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Sheridan Webb

Keystone Development

Training Design Consultant

Read more from Sheridan Webb

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Singer/Songwriter

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With the BRITs now behind us (what a wonderful and awful thing that is), it occurred to me that there are some great perfomers out there, as well as some great songwriters who you wouldn't know if you fell over them. This has lots of parallels with our own industry of course.

We can all remember or recommend a handful of great trainers. But did you know that there is a small group of experienced, professional trainers out there who actually ENJOY the design process? This bunch of crazies like nothing more than researching a subject, mind-mapping ideas, searching for new and innovative ways to bring topics to life, explaining IN DETAIL how to run exercises, and key points to bring out of discussions. They actually get pleasure from spending hours producing a nicely formatted word or pdf documents for delegates to keep (or throw away). Unbelievably, they are equally happy working from broad concept or detailed outline. Like our brilliant but unknown songwriters, they are not interested in the thrill of the show...often, they want nor receive any credit from the end user. A simple thank-you and the satisfaction that they have played a vital part in improving skills is all that they seek.

I am one such person; an ‘invisible’ trainer if you like. Being invisible, you get to see things and look at things in a way that the visible trainer does not. Our focus is different. Like the visible trainer, we are of course focussed on the pre, during and post workshop experience, but our emphasis is different. We trust that if the event is designed well, we can trust our delivery colleagues to make it go well. We often get to root about in the business a bit more, and speak to a broader range of people. We think about how the training fits into the wider business plan and current priorities. We can think more broadly about learning methods. We spot potential obstacles and are able to provide techniques to overcome them. We provide the trainer with the solid structure that they can embellish to suit the needs of each specific group. In short, we notice things that the visible trainer may not when they are in ‘the thick of it’.

In many ways, the visible trainer is the singer; training hard to give their best performance at a specific time and give the audience a great experience. The invisible trainer is the producer; finding the right mix, helping the performer to be the best that they can be, and making sure that this is not a one-hit wonder. Of course, there are also a band of brilliant singer/songwriters and some trainers would fall into this category, but where you do not have access to this talent combining a great writer with a great perfomer can provide outstanding results - look at Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers, Girls Aloud and Xenomania...

In this series of blogs, I shall be commenting on various topics from the invisible trainer’s perspective. Hope you enjoy them!

Sheridan Webb

www.keystonedevelopment.co.uk

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Sheridan Webb

Training Design Consultant

Read more from Sheridan Webb
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