What skills does a Trainer need for his trainings to be effective?

Training is a process of acquiring skills, attitude and knowledge, that are needed to fill the gap between the goals, dreams and desire of a person and their present limited knowledge and abilities. Most people agree that you can learn anything you put your mind to. Except specified technical training training and learning includes any self-development for personal and expression and presenting skills for professional excellence.

It is the skill-level of the individuals that makes the company or organization grow. This awareness spreads further and further across industries, professional areas and the globe. People are more committed to learning and training than ever before. Training and Learning, is a vast field, world-wide, that becomes more and more important, acknowledged and: It is in demand!

Trainers are so many and the professional standards and criteria are unfortunately poor, insufficient and in most fields simply missing. Often someone calls themselves a trainer after having read a book and thereafter holding workshops on that content. Just standing up and speaking does not cut it. The belief that it is conceptual knowledge that matters in training is completely insufficient for today’s training demand. What matters really is how training is designed, how the body of content is broken up into the proper portions, the sequencing of material and embedding it in multi-sensory accelerated learning styles. The effect of training can be measured in many ways, before and after the training and weeks and months later.

Yes, not everyone is going to become a public presenter, but everyone will have to, at some point, share their ideas with someone else. Whether you will be presenting on a stage, in a meeting or even to a group of friends, whether to small or very large groups a trainer needs to go through proper Trainer Training to be able to increase his levels of confidence, congruence and competence so he will be respected and loved. A trainer needs a high-level of skills to create learnings that will be remarkable and memorable.

The attributes of a trainer who is effective are around some required high-level values. The traditional ideas of a trainer having to have an attractive look and voice are outgrown. A known and respected trainer’s character or charm are directly related to integrity and authenticity and his being, speaking and acting in a way that radiates acceptance, fairness, understanding and so furthers trust. Looks and voice can be worked on.
The same values that are required for a respected human being are even more required for a trainer because of the aspect of modelling. A listener’s subconscious will always model, copy or re-produce some aspect of what they have seen or learned. Think about it, whatever a trainer does or says is amplified by the amount of participants following him. Ethics, honesty, integrity and compassion have to be # 1. Nowadays by the internet’s open and broad publicity, it is even more required for any public person to walk his talk.

Normally I would say everyone can achieve what they aspire, more so for becoming a trainer than for becoming a famous public speaker. I wish to share from my more than 30 years of receiving and conducting Trainer Trainings. I have seen many people who wanted to become a famous public speaker not getting as quickly and easily famous as they wish. I have found that a person who is truly committed to becoming an effective trainer and doing the work required, which means taking training, will always be able to become a trainer. It is a matter of time and commitment.

The traits of a trainer have less to do with the academic or intellectual level of the trainer but much more with her/his personability. A trainer’s core-motivation must be connecting with his people and building meaningful relationships with each individual and also the whole group no matter of the size of the group. Let’s differentiate the trainer who trains audiences up to 26 people or a presenter who speaks to 100 or 1000. These are two completely different areas with different criteria.

A trainer who speaks to large audiences has a relationship between himself and the audience as one unity. The speaker has a very limited way of conducting or tracking exercises and will not have any personal contact to the individuals. I prefer to call this speaking or presenting and he is a speaker or presenter and not actually a trainer. Obviously the presenter will have a greater focus on self as so many eyes are on her/him and she cannot even leave the stage for one minute… That makes her/him more focused on himself and how he handles himself for this required absolute presence. Large crowd speakers regardless of any topic have to learn how to handle and engage with so many just as a TV speaker, journalist or actor. They relate to the viewer and listeners as one unity.

Every large-crowd speaker I met, and it is many, had the ability to be personable, friendly, interactive however more “on demand” and upon an inner decision and in a more distant way. I experienced friendliness but not a real ability to connect.

A trainer who speaks to small audiences prefers to zero into the individuals. He chooses the group size so he can make this connection to every individual and have a relationship with each audience member. It is a high-level skill and requires very specified focus to be able to address individuals within their perception and understanding. It is called in NLP: Pure external focus or other-orientation. Typically this trainer may focus more on the other than on her/himself. I have seen the number of participants range between 16 and 26. Some trainers do not want more than 16 for this specified focus; I have never seen anyone being able to remain in this intimate relationship with the participant if more than 26.

Would you agree that effective training happen by using “learning by doing”? The art of true training is exercise-design. Exercise design is not just instructing some sort of playback, but it is an advanced and careful design of “step-by-step; part-by-part” procedural processes. The way an exercise is written up makes a big difference. It is embedded in what is called “Framing” which includes organizing, pre-thinking and deciding for titles of every step in a precise way. Exercise design is one of the most important processes for effectiveness of a trainer’s work and it requires the trainer’s competency to partition the desired outcome in a calculated and clear way measured by the student’s comments and behaviors as a result. The learned content then often requires a shift of beliefs on the identity level and can be verified in enriched, different and desired daily applied behaviors.

To best simplify this vast terrain let’s look at five Pillars of Training and Learning for trainers to train in an effective way.


A trainer needs to not only have his own high-level values and purpose but also same for each topic he teaches. What matters is important to the trainer about the topic in other words: the “Big Why”. Why do I choose to teach this topic? What is my motivation to share… My purpose of teaching you this is… When a trainer can tell a catchy story about his relationship to the topic or/and permeate excitement and passion about the up-coming lesson the participant will listen with much more open ears.

Congruency between the trainer as a person and the teachings and learnings is one of the highest success factors for excellence in training. It is a trainer’s job to create the links between his purpose, the topic and the audience.


A trainer’s personality typically is out-going, social, talkative, curious and loving to relate.  A trainer’s core-motivation must be the relationship with each individual.

His passion is for each of the individuals to come away from his training with revolutionary new beliefs, concepts and most importantly skills that will be directly applied in live. This life-change influences his relationships and who he thinks he is. The connections between the trainer and the student can be meaningful and, we could say, work like magic. Because of this connection the student may open up to his teacher more than ever before… There is a level of heart and spiritual connection that can be deeper than interpersonal love. A student may follow the master for many years and feel tremendous gratitude and thankfulness and carry that special magical connection for ever.

In professional Trainer Trainings the trainer is taught about the responsibility that occurs from this phenomenon and how to detach her/himself from the student and this phenomenon. He will learn and practice how to internally deal with this possible transference in the most ethical and professional way.


A training that is well designed and follows what is called “The Overall Structure for Training & Learning” includes interactive elements in a regular fashion. The teaching of concepts, called lecture, will be carefully balanced with exercises for the participants to reproduce the learned topic. High-standard training will have this interactive session accurately scheduled within each topic. The participants should get a chance to make the lesson his own, felt and seen by his new beliefs and actions and in his/her environments.

Effective training is measured by the participants level of understanding and reproduction. A student’s subconscious continuously looks for internalizing and being able to use the taught topics. She/he wants to make the knowledge and skills her/his own. Audio-books, run-on lecture series or speeches that just talk about a topic and/or pre-recorded lessons have a much lower reproduction curve and do not count in this sense as training.

The lesson of a speaker or presenter that is filled with large amounts of content without exercises is not effective. In the realm of training monologues are not effective but true dialogues between the trainer and the student can have great results. How would you know? Every lesson or topic should have an exercise. Maybe even more simple to measure: Before every pause there should be a chance for you to reproduce in form of an exercise session.


The main job of a trainer is to create trust. Many presenters, speakers or trainers try to create trust by emphasizing who they are, portraying authority. Often tempting promises are used at the beginning of a speech wishing and hoping for the listener to be impressed.

In the innovative approach to Trainer Training this is not required but language patterns that are incremental for creating consensus. The subconscious mind needs to experience acceptance and relaxation for trust to grow. A trainer trained in advanced language skills feels confident with his ways of speaking to create and maintain acceptance and trust with the audience. These language skills also guarantee for any stage freight to vanish. 85% of stage freight is rooted in lacking language and trainer skills. Expressing oneself verbally and non-verbally in a learned, skilled and practiced fashion, plus the artful development of competency, once gained, overcome any sensation previously experienced as stage fright or anxiety.

One of the ways an effective trainer does this is by linking the listener up with what they already know and the resources they have according to the up-coming topic. Plus, it is just as important to describe the new future opening with the newly learned and applied skill. Subconscious trust rises when experiencing a successfully accomplished future.


Many Training & Learning research show that now-a-days trainings goes hand-in-hand with entertainment. In fact, the more engaging and entertaining the greater the training feedback score. Accelerated learning comes from utilizing all sensory channels. It is important to have all visual, audio, physical and, if possible, also smell and taste experience of a learning. It is proven that multi-sensory learning stimulates all levels of the brain and so creates the joy or satisfaction of a full experience and also long-lasting memory.

The skills a trainer needs for his trainings to be effective are many. A trainer can never learn too much. Typically, an effective trainer visits many self-development courses and never stops growing personally. A high-quality Trainer Training (minimum 12 days) can increase the trainer’s effectiveness 180 degrees.

Regardless of the years of experience effective training is typically directly related to the trainer engaging in advanced leadership, communication and presentation him/herself. One of the criteria of effective training identification is to observe or inquire the trainer’s continuous advancement by taking trainings her/himself. In the field of Training & Learning it is valued that humans are designed to grow and excel, and that learning is ever increasing.


Written by Dr. A Doris Greenwood, Master Trainer and Master Coach, leading all levels of NLP, EI and Trainer Trainings since 1990 with her Certification Verification Body Conscious Solutions.
www.DrDorisNLP.com   & www.ConsciousSolutionsCertifications.com