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Ana Antunes da Silva

Aim to Be

Coach - Facilitator - Consultant

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What I learned from TrainingZone Live 2011


One of the TrainingZone Live 2011 bloggers Ana Antunes Da Silva thought the event was a great success. Here she reviews here experiences and looks at what makes a successful event.

The 6 Ps of an event

Was it a central and convenient location in an ample and comfortable setting? Tick.

The agenda for the event was impressive both for its list of speakers as well as the varied specialist content on offer, thus catering to all the training professionals present. The different streams gave people the opportunity to choose what was most relevant to them and the small groups promoted more interaction and participation.

Industry leaders are a definite crowd pleaser and having the likes of Jim Kirkpatrick and Dr Peter Honey present gave the event a celebrity like status. In the real world of training, having a reputation and a name for yourself, is not enough. As training professionals, we try to add value and that is what we expect from the presenters. The sessions I attended were engaging, useful and interactive. Most importantly, they provided new ideas and skills that will support my business, benefit my clients and contribute to my professional development.

"The networking drinks reception were an excellent way to meet people and discuss learning and ideas in an informal setting"

Without delegates there would be no event. If 20 people had turned up instead of 200 it would have been a very different day altogether. The fact that the attendees are all part of the training community fosters interaction and focus which in turn generates dynamic discussions and a lively atmosphere. I met a number of inspiring professionals and the energy and enthusiasm were noticeable. It is a pleasant change to be at an event where people are focused on connecting rather than waving business cards around.

Good food (delicious canapés!) and an open bar help create a relaxed atmosphere. The networking drinks reception was an excellent way to meet people and discuss learning and ideas in an informal setting, when it’s all still fresh in your mind.

We are so used to providing the training ourselves, that it is important to occasionally take the passenger seat so that we too can develop, be challenged and learn. What you learn and take away from the event is important. How you apply it, even more so. It is about making the learning useful as well as interesting. To this effect, I compiled a list of top tips from each of the sessions I attended.

My three top tips
The overall theme was very much about how you add and demonstrate value and crucially, are you in line with the business. The sessions I attended were rich in content and contained valuable information. I compiled three top tips from each.

Denise Hudson-Lawson

  • Ask how you can add value from training .... get a business strategy out
  • Help with business change as change agents
  • Go and make friends with the business.

Dr Peter Honey

  • The ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ are more important than the ‘whys’
  • Don’t overcomplicate things
  • Ask yourself what else you could have done.

Jim Kirkpatrick

  • Get the client to determine and describe success
  • The training has to be anchored to the mission
  • Create hybrid evaluation forms that combine the 4 levels.

Nigel Harrison

  • Change the way you respond to client requests. Focus on the problem not an immediate solution
  • Become a learning solutions partner not a magic person who does everything
  • Avoid the conspiracy of convenience and the seduction of 'solutioneering'. Understanding the causes of the problem will provide solutions.

Training Zone is setting up action learning groups so we can continue and consolidate the learning from the event. This sounds like an excellent new initiative and I am looking forward to taking part.

What are you going to do about your new learning? What are your first 3 actions going to be? Do you have any other top tips?

Ana is a professionally qualified coach. Prior to becoming a coach, Ana spent almost 10 years in the communication and financial services industries. Ana offers business coaching to individuals (ranging from junior team members to senior Executives) as well as providing in-house coach training. General areas of focus include personal development, management and leadership skills and team building and facilitation. Find out more at

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Ana Antunes da Silva

Coach - Facilitator - Consultant

Read more from Ana Antunes da Silva

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