Oct 09

it's a sign...

Published by Scott Fraser


While travelling on the A1 today, I saw a sign.  Nothing unusual there really if I’m honest but one sign stood out for me.  The sign said “Newark”, and it brought back a flood of memories but one thing more than any that have stuck with my life like superglue is something I apply to my life every day, and it has served me so well as a trainer.

So, what’s so unique about Newark?  Well, Newark is where I got off the train nearly 26 years ago to be greeted by a lovely man in a shiny blue uniform who shouted at me.  That was day one of my RAF career and the first of my six weeks Basic Training at RAF Swinderby in Lincolnshire.  Now you may or may not know that there is so much of what we do training wise that has its foundations in the Military.  Why? – Because they’ve been doing it so long and they do it day in, day out.  Remembering my Basic Training, the aim of the was simple – Turn X amount of young men and women from Civilians to Service Men and Women in 6 weeks.  I’ll not lie, Basic Training was hard and is the thing that has probably pushed me to my limits more than anything I’ve done, but it was also one of the best experiences of my life and taught me lessons that have served me well.

So, going back right to the start of the blog – what was that “something” I apply to my life?  Well, my Australian RAAF (on exchange) Drill Instructor Sergeant would tell us “It’s the attention to detail” every day without fail he would tell us over and over.  Whether then it was ironing or cleaning or polishing, that statement and the practical way back in 1991 stuck with me, and I’ve applied it to everything from then which brings me to present day as a professional trainer.  Organisation and professionalism is key to the success of a session so here are four attention to detail principles I apply in every training session:

Planning – Make sure that your sessions are planned properly; people will see straight away if you “wing it”.
Dress to Impress – It’s a fact that when you look the part, you’ll feel the part.  You’ll want your appearance to meet your activity so dress appropriately to match what you are doing in the session and who you are delivering to.
Standardisation – Make sure the room is clean and tidy and that everyone has the same handouts, pens, paper water etc. and that their place looks the same across the room.  Any slides, handouts or resources should be clear, aid the session and all written information spelling and grammar checked.
Human Needs – Make sure that the human needs are looked after; accessibility, toilets, water, tea, coffee, regular breaks and anything else that is required.


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