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From Teaching to Training
by Andrew E. Schwartz

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What to be as a presentor - and what not to be - that is the question.

Training focuses on specific skills, knowledge, abilities, and attitudes necessary to the performance of a specific task or job. Unlike an academic course of study, trainings should be aimed totally toward practical application, with the underlying theory only introduced if it helps the trainee better to understand the training material and apply it more effectively. Since the objectives of training are measurable and concrete, emphasis must be placed on content and on the presentor’s presentation style, which aids in the transmission of the content. First, a good presentor establishes an environment which enhances adult learning factors being both physically and psychologically conducive to the learning process.

There are four conditions that must be met to establish such an environment

1. Respect for individual personality. Your personal feelings about certain people, particularly if they are negative, have no place in the classroom. Recognize that your students are equal partners in the learning process. Build upon their experiences to enhance the content of the course.

2. Participation in decision making. Allow adult trainees to share in making decisions about the training process. Encourage and accept their suggestions non-defensively, and, wherever possible, incorporate them into the instruction. Take seriously the input provided by the students’ program evaluations.

3. Freedom of expression and availability of information. Make available all information to which you refer and provide access to any additional materials used to develop the course. Respond to all trainees questions and comments with encouragement and support and integrate their comments into the flow of the presentation wherever possible.

4. Provide a physically comfortable environment. No successful training can take place where trainees are too hot or cold, or where they have to strain to hear the presentor.

If you can create these four conditions for an educative environment your training both well received and effective.


Andrew E. Schwartz, CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates of Boston, MA a comprehensive management training and professional development organization offering over 40 skills specific programs and practical solutions to today's business challenges.

Copyright, AE Schwartz & Associates. All rights reserved.
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