Instructional Design for Corporate Learning and Development
3.9 (302 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,865 students enrolled

Instructional Design for Corporate Learning and Development

Giving you the tools to design and deliver on-point, effective corporate training programs.
3.9 (302 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,865 students enrolled
Last updated 10/2017
English [Auto]
Current price: $59.99 Original price: $99.99 Discount: 40% off
3 days left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 28 mins on-demand audio
  • 12 articles
  • 22 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • in this course you will learn adult learning principles and theories which are critical in the design of quality training programs which support recognised competency standards
  • understand learner needs and examine learning options
  • support and monitor learning
  • plan group-based and individual learning programs
  • some experience of adult training is preferable for this course

"Jacqueline has consistently encouraged and motivated all students through her natural warmth, charisma and incorporation of specific material and scenarios". - Tino P. (Treuen, DE)

If you have been tasked with organising or providing in-house training for your colleagues, then this course is for you. Or perhaps you're an HR professional needing to brush up your instructional design skills? Come on in.

This powerful course skilfully weaves adult learning principles and theories with practical strategies for designing and delivering competency-based training programs, and puts the latest trends and techniques at your fingertips. It also includes a wealth of resources for you to download and customise.

This course will show you how to become a navigator, a facilitator of learning, not simply a presenter of information PLUS provide you with customisable templates which you can adapt to your workplace. In addition, this course includes interviews with experienced training professional across a range of industries, each providing insights to better inform you and your work.

You'll build confidence, improve your training techniques, engage your audience from the beginning, leave your trainees praising your training abilities. and win more training contracts.

What tyre you waiting for? Enrol now and let's get cracking!

"(She) consistently demonstrated awareness of what clients needed as individuals and what would benefit their organisation." - D.L. (Zwickau, DE)

Who this course is for:
  • trainers
  • consultants
  • HR specialists
  • managers
  • managers responsible for assessing competency in the workplace
Course content
Expand all 41 lectures 02:58:08
+ Course Housekeeping and Introductions
3 lectures 05:19

Welcome, and congratulations on taking the leap and committing to this course, which is based on the key competencies contained within Australia's accredited Certificate IV trainer course (TAE40110). As an accredited trainer and assessor (achieved through the Australian Institute of Management) - a qualification which came after eight years of designing and delivering business skills and effective English communication training in Germany - I identified a gap between generalist certificate courses such as the TESOL and specialised training courses, such as the TAE40110. This was my inspiration to compile this course. 

Training adults is challenging but so incredibly rewarding, whichever field of expertise you're in. My field is language and business (frontline management) skills, though the principles contained in this course are naturally applicable across all fields. 

It's my absolute pleasure to share not only my passion with you but also some fascinating theory and real-life examples, all of which will set you in good stead as you start your journey as a trainer. 

I've carefully crafted this course so that as you wend your way through the lectures you're constantly building theory on practice, ideas, and their application. 

I strongly encourage you to engage in dialogue with your fellow course mates and to participate in online discussions with me in the scheduled times. I am here to help you become the best trainer you can be!

** Note: This lecture was added on 19 August 2016 and is the first of a number of additions and lecture updates for this course.  **

Preview 04:52

It's not about what you know and what you don't know... it's about what you don't know yet. Take this quick quiz for a sampler of what's to come in Section Two!

Pre-Course Quiz
4 questions

This lecture contains all templates referred to in this course. It's your one-stop-shop for customisable templates.

Course Templates - everything you need for the upcoming lectures!

This lecture simply outlines how students can contact me for questions, problems, ideas and more!

I'm here for you, so don't hesitate to get in touch!

Preview 00:21
+ A Framework for Designing and Delivering Training Programs
2 lectures 09:20

This lecture examines the over-arching framework of this course, and explains its uniqueness and importance in the design and delivery of effective training sessions.

Transcript of Audio:

This course is based on Australia's Certificate IV Training and Assessment (TAE40110) program, of which I am an accredited and experienced instructor. Core units of competency and elements of competency have been adapted for the Udemy platform.

The framework for this Train the Trainer course is one I grew up with as a child, once which has numerous applications, and is perfectly suited to our work as trainers:

"Think Systems Framework" ©

Think Systems

Locate Power

Liberate Energy

Know Yourself

Know Your Enemy

Never Walk Alone

This was written by my dad, Chris O'Connell, management consultant, regional development consultant, revolutionary, good man and inspirational father. The framework was created as six rules for an organiser working to change communities and institutions. I grew up with this on the wall of all the houses we lived in, one of the few constants of my life (along with my siblings, parents, teddy bear Franca and the imposing portraits of Lenin, Marx and Engels).

Naturally I never understood it as a child, just as I never understood that Karl Marx wasn't going to leap out of the frame and yell at me for not tidying my room, no matter how scary he looked while scowling through his beard. I grew out of my fear of Marx as I grew into a deeper understanding of my Dad's words.

Although he wrote them for an entirely different purpose, I've found myself here in Germany, so far from home, looking at these words which I brought with me and put on the wall of my home offie, pondering them, allowing them to dance in my consciousness and subconsciousness until I realised that they are, in fact, the framework for my life, my business and my success.

And they are the perfect framework with which to understand our work as trainers, under which we can operate and through which we can design and deliver our training programs.

Let me show you how.

Think Systems : here we think of our structured design, the benchmarks to which we adhere, quality, focus, feedback and reporting mechanisms, links to certification, the application of best practice. Without understanding the systems under which we operate our training design will flounder. We examine this in greater detail in the following Section.

Locate Power : at this stage we assess learning needs, styles and preferences; clarify goals and motivation; be the best trainer for the job and step aside if it's not you; locate, nurture and release power; identify what knowledge, skills or resources are you going to need to assist you to reach your goal. We examine this step in greater detail in the third Section of this course.

Liberate Energy : tap into your students' potential; motivate and encourage; provide opportunities for constructive feedback; ensure program design stage and delivery stay on track; adjust pace appropriately; invite 360 feedback; maintain relevancy; primacy and recency (see Mnemonics lectures); provide sufficient opportunities to practice; customise; tap into mental and physical energy; enable teamwork and cooperation. We examine this step in greater detail in the fourth Section of this course.

Know Yourself : in this context, I mean who are you as a trainer? (what is your positioning in the marketplace of trainers? You control this); what are your traits? your strengths and weaknesses?; where do you draw inspiration from?; how can you market yourself?; focus on (your) continuous improvement; identify your personal teaching style (no two trainers are the same); what is your “character"; what can you realistically achieve?; when do you need to ask for help? We examine this step in greater detail in the fifth Section of this course.

Know Your Enemy : it sounds pretty grim, but it's not. We take a broader interpretation of the word, "enemy" - procrastination; anxiety; overload; over-commitment; not admitting when you don't know something; address knowledge gap; beware of inflexibility; what external sources have a negative influence; beware of over-stretch; manage time; manage distance. We examine this step in greater detail in the sixth Section of this course.

Never Walk Alone : no, this isn't a step about the great Gerry and the Pacemakers song, rather a focus on building and maintaining networks and relationships with fellow trainers (for example, through this course) - the benefits of such networks, and how to go about building them. This step is also about building a professional team within your organisation. We examine this in the penultimate Section of this course.

The strength of this framework lies in its simplicity and flexibility. Each step is examined in detail through this course - applied to the TAE40110 elements and sub-elements of competency - and both theoretical knowledge and practical application are included, along with resources and customisable templates. It has been used across borders, industries and languages for almost 50 years, providing a framework for change.

And now your time for change begins. Let's go.

Please note that the Chris O'Connell "Think Systems Framework"© is copyright, all rights reserved and used here with explicit permission. If you wish to reproduce any aspect of the Chris O'Connell "Think Systems Framework"© please contact me with specifics of the intended use.

Explaining the "Think Systems" Framework ©

This lecture provides an introduction to the section, in particular the concept "Think Systems", from which the following lessons stem.

What do we mean by "systems"?
+ Working in Vocational Education and Training
3 lectures 19:47
About the VET Framework
Training Packages and Qualifications
Units of Competency
+ Designing Learning Programs
13 lectures 57:12

In this lecture we identify the big questions which need to be asked prior to commencing a training needs analysis and prior to designing and delivering a training program.

Attached to this lecture I've included a Case Study, which we'll use as background information as we go and to assist us in completing the templates (fully customisable) which I've included for your use.

Our Case Study centres on fictional organisation Brindabella Tech, a large organisation looking to train a large number of staff at its Sydney headquarters. All the information you need to complete the tasks associated with the case study can be found in the following lectures and their supplementary material.

By the end of this lecture we will have examined the backbone of training needs analysis and be prepared - with our Case Study - to practice using the skills and knowledge we'll encounter in the following lectures. Learning is an (inter)active experience!

A framework for learning

VARK is not a dirty word! Many of us don't like to be pigeonholed, but there are advantages in considering learning preference theories when designing our training programs. In this lecture we take a look at two theories: VARK and Honey and Mumford's Learning Styles Theory, and in addition we consider real-life examples in order to hone our skills and apply our knowledge.

Preview 05:29

This lecture provides an introduction to the section, in particular the concept "Think Systems", from which the following lessons stem.

Transcript of Audio:

This lecture gives some background to the following two lectures, which are musical and visual representations of Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory and the Conscious Competence Model, both of which seek to explain how we learn.

They could be considered rather dry and dusty, thus the musical representation.

One could survive as a trainer without an understanding of these models, but one certainly wouldn't thrive, nor be delivering effective sessions which cater to different learning needs and speeds.

I had been a trainer for some years before I learned these and since then they have made such difference to how I understand my learners, how I observe their growth and development and how I adjust my style and pace.

When considering how to best introduce these models I happened to get a message from my old Bollywood dance teacher, Marshie. I'm a huge fan of Bollywood films and music, and so started lessons for fun when living in Melbourne. This hobby turned into something more when I was lucky enough to dance with Marshie and the Jhoom ladies for a 2006 Commonwealth Games performance as well as live on breakfast television.

The journey I took to learn the various dances mirrors Kolb's Experiential Learning Cycle, the stages of which you'll not only encounter in the coming lecture but you'll also be able to download and read about in the supplementary material.

After reading the material and viewing the musical clip I invite you to reflect on a learning process you have been through - for a skill (such as dancing!) or knowledge (e.g. new regulations, legislation, the history of crochet!), and the stages you went during that learning process.

Then I'd like you to leave me a comment on how you feel being aware of Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory can assist you assist your learners.

This also goes for the Conscious Competence model which you will encounter in two lectures' time. In that lecture I've given you the example of my crochet learning, which is a rather simplistic example but equally one which amply demonstrates the point.

One could equally consider this model in terms of learning to drive, learning a profession or trade, conquering the ins and outs of Microsoft or Apple or a first iPhone… or playing piano!

Again, I'd like you to reflect on a learning process you've undergone and write some notes in the Discussion Board, on the right under the “speech bubble" tab. Share your thoughts and ideas with fellow students.

Being aware of how our students are learning and where they are on the learning arc makes us, as trainers, more aware, more responsive and more flexible in the pace of our delivery. Which can only make our training sessions more effective.

I look forward to hearing from you via the Discussion tab.

Training Systems: an introduction to adult learning theories

We've had a lot of information so far, and this lecture is a musical and visual feast, designed to engage your mind and complement the written information I've prepared on conscious competence and learning processes.

We could say this is a "V.A.R." lecture, just missing the "K"... although that could be considered your participation in discussions... or your interpretative dance to the music in this lecture (in which case - photos please!).

By the end of this lecture - and by the end of reading the associated material - you will have an understanding of the Conscious Competence model of learning theory and also how that knowledge is relevant in the design of your training programs.

Training Systems: introduction to learning processes

At first glance it might seem strange to be listening to Bollywood music in the middle of a course on becoming a trainer. But when I was considering a way of expressing David Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory, I remembered my experiences learning to dance Bollywood-style at the fabulous Jhoom school in Melbourne (Australia). The processes of experimentation, reflection, practice and performance - the steps I went through to master various dances are a near-perfect reflection of Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory.

So sit back, relax, get your note-taking pen ready (or get ready to type your notes into the Notes panel here in Udemy) and enjoy some Bollywood music combined with some Experiential Learning Theory.

And please note the supplementary resources for more information on this learning theory, available in Lecture 8.

Representation of learning processes - Bollywood-style

What have we learned about adult learning principles? Let's take a look...

How adults learn
3 questions

Who are your learners?

Gracious this is both a big and small question, but the first which needs asking.

In this lecture, we start to identify who our learners are - as individuals, as a collection of learning types and preferences, as clients. We start to look at what kinds of motivation there are for learning, which will then lead us to examine learning theory and learning styles.

We are trainers of adults, we are focused on developing multi-sensory, self-directed, effective training programs for our clients, and this is where we start.

By the end of this lesson we'll have learned where to look and what information we need about our learners before we commence designing our training program. From little things, big things grow - and this is our first little thing.

Identifying learning types - tap into your students' potential!

This lecture comes in the form of a PDF document which outlines the motivation of the adult learner...

We start to hone in in the theories behind adult educationnow, with a focus on Malcolm Knowles (popularly known as the founder of modern adult learning theory).

It sounds dry and dusty, I know but it's really not - we need this in our minds to make our training programs hit their goals, to engage our learners, to make our training as effective as possible.

As you read I'd like you to consider your training experiences - as a participant and facilitator (if applicable).

The examples given on the third page are theory made practical, and such an essential step on the path to becoming a great trainer.

Reasons for learning

This audio lecture gives you an opportunity to reflect on your own motivations for learning, as well as preparing you for the upcoming topic of how we learn.

The purpose is to actively engage with the concept of motivation, and get our minds honed on the topic of how we learn so we can apply our own experiences and earning preferences to the theories we will encounter in the following lecture.

Transcript of Audio:

Self-motivation is the hallmark of adult education. We choose the learning programs which we feel will lead us to our chosen goal, be that how to crochet (my current personal favourite), project management, yoga, meditation, public speaking, applied mathematics or swimming, to name a random few.

My motivation in wanting to learn crochet was so I could make a gift for a friend who's just had a baby, something unique and personal, something which spoke of friendship which a teddy bear just didn't.

My motivation in learning how to ride a horse was so I could experience my beautiful Australian bushland up close and personal - there's nothing quite as sensational as a ride through the eucalypts on a misty morning just after the rain, wombats shuffling off to bed, wallabies bounding away at the clattering of horse hooves on a rocky, overgrown track.

My motivation in becoming an accredited trainer after so many years of working as a trainer was to improve my design, delivery and assessment skills, and ensure I was offering my clients the best service possible, and that I truly understood their needs and could address their learning styles.

Now I'd like you to take a moment to reflect on your motivation in undertaking this Udemy course.

  1. What has brought you here?
  2. What would you like to improve?
  3. Where do you see the skills and knowledge contained in this course taking you?

Because this course is for you, please let me know if there is any topic you would like to see added to this course. Remember - this course is for you! You determine the destination, I navigate you there.

Before we begin the next lecture I'd like you to do one more thing - I'd like you to take a moment to think about how you prefer to learn. What kinds of activities have you found work best for you when you've undertaken workplace training? Hands-on activities? Reading? Writing and presenting? Write down some notes before the next lecture commences, and reflect on your notes during the lecture.

Looking forward to your feedback!

Preview 03:06

Administrative systems give way now to training design systems, and here we look at mnemonics which we can use in the planning of our training sessions.

Just as the Think Systems Framework© provides a structure for our overarching process, so does the following mnemonic provide a framework for ensuring best-practice session design.

And how? By reminding us to be aware of multiple, sometimes competing, priorities. And by keeping our attention on best-practice design, avoiding easy distraction.

This lecture introduces us to useful mnemonics for our planning processes.

Transcript of Audio:

"Never Eat Soggy Weet-bix". Did you ever learn that as a child as a way of remembering the points on a compass? How about "My Very Elderly Mother Just Sat Up Near Pluto" for our solar system? (yes, I'm showing my age there... though I do still consider Pluto a planet!). Another one which I still use today is: "30 days hath September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 3, excepting February dear son." And who can forget: "I before e except after c", when remembering how to spell words like "receive" and "sieve".

What are mnemonics and acronyms?

Mnemonics are memory devices which give us a sequence and structure, helping us remember lists, parts, stages and phases. An acronym is "an abbreviation formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word" (Source: here).

Mnemonics can be musical, such as the fabulous "Do-Re-Mi" song from "The Sound of Music", which teaches us the Solfège scale (syllables of the major scale). As Maria joyously sings, "When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything!" (yes, I did actually sing while typing that!) Musical mnemonics can be advertising jingles - those ear worms promoting the benefits of a product or service - but perhaps the most well-known musical mnemonic is the "ABC" song, teaching us the alphabet. Certainly I use this in my lessons with beginner English students to overwhelming success.

They can also be visual, models, expressions or words.

How can mnemonics and acronyms help us in training design and delivery?

The first mnemonic I learned as a new trainer was a simple one, "PPP" - Present, Practice, Produce. In the context of language training it meant step one was to present the target language, step two was to allow controlled practice of said target language, and step three was where learners would have the opportunity to produce (e.g. through role-play, free writing etc) the target language, thereby demonstrating their ability to actively use it.

Skills-based lessons might take this one step further with the acronym DEDICT:

Demonstrate the task

Explain the process

Demonstrate again


Coach and Correct


Even with just this overview we can already see that adopting this technique when undertaking direct instruction provides a more comprehensive structure than PPP. Here our learners first see and can appreciate the overarching learning goal, receive an explanation then - with more focused minds - have another demonstration. They can then imitate the skill and finally trial it themselves. The trial would proceed assessment, and learners should feel encouraged to practice as many times as necessary until they are comfortable with the task.

If we apply this to WHS (Workplace Health and Safety) training, let's think of when we learn CPR.

First the instructor demonstrates CPR on the dummy while we observe. The instructor then explains the compression to breaths ratio for adults and children, and then demonstrates the technique again. This time we can count with him or her, paying closer attention to the position of the hands on the chest for the compressions, and the use of the mouth guard (if applicable). The instructor then asks us, likely in pairs, to practice CPR on the dummies we've been given, and - through coaching and correction - he or she can correct any errors we may be making and explain any potentially unsafe practices. Finally we can practice the CPR technique until we are comfortable with the process and prepared for our assessment.

As we can see this is a simple yet powerful acronym which can easily be applied to the learning environment, giving our training focus, keeping us goal-oriented, and leading us towards task completion and assessment (if required).

Following on the WHS theme, I am reminded of DRs ABC:



Shout for help




As first aiders faced with an emergency situation, DRs ABC reminds us in clear, concise terms exactly what we have to do and in what sequence.

But I'm not here to give you a First Aid update - nor am I qualified to do so - but I think you can agree that it's quite clear mnemonics and acronyms aid our skills and knowledge-based instruction.

In the following two lectures I focus on one in particular, PROMOTING, which I come back to again and again in designing my skills and knowledge-based training sessions. Ready to learn more about it? Then hop to the next lecture!

Introduction to mnemonics and acronyms

What are the building blocks which inform the design and delivery of our training programs? That's what we examine in the next two lectures... by P.R.O.M.O.T.I.N.G. What's that, I hear you ask? It's a landmark learning principle which is simple yet powerful, something which I personally come back to again and again to test the design of my training programs against, particularly the specifics of my lesson plan.

By the end of this lecture you'll be able to describe P.R.O.M.O.T.I.N.G., Smith & Delahaye's landmark learning principle, and provide examples for each of the initial five components. The following four are highlighted in the next lecture.

Training Systems: mnemonics and their place in training design (Part One)

Following on from the previous lecture, we now examine the final two components of the mnemonic, PROMOTING, which as noted earlier is a great tool to have in our kit when designing a training program.

There is a quiz which follows these lectures - good luck and happy learning!

Training Systems: mnemonics and their place in training design (Part Two)

Let's see what you remember of our mnemonic, PROMOTING, in this wee quiz.

Mnemonic Check
4 questions

Let's check your knowledge of the learning environment in this little quiz!

Learning Environment
3 questions

In this lecture I walk you through completing the Client Consultation Checklist, step by step. The purpose is to ensure all elements are clear - what the template requires of us, and why we're completing it.

The key concepts here are transparency (of process) and demonstration of understanding (of the client's needs, requirements, expectations, training program requirements).

The template upon which this screencast was based is available as a download in the Templates Lecture in Section One. The template may be customised to your requirements.

The templates as a whole demonstrate best practice by ensuring we keep clear and concise records of our consultation, planning and design methods. Where terminology or purpose in the template itself is perhaps unclear, this lecture aims to clarify.

The template is based on Australian standards, and uses Australian (British) English.

Administrative Systems - a Client Consultation Template

The purpose of this lecture is to walk you through filling out the Group Training Session Plan. The template for this, which is provided the Templates lecture in Section One, is customisable to your particular needs so this shows you, step-by-step, how the original can be filled out.

The templates as a whole demonstrate best practice by ensuring we keep clear and concise records of our consultation, planning and design methods. Where terminology or purpose in the template itself is perhaps unclear, this lecture aims to clarify.

The template is based on Australian standards, and uses Australian (British) English.

Administrative Systems - a Group Training Plan Template
+ Delivering Training Programs - The Training Environment And You
13 lectures 50:05

We've mastered the theories behind learning styles, preferences, learning cycles and more... but what on earth do we do with it?

In this lecture I talk about ways in which we consolidate this theoretical knowledge and apply it to the design and delivery of our training programs.

At this juncture I encourage you to look more closely at the templates which I've provided, adapt them as necessary to your specific needs / organisation, and try completing them for either a mock client or an existing one. By going through the procedure we solidify the theories in our minds and the process becomes easier.

It's a discipline, going through the templates, but one which I can assure you will stand you in good stead!

So, let's take a look at applying theory to practice.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding your own experiences, and invite you to use the Discussion panel.

Methods to incorporate theory into design for winning lessons

What words, ideas or images come to mind when you consider "power"? Physical strength, perhaps? Intellectual capacity? A broad network or contacts within an industry or across the globe? Are you tenacious? Do you have an unassailable spirit? Powers of persuasion or negotiation?

Power in the context of this course refers to all those and more.

Locate power: first we look within ourselves. Where do your strengths lie?

Applying "Think Systems" - What do we mean by "power"?
Power and the ideal learning environment

It can not be stressed how important the layout of a classroom / training room is for the success of your training program. Rows, clusters, U-shape and more are the conventional layouts, each with advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of training being delivered and the anticipated learning outcomes.

In this lecture we look at the different layouts and their pros and cons.

So - let's get started!

And - when you're finished the lecture - let me know what works best in your training experience!

Classroom layout - how to make yours rock!
Comfort: physical, mental, social, psychological

In this lecture we go step by step together and complete the various sections in the WHS (Workplace Health & Safety) Risk Identification and Assessment Template, which you can find attached as a downloadable resource in the Templates lecture in Section One.

Regulations for WHS Risk Identification and Assessment differ from country to country, so be aware that it is your responsibility to comply with your local requirements. The template I offer here is as an example only and is based on Australian requirements.

The templates as a whole demonstrate best practice by ensuring we keep clear and concise records of our consultation, planning and design methods. Where terminology or purpose in the template itself is perhaps unclear, this lecture aims to clarify.

As the template is based on Australian standards it uses Australian (British) English.

Administration: WHS template
Top learning resources to energise your training

This lecture discusses creating and marketing your "trainer character".

Preview 05:36

Walk into a room looking like a rabbit (or kangaroo!) caught in headlights and your learners will likely, quite automatically, downgrade their attention and belief in what you're there to deliver.

We've seen it before, perhaps the stilted interview on TV with a newly-elected politician (of the examples I could give...) or the over-enthusiastic, sofa-jumping celebrity, the nervous teacher on the first day of term destined to suffer long weeks of ridicule and mischief... put simply, training is acting and if your character isn't ship-shape, believable and ready to roll, and if you're not prepared to BE that character, your lessons will look shaky, despite their fabulous content.

So in this lecture we focus on YOU! On putting your best foot forward, on developing the acting skills and distance necessary to be a trainer day after day, week after week. Take it from one with many, many years' experience: the act, the character, will keep you strong, focused and ready to roll with whatever your training will bring you.

Let's go!

Delivering your training: make it, don't fake it!

A video lecture to accompany this course is currently in production, and a notification to all enrolled students will be sent out once it has been completed and uploaded. So this is a "heads up" that the lecture is in progress.

One thing which my clients consistently remark on in our formal and informal feedback sessions is that I am "sunshine" to my learners, I'm a cheerleader, confidante, boot camp instructor, hard task-master, joker and supporter, all in one training session. I give points and take them away, push my students till steam comes from their ears but make them feel encouraged along the way. I'm friendly but not a friend, and that's a fine line to tread.

And you - you've got your "character" and you're good to go... but let's get rid of those butterflies before the students see them. In this lecture, which will soon be uploaded, we focus on eye contact, body language, familiarity, ice-breakers, warm-up and cool-down activities and more so you can make a brilliant first impression. You've put your best foot forward and you're keeping on moving. Fabulous.

While we wait for the lecture to be uploaded, I invite you to reflect on training fails you've experienced, and how you would have improved on them. Then, once the video lecture is "live", we can discuss those "fails" in detail using both your experiences and the information provided. I look forward to some lively discussions!

Marketing yourself - make those first impressions count
Classroom presence: body language

This video lecture looks into how we can let ourselves and our learners down by not being aware of our weaknesses (and of course discuss what those weaknesses may be). It is based on my nine years' experience, and the themes are further discussed in the Trainer Interviews, found in the penultimate Section, below.

Transcript of Audio:

Know Your Enemy

As I mentioned much earlier in this course, the principle of “Know Your Enemy” sounds pretty grim, perhaps conjuring images of masked bandits or that kid in High School who used to bully you. But that's not what it refers to here.

Taking a broader interpretation of the word “enemy”, for trainers this can mean:

  • procrastination
  • anxiety
  • overload
  • over-commitment
  • not admitting when you don't know something
  • inflexibility
  • and more.

Perhaps you're a “yes” person and commit to too many clients, but simply don't have the time nor resources to adequately address their needs? Or perhaps your enemy is detail and your record management needs much to be desired?

To put our best foot forward we need to take a moment to identify what our enemy is, what internal or external sources have a negative influence on us and then identify ways in which we can address them.

For example, I'm a “yes” woman. I don't like to let clients down and when they ask for my services, I like to deliver. Even if this means waking up at 5:00AM, driving an hour to train one client, driving another hour to the next client, and working in this way until getting home at 8:00PM to write feedback, prepare for the next day, respond to emails, have dinner and kiss my son goodnight.

But is the problem - my enemy, so to say, that I'm a yes person or that I find it difficult to delegate? Probably the latter, as I have a pool of fantastic trainers who work for and with me. So in identifying my enemy it's time to slay it - consult with the client, introduce an appropriate alternative trainer, request feedback from both client and trainer after the first session and step back to allow the relationship to develop.

What this situation also taps into, as you will have noticed, is the final element of the Think Systems Framework© - Never Walk Alone.

It can be a humbling experience to admit to having another “enemy” - not admitting when you don't know something. But the consequences of this can be dire: when you're not the knowledge expert your learners expect, they'll smell it a mile away. No matter how much confidence you have as you walk into your training room,after a few key and pointy questions and some hums and ahs from you, you'll be unmasked. Solution? Either delegate the particular training session to a colleague or network member who is expert in that field, ask a guest speaker to co-present with you, or source expert material in another way. It's your choice, depending on the resources you have to hand.

Identify the enemy, look it in the face, and seek a solution.

Now you should be nodding sagely having identified that this process cuts across a number of Think Systems principles: Know Yourself, Know Your Enemy, Liberate Energy and Never Walk Alone. I hope by now you have a sense of how flexible and powerful this framework is.

So let me ask you a question now: how would you address these five “enemies”, and I'll leave it up to you to interpret them in the most applicable way to your situation?

  • distance
  • time
  • over-stretch
  • procrastination
  • anxiety

What would your strategies be? Please feed back in the Discussion panel to the right of this screen and get talking with your fellow trainers from across the globe. I see potential for a great information exchange, but it all begins with you!

A final point: by this stage in our course we have examined various systems - administrative and training. We have a lot of knowledge we've covered and tools at our fingertips. With well-established systems and a commitment to use them, and with a working knowledge of the parameters within which you provide your training (such as those defined by your RTO or Industries Skills Councils), you should already have minimised the risks - or enemies - to your training process.

But it does pay to take the time and self-assess, and address as necessary any issues you identify.

I'm looking forward to some lively discussions, and look forward to seeing you in the next lecture.

Are you your own worst enemy?

The one who always talks.

The one who always complains.

The bully.

The know-it-all.

The meek mouse.

The mixed ability group.

The tech which never works.

This lecture addresses common training room problems and how we can overcome them. Practical tips and some fun activities will be included in this upcoming video lecture.

The elephant in the room: classroom problems and how to combat them
+ Outside The Training Environment: Building and Maintaining Networks
5 lectures 30:21

Whether we are workplace trainers, employed by an organisation or whether we are self-employed, lone wolves: we all need supportive networks within which we can work and thrive.

This lecture examines how we can build and maintain those networks and nurture positive, mutually-beneficial working relationships.

This is an audio lecture.

Build and Maintain Networks

Never Walk Alone refers not only to building and maintaining positive working relationships and professional networks, but also to working within defined continuous improvement parameters. Even the lone wolf doesn't work in a void, and there are benchmarks even a wolf must meet.

As an example, in my German business I'm the lone wolf. But I'm in competition with fish big and small. Yet I'm never out of work, and my training services are constantly in demand. Why? Exceptional communication skills, an understanding of client needs, open communication, 360 feedback mechanisms and a commitment to continuous improvement.

This upcoming lecture will examine continuous improvement in closer detail.

Continuous improvement mechanisms

We have our networks, our continuous improvement mechanisms... and now we need to build a team.

Your team has to be as committed and professional as you, personable and approachable, qualified and experienced.

This upcoming lecture examines how to establish and maintain winning teams to ensure you Never Walk Alone.

Establishing winning teams

As part of our Never Walk Alone section, which focuses on forming positive working relationships with fellow trainers and (global) networks of peers, this interview highlights some of the similarities and differences between professionals who train in different spheres. In this recorded Skype call, Kristen and I discuss her work at the American University of Rome, how she prepares her University and Udemy lectures, and how she addresses different learning preferences.

Profile: Kristen Palana

I am an American/Portuguese multimedia artist based in Rome, Italy. My work has been exhibited internationally and online and has won a number of awards including most recently, Best Animated Short for my 2014 animation, This Too Shall Pass at Cannes Short Film Festival. I have taught undergraduate and graduate college students since 2000, as well as offered art and multimedia courses in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. I'm currently a tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media and the Director of the Film and Digital Media Program at The American University of Rome.

What I Do: I work on animation, video, graphic design, illustration, web and interactive projects independently, as well as for clients and non-profit organizations. The vast majority of the work that I do is to promote positive social change. My number one interest is helping people in developing countries overcome poverty and lack of opportunities. I use multimedia projects and tools to help raise awareness and continuously attempt to foster a sense of social responsibility in my students by having them partake in real-world multimedia projects for non-profit organizations whenever possible.

I've been researching 21st century learning methods and technologies over the last year and am eager to explore the world of online teaching and connect with a larger, and more diverse group of students from all over the world.

** Please note that due to the recording technology, the sound quality is rather different from previous lectures; for this I apologise in advance and ask for your understanding.

Trainer Interview - Prof. Kristen Palana

As part of our Never Walk Alone section, which focuses on forming positive working relationships with fellow trainers and (global) networks of peers, this interview highlights some of the similarities and differences between professionals who train in different spheres.

Lisa's Instructor Profile

I love working with small business owners!

With a PhD in marketing from The Wharton School and nearly 20 years of consulting and running my own small business, I customise MBA-level marketing strategies and tactics for the small business owner. And, I stay up-to-date on the newest approaches through my academic roles at Mills College and Wharton in San Francisco.

Solopreneurs and small business owners have been my clients for nearly 15 years in my role as co-founder of PagePoint Web Solutions and now as founder of MarketingU. I am thrilled when I can help a client clarify their marketing objectives and, more importantly, achieve them.

Trainer Interview - Lisa Cain, PhD
+ Wrapping Up
2 lectures 06:02

Let's take the opportunity now to consolidate everything we've done.

Tying it all together

Thank you for accompanying me on this journey through theory to practice. It's been my pleasure to share this with you, and I hope it's been useful.

Please note that that this course will be regularly updated with new material, new information and resources, so it is a course that will grow with you. I look forward to your feedback, and if you feel there is a specific area of training which has not been adequately covered, please let me know. This is, after all, your course.

Warm regards,


A conclusion and a big thanks