In Training Why always comes before What

If you know what you are going to cover in a training session, you probably know your subject.
If you know why you are running the training session, you now have a purpose.

Knowing what you are teaching might give you good session notes.
Knowing why (and therefore who) you are teaching should give you a clearly defined set of outcomes.

Whenever a training session somehow misses the mark for the students, it is usually because there has been too much focus on what is going to be taught and not enough on why it is being taught.

Therefore every training session needs to have a very clearly defined purpose (a why).
And first and foremost this purpose must be clear in the trainer's own head.

Remembering the maxim:
'You cannot teach what you don't know and you cannot lead where you won't go'
a trainer needs to be clear why they are running the programme and therefore where they are leading their students, because if the point of the training is not absolutely clear in the trainer's mind, how can he or she be able to make it clear to the students?

Students are also busy people and will always have something else that they could be doing on that day.
So if a student is unclear why they are attending their training, there will be reluctant and resistant to learning.

However, if the student clearly sees how the training will benefit them personally, they will engage without any resistance.

Luckily for most trainers, the majority of students are happy enough with what they learn, but some students (and these are usually the more challenging, questioning ones) will always need to know why they are learning.

So before you walk into a training room - ideally before you even start to plan the training - don't just ask yourself:
What will my students be learning?
ask rather
Why should they be learning this and how can I bring that across to them?
 

This article was written by Michael Ronayne, director at the College of Public Speaking and four-time UK National Public Speaking Champion.

To discover more of Michael's top training techniques, check out his professionally accredited Train the Trainer course here