I was in a Small Business Association eCommerce class. The instructor reminded me of my IT days when technical trainers wore pagers like sidearms and waxed poetic about heroic feats of rebooting. He, let’s call him Steve, was again telling us how lucky we were to be in his presence for only $30. His consulting fee is $100 an hour, after all. As the morning waned on, he grew disheartened by our blank stares and switched tactics, finally turning his attention to us. He had only engaged in some light crowd work earlier.
“So,” he said, rubbing his hands together, “Hadiya.” He confused my incredulous glare with engaged eye contact.
A “yes” slipped out, clinging to a breath I didn't know I was holding. I was impressed that he said my name correctly, something that happens with surprising regularity these days.
"You typically use your website to describe what you do right? But you can also use it to communicate what you don't do. For example, you're selling services, right?"
I nodded. He remembered that from our introductions from what now seems like three weeks ago. Perhaps Steve’s head is in the game.
"But," he said, "you aren't selling prostitution. You aren't selling heroin. You can use your site communicate that too."
I find that constructing extemporaneous examples is one of the most difficult facilitation skills to master. You need to identify a key point and then, in a few seconds, quickly cobble together a narrative that will be both relevant to the learners and demonstrative of the point you’re trying to make.
But lately, it seems as though we take facilitation skills for granted. In our mad dash to move beyond ILT, we've shoved to the bottom of the L&D food chain the ability to get up in front of strangers and lead a learning experience. Yet, mastering facilitation skills is more useful than knowing the difference between Articulate and Captivate. It takes talent and intellectual agility to connect concepts together on the fly and construct relevant examples, instead of — oh, I don’t know – blurting out "prostitution" and "heroin” in an eCommerce course.
(Note: If you ended up here because you googled "training" and "prostitution," sorry for the confusion.)
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Hadiya Nuriddin is the CEO of Focus Learning Solutions and the founder of Fresh Eye Reviews.
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