On our Train the Trainer courses we talk about the 5 pillars of instruction all the time.  They are the pillars that highly effective training is all about.  In many organisations, these pillars are used as a process for measuring the competence of trainers.  Accompanied by effective trainer development, focus on these areas significantly improves training. When you have poor training, little thought is put on these pillars and inevitably training collapses.  Reading PowerPoint is a classic example where poor training has been adopted.  Focus on the 5 pillars will help to elleviate this.

So what are these 5 pillars?

Questioning Technique – the single most important aspect of training delivery is the ability to engage with highly effective questions.  Trainers should be able to use a variety of methods including open, rhetorical and reasoning questions.  Additionally, trainers should be aware of dealing with answers when they are correct or when they are incorrect.

Personal Qualities – building rapport is essential in all roles but for trainers, if we don’t build rapport effectively, then we are going to struggle.  We can do this through body language and tone and we must be aware of how we may come across.  The best trainers don’t think about themselves but how others may view their actions and tone and non-verbal communication is essential here.

Structure – all training should have a structure including an introduction, the main body and a summary.  Furthermore, we should have effective objectives and an overall aim of what we are training.  We must always check understanding to demonstrate that the training is working.

Aids – we must use a range of visual aids to ensure delegates are stimulated.  We must not just read from PowerPoint, anyone can do that and you don’t need training skills to read aloud.  The best trainers don’t overuse PowerPoint and also use other aids such as Flipchart in an effective manner.

Content – it’s essential that the content matches the aim and the objectives. Furthermore, the content should be relevant and we should demonstrate competence in the areas we are training.

These are the 5 pillars of assessment.  They are the measure that we assess trainers against and provide trainers with the areas we need to develop.  I guarantee that if you focus on the 5 pillars you will see a vast improvement in training delivery.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.