Training for a Living

If you open my car’s trunk these days, you won’t find tons of shoes, clothes, prescription drugs nor giveaways. It’s funny to see a box of school materials, a roll of Manila paper and a bunch of folders. There was a time when my trunk was loaded with plastic balls, straws, barbeque sticks and plastic cups. I used to do this before, not for a living, but for fun. Now, it’s something really serious. It’s professional.

After a quick research and upon stumbling upon the actual job itself, I have settled for myself the great debate on “trainer vs trainor.” Now I know that I should be called a trainor (thanks to http://barenaked.i.ph/).

Every time I attend lectures, seminars and trainings, I am always fascinated by trainors. Now that I consider myself as one, I present to you the 10 COMMANDMENTS OF A TRAINOR (applicable to HR people or those in the corporate world) and not for trainers (i.e. fitness, animal, etc.), but if the need arises, then these may come handy:

1.Thou shall ask for Divine Intervention at all times.

Nowadays, AVPs are in. Download videos — Bukas Palad, Hillsong or Don Moen works. If not, better recite a simple one. There’s no other way to start any program than with a prayer.

2.Thou shall be financially prepared.

There were a couple of times when I had to buy some stuff for games, prizes and even pika-pikas for the participants. Whether you can reimburse the money or not, always think about the success of your activity.

3.Thou shall be (or look) cool and street smart.

Before any seminar, you should know the Billboard Top 100, current events, social issues, and trivia. Remember that you should always look (and be) more learned than your audience (whether they are subordinates, fellows or bosses). Watch TV, download the latest dance craze and know the latest jokes.

4.Thou shall not forget the checklist.

This is an important thing I learned from my superiors and friends who have been exposed in training or organizing – always have a checklist. Make sure that you are ready with everything from nametags to attendance sheets.

5.Thou shall act as an all-around event organizer.

Imagine that you are planning a wedding. Call up all the participants so that they’ll show up, prepare the sound system, food, entertainment and others. More often than not, you are also the emcee, speaker’s personal assistant, and waiter.

6.Thou shall accept criticisms good-naturedly.

No one else will be blamed but you. Bad-tasting food, missing handout pages, inkless pens, and even brownouts are blamed on trainors. Just smile and find solutions right away. Anyway, they will always enjoy the games.

7.Thou shall know your resource speaker.

If you are a facilitator, know the personality of your speaker. They come to ‘train’ as well, and you must treat them like a VIP. Know their favorite food, pet peeves, and moods. Someday (hopefully) you’ll be like them.

8.Thou shall be resourceful.

There are times wherein you have to craft something out of nothing. Produce an output or find a substitute for something which is needed for the training.

9.Thou shall be child-like.

Be a game master and prepare games, icebreakers and activities that will liven up a boring discussion. Try the games for you to know if they are applicable or feasible.

10.Thou shall be happy.

Training is a way of spreading something to a group of people. You don’t want to share gloom, hatred or problems. Share happiness.

I can’t help but smile each moment I reminisce the laughter of participants whenever they play games. I always look at their eyes and expressions whenever they listen to me. I feel excited when I facilitate a game. I am interested in hearing their problems, ideas and feelings.

When you’re a trainor, differences on age, sex or belief doesn’t matter. Expectations should be met and lessons must be properly disseminated. It’s making the blind see, the mute speak, and the deaf listen.

Now I have to plan for the next trainings. Three more to go before the month ends!

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