Well, it’s almost time! Time for your first training delivery! It’s been quite a journey to get things set up, build up your certifications and sort out bureaucracy hurdles. But now, you’re finally ready. Well, almost.
It’s time to prepare for your first training. This will include applying for job opportunities, negotiating and then delivering the actual training.
All of this may seem a bit overwhelming at first. In order to help you out, Coursedot is starting a new series of articles which will explore how to become a freelance IT trainer and make the most of it. The series will include the following:
- Basics – experience, interests, niche
- Training and certifications
- Setting things up
- First training tips (you are reading this step now)
- Building partnerships
It’s time to continue with Part 4 – First training tips
Of course, you might be very well qualified for delivering IT trainings, but that won’t do much good if you can’t find a job opportunity, right?
Well, there are several ways you can do that. The most obvious one is to start via word of mouth. As you build up your certification portfolio, you will meet a lot of people. Chances are you will tell a lot of them you’re preparing to become a freelance IT trainer and want to teach people. So, use the trainings and certifications you go to for a bit of networking and creating contacts.
Also, it’s quite possible you still have a steady job. If you have a good standing with your colleagues and are already possessing the needed certifications, why not delve into training your co-workers? It will be a great way to gather initial experience in training.
Another way is to look for outside opportunities. You can use your contacts or take advantage of the Coursedot Instructor Hub. There you will find job opportunities and be able to see their requirements and further hone your portfolio and skills. The Coursedot team can also help you out if you have any questions.
Once you’ve chosen a few offers and have received interest from the potential clients, it’s time to start negotiating. But that’s wrong. Negotiating starts from the moment you read the offer. Usually most of the details will be hashed out in the application itself.
In order for the client to see interest in your application, you have to have a good proposition. This will feature your certifications, experience, any background information which may have been required. But you will also have to include your rate, whether travel and accommodation is included or not and so on. So, make sure you have a very clear and precise offer. Clients don’t like ambiguity.
The same is also valid for the answers you provide to any additional questions you may receive. Be upfront that this is you first training if that is the case. You don’t want to start on the wrong foot with your trainer career. If you get the job, after completion you will receive feedback forms. And you want those to be positive, right? So, always be honest and upfront with your potential and existing clients.
Great! Now you’re about to deliver your first training. Here are some of the best tips coming straight from the Coursedot Instructor Handbook. You can get the full handbook if you join Coursedot for Instructors.
So, here are some basic tips to improve the quality of your trainings:
- Be at the classroom at least an hour before the start of the first day of training. Use the time to check out the equipment and labs, make sure everything works and that you have everything needed to complete your tasks.
- Keep the atmosphere friendly and supportive while keeping the driver’s seat and controlling the discussion. Be approachable.
- Keep trainees engaged with question, experiments, additional tips.
- Show them real examples and experiences of how the new learned material actually comes to use
- Be proactive about offering help if you see someone struggling with an exercise.
- Don’t read from books or slides. Everyone can do that. Show students something more than what they already have access to.
- Focus on practical exercises at regular intervals (about 45 minutes to 1 hour) between lectures.
- Don’t get into confrontations. Instead call for a short break and talk to the person alone to clear things up.
- If you see someone is lacking attention or interest, try and engage them in the training, don’t isolate them.
- Don’t tell students if this is your first time teaching this training. It can lower their interest and desire to learn. (It’s OK to tell the client, though)
- Follow the pre-arranged course schedule and plan for both if you’re going overtime or if you’re going to complete earlier. Know what you can skip or have additional materials or exercises in place for such an occasion.
- If you’re carrying out the course at a client’s classroom cleanup afterwards and tidy up. Leave the room as you found it.
Of course, there’s a lot more, but this should be enough to get you started. Remember that your main goal will be to deliver the training in a quality way and that everyone involved are pleased. It’s going to be challenging at first, but it’s worth it.
And it will help you build new partnerships. More on that in our next chapter.