The True Cost of Training

Training is like an iceberg. Only one-tenth of the volume of an iceberg appears visible above the water.

So it is with a training event. The actual bit that people see, the training day itself, is only a very small part of the whole. Lurking beyond the vision of participants and attendees lies the vast bulk of time the trainer has expended in creating the event. There are meetings with clients. There is topic research. There is the design of multiple presentation aids. There is the organisation of exercise materials. There is the writing and formatting of a workbook.

And this is without mention of a Training Needs Analysis, that luxurious exercise when a client actually allows a trainer – oh the bliss! – to speak to the attendees themselves prior to the training in order to accurately gauge their needs, present levels of skill, preferred learning styles, etc.

All this takes time, of course. Time that the client doesn’t really ‘see’. Time that s/he is therefore reluctant to pay for… or even acknowledge the existence of. (Something similar applies to business coaches and writiers, website developers, artwork designers and other professionals.)

“Can’t you just come and, you know, do one of your talks? Can’t I just pay you for that?”

My ‘talks’!? OK, firstly, I’m not an after dinner speaker. I’m a professional training consultant with two degrees and a specialist training qualification. Second, the material that I use in my training did not come to life by itself, by a sort of spontaneous generation; I created it ex nihilo, over a period of time. Third, I have honed my ability to teach adults over the course of years, and through dint of hard work and continuing professional development I have acquired some expertise in the same. All this is what you’re paying for, all this is what lies below the surface and props up the little bit that you see on the day!

I’m tempted to say to such, “If you can do better, go ahead and try.” But the problem is that they would. Try, that is, not succeed. After all, its only giving a talk, isn’t it? Its only for the sake of ticking boxes, isn’t it? Any of your junior HR staff could do it too, couldn’t they? And probably already are…

Respect the Size of the Iceberg

My answer: What happens when you don’t respect the full size of an iceberg? Ask the Titanic!

There are a fair few latter-day ‘titanics’ roaming the commercial waters of Northern Ireland at the moment. They’re enjoying themselves, spending money on relative luxuries, but scrimping on the one thing that really matters – a highly skilled, highly motivated i.e. highly trained workforce.

I suppose there’s something to be said for sinking with dignity. But personally, I think its preferable to acknowledge the real size of the iceberg… and stay afloat!

Image credit: pululante.

CultureTECH

We’re delighted to be involved in this year’s CultureTECH programme. Specifically, we’re helping train 1000 Digital Champions.

The campaign has been developed in support of the Go ON NI initiative which seeks to address the lack of digital skills across Northern Ireland.

The programme is huge. Find out more at CultureTECH.

Image credit: oggierite

The Benefits of Exericse

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Guest Blog Post by Matthew Arrell

Matthew works as a Nutrition and Conditioning Coach and is also a Personal Trainer.

The government has spent big bucks trying to get people to exercise regularly. Yes, this has a much to do with them wanting people to lead healthier lifestyles, which will in turn reduce the NHS workload, but there are loads of other reasons for getting out there and keeping active. Most obvious are the physical benefits as well as psychological and social ones. Continue reading “The Benefits of Exericse”

What Do Comedians and Wolves Have In Common?

wolf

They both have stuff to teach businesses, that’s what! There have been quality BBC articles and vids recently on new sources of inspiration for business development. One was comedy. You don’t have to think too hard to realise that the skills necessary in stand-up – creativity, improvisation, confidence, communication – are directly transferable to the world of work. Continue reading “What Do Comedians and Wolves Have In Common?”

A Practical Business Workshop on Social Media

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We’re holding another social media event. It follows on from our Social Media Business Breakfast of last week.

Beyond Throwing Sheep: A Practical Business Workshop on Social Media

The format will be a practical, hands-on workshop. There will be less theory and more practice. Attendees can choose whether to attend a morning session on Facebook, an afternoon session on Twitter, or both. If you choose to come all day, it’s better value. 🙂 Continue reading “A Practical Business Workshop on Social Media”

Last Year, I Saved £8000 Pounds Just By Complaining

How many times have you gone into a shop to return an item, only to come back out with a credit note that you will probably never use? How many times has your bank left a charge on your account, for some minor indiscretion?

I’m the person people take with me when they want to return items in shops. I’m the person people ring when they’ve an awkward phonecall to make to their supplier. I’m the person people ask to check over their letters of complaint. So, you could say I’ve something of a reputation for being bolshy assertive. The truth is if you shout ‘loudly’ enough, someone listens. So, when wee bro suggested I run a course on this very topic, I jumped at the idea. It’s gonna be great!

I Want to Speak to the Person in Charge Continue reading “Last Year, I Saved £8000 Pounds Just By Complaining”

Last Year, I Saved £8000 Pounds Just By Complaining

How many times have you gone into a shop to return an item, only to come back out with a credit note that you will probably never use? How many times has your bank left a charge on your account, for some minor indiscretion?

I’m the person people take with me when they want to return items in shops. I’m the person people ring when they’ve an awkward phonecall to make to their supplier. I’m the person people ask to check over their letters of complaint. So, you could say I’ve something of a reputation for being bolshy assertive. The truth is if you shout ‘loudly’ enough, someone listens. So, when wee bro suggested I run a course on this very topic, I jumped at the idea. It’s gonna be great!

I Want to Speak to the Person in Charge Continue reading “Last Year, I Saved £8000 Pounds Just By Complaining”

Facebook Friday

facebookWhat is it? Facebook. Are you an absolute beginner? Do you need to know the basics?

Do you already use Facebook? Do you need to know more?

Join us for a very short and a very casual workshop on Facebook on Friday 13th March at Blick Creative Studios (51 Malone Road, Belfast) from 6-7pm.

We intend to run two workshops simultaneously, one for beginners and one for existing (business/professional) users. Bring your laptop, if you wish. Cost: FREE.

To book your place, contact Philip Wilson on 078 6019 6091 or info@blickstudios.org.

Let us know you’re coming here. And, you might want to read more about uses for Facebook here.

Train the Trainer Workshop

You ‘ve landed a new job or got landed with a new task. It involves training people. You don ‘t know where to begin. You don ‘t know if you can stand up in front of crowd of people. You don ‘t know how to structure the session. Maybe you ‘re someone who has been training for a while but was never properly instructed in the methods or coached on your skills. Or maybe you ‘re an old pro who feels like a brush-up in the latest thinking and techniques. Continue reading “Train the Trainer Workshop”