Business experts

Expert opinion: When training the trainer makes investment sense

Written by Chris Dawes on .


For many business owners, capitalising on their knowledge and expertise by creating and delivering training is an obvious step and a potential income stream.

Owner managers of SMEs become subject matter experts, often having worked in their particular field for many years, building up a wealth of experience and knowledge which can help others.

Equally, business people may have to deliver training as part of a sales process, with the successful sale and adoption of a product or service depending on training the client in its use.

But just having that knowledge may not in itself be enough. Formulating it into a training programme is another step – and then it has to be successfully delivered.

As one business owner once commented to us: “I’m happy to talk to people about what I do, but it’s a world away from formally delivering a training course.

"Yet if a client is not provided with quality training, then the uptake and positive perception of our products or services could be reduced. Let alone justifying charging for training, whose purpose is to add value.”

Successful training can lead to increased sales, strengthen customer loyalty and enhance the trainer’s (and so the business’s) reputation by demonstrating knowledge and expertise.

But this can be a challenge for business people. Add to this mix the fact that training is mostly now online (due to the pandemic), that challenge can get ramped up to another level.

So here are some simple techniques we use at Open Dawes Training which will ensure your training adds value.

  • You know your stuff, but ‘imposter syndrome’ is common. Acknowledge the presence of this mental syndrome, but don’t let it make you question your knowledge; put it back in its box.
  • Training is not a scripted drama. Make a logical timeline of the topics you need to cover, then how that is embellished with content and context is up to you on the day and will vary from course to course. Less script means more of you!
  • The more engaging you and your training are, the more will be learnt. This also makes it more enjoyable for you.
  • Whilst one to one training can be flexible, with groups it is often better if the flow/order is maintained. It is okay to say, “hold that question, as we will be moving onto that shortly”.
  • Much of the coaching we provide in our presentation skills training applies here: slow down, take pauses, breathe, and make it a conversation, not a lecture.

We also draw on other key areas of our presentation skills training to ensure your knowledge is conveyed and received in the best possible light, covering areas such as nerves, dealing with audience interaction (or lack of) and questions, creating the structure and flow, preparation, dealing with the unexpected, verbal/physical communication and starting/finishing.

We have been very busy during this challenging 2020 providing our usual training remotely, helping individuals and businesses to present, hold meetings, or demonstrate remotely, and – unsurprisingly, therefore – also remotely training trainers to train remotely.

Remember, providing and receiving good training is mutually beneficial and so deserves to be given the same level of consideration as the products/services you are selling.

The skills and confidence that we are helping to instil are not only important for right now, but we believe will last long into the future.

Chris Dawes is managing director of Open Dawes Training, based in Swindon, which specialises in CPD accredited public speaking and presentation training for groups and individuals. Training is currently being delivered remotely and in safe and appropriate situations face-to-face. For more information visit