It was a lot of hard work and many late nights - but finally my book, "Better, Best, Brilliant" is on the shelves and shortly will be available in e-book format as well in the Amazon store.
Here is another extract with some straightforward advice on how to use a full range of tools and techniques to ensure that sessions are engaging and that participants know how to apply their skills once they leave the training room.
Tip Number 33:
Whether you work in-house as part of a training or facilitation team or whether you are in your own consultancy, personal branding is becoming critically important.
Branding, broadly speaking, is vital to leading organisations because in a crowded marketplace it is essential to be on-message and to deliver this message in a consistent way.
Personal branding is about ensuring that people remember who you are and what you stand for.
Think about personal branding as a way of ensuring that your training and facilitation stands out from the rest and that you are the go-to person in the organisation.
Some tips for how to achieve this level of being able to stand out from the crowd:
· Make sure that you have an elevator pitch – this is a your way of introducing yourself to your colleagues, clients and students. You need to be able to state in a few words what you are known for and why they should be talking or listening to you.
Here are some of the words that I use in my own elevator pitch and I adjust these based on who I am talking to: “I am Denise and I work for an organisation that cuts through language and behavioural barriers to get people performing at their best.” OR “I am Denise and I design and deliver innovative training for companies wanting their management teams to function in a cohesive way.”
Think about these questions when forming your elevator pitch –
1. What is my central purpose?
2. Why do I make an impact on the people I encounter?
3. What differentiates me from the rest?
4. What can I do for others that will resonate with them?
· We have said it before, but will repeat it here – first impressions do count, whether you like it or not, and so ensure that when you are on a face to face basis you are well presented in terms of your appearance.. nothing sloppy or outrageous, and if you need a make-over, get one done!
· Ensure that you have a positive on-line presence. Often potential clients or students will have done their research on you and you need to come across in a professional way. In order to do this:
1. Conduct an on-line search of your own name on the internet and see what emerges. We have had had a case of a trainer who discovered that she had the same name as a criminal and their name appeared before hers when a search was conducted.
2. Ensure that the way in which you come across is with your professional background as the number one listing and not a disastrous photo of yourself at a social event. In order to achieve this, ensure that you are listed on professional sites such as Linked In or that you have your own blog which publishes content where you have expertise. This is irrespective of whether you are self-employed or work in an organisation.
3. If you choose to be even more pro-active in establishing an on-line branding, start to use social medial sites such as Twitter to create an image that is professional and demonstrates that you are an expert. It is also worthwhile in this regard spending money on a professional photo so that you look at your best.
Tip Number 34
Here are some suggestions for maintaining a high level of quality:
· Constantly ask for feedback – I know it is not always easy to accept the feedback but it does push you to review materials and seek better ways of doing things.
· If you have access to some form of advisory board, either in-house or external, it is also worthwhile meeting to validate your materials, your methodologies and your assessment tools if you are using these. This form of validation is often required if you are being formally audited by an educational authority and is a way of double-checking that you are in fact delivering to the standards that you promise to your students.
· Keep an eye on the competition – there is nothing like working hard to out-do the competitors! It drives your own standards higher and ensures that you are constantly on your toes. Set those benchmarks high and you will achieve them in all respects.
· Mark yourself on some of the following criteria and keep a log-book of what improvements you are making:
1. How well was the program organised from a logistics point of view? What could I have done better in this regard?
2. How well prepared was the group – had they understood the need for the training and had they arrived at the session, well-motivated and prepared. What could have been better at this level of preparation?
3. What could have been done to achieve even better delivery of the program? Did I tap in to as many tools and techniques as possible or as appropriate? What would I do differently next time in order to ensure that change takes place post-training?