • During lunch breaks and tea breaks ensure you sit with the team, get mixed with them , talk topics which are off technical and take mild feedbacks on how the training is proceeding.
  • There will be over demanding participants and some of the questions you would not be able to answer at that moment , note it ensure that you have the answer next day of the training. If it’s the last day ensure that you email him some pointers at least.

End of training

  • After all the hardwork you have done during the day ,  good rating is your expectation. Make a mild ( extremely mild ) request to participants that if they want you to see you back and if they feel you have done worth job , let it reflect in the feedback. Always remember in many organizations a good feedback means you get paid.
  • Flash your contact details, facebook , email id , twitter etc. Be in touch with the participant, who knows you come back to the same premise, knowing someone can just help you later.

Look after your health and Family first

  • Most of the time as trainer your half-life goes in hotels. Ensure when you reach hotel, do a bit of warm up , yoga or something. Eat light food, avoid drinks and sleep well.FYI I have myself not been able to control drinks and its horrible next day . 
  • Call you family before and after the training , they are the people who miss you most.
  • Take gaps between training , do not over book your schedule.

From trainer to a vendor
  • After working for some time many trainers get this feeling to start on their own. It’s not that you should not start on your own but ensure that you have good marketing partner with you who takes care of all the other things. Ensure you have a trainer pool which means you need to feed them with salaries every month.
  • Have good contacts of freelancer trainers who are professional and committed. Most important pay them on time, remember at one point you were also trainer.


Unknown said...

Good article Shivprasad.

Unknown said...

Good article Shivprasad, thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this Shivprasad.


Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

Fantastic Blog.It provides great opportunity to learn multiple technologies from this blog. keep up wounderful blog

Thank you,
Venkatesan Prabu.J
KaaShiv InfoTech

Unknown said...

Fantastic Blog.It provides great opportunity to learn multiple technologies from this blog. keep up wounderful blog

Thank you,
Venkatesan Prabu.J
KaaShiv InfoTech