10 Ways to Be a Better Trainer

Because most experts believe that adult learning is essentially self-directed, the trainer’s role is more that of a coach than a strict professor. Keep these tips in mind when presenting a session to your sales associates.

  1. Try to establish a relaxed, informal atmosphere.
  2. Use a joke as an ice breaker.
  3. Start and end promptly. Time is money to sales associates, so respect their schedules.
  4. Repeat each concept several times to help retention. Write it on the blackboard or overhead.
  5. Recap your main points at the end of each section to help students remember.
  6. Build in small success that will keep students positive. Ask the students questions after every session and give small prizes for the correct answers.
  7. Work hard to get everyone participating. Don’t let one or two aggressive types dominate the class.
  8. Incorporate student feedback in shaping the course. Ask students what they hope to learn and tailor the course accordingly.
  9. Break up cliques by dividing groups by birth month, hair color, or car ownership. —Terry Sullivan, Terry Sullivan Training, Cambridge, N.Y., in The Real Estate Professional, November/December 1993
  10. Remember that adult learners are generally slower to adopt new ideas, so continue to reinforce change.

Portions adapted from Johnnie Rosenauer, assistant professor of management and real estate, San Antonio College, in “Training tips—some good advice,” —Texas REALTOR®, December 1980

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