You’ve mapped out your employees’ training needs;
Built a strategic learning plan for the entire year;
Committed a budget;
Created some executive buy-in and in-house buzz;
Now you’re off to the mission of finding and booking subject-matter experts to deliver different bits of training.
It’s not as simple as it sounds…
These experts need to be professional, resourceful, interesting, compelling, and attentive to the audience – all in one!
If you ever had the experience of standing on the sidelines, watching your staff losing their attention while the expert you hired doesn’t deliver well… you know how frustrating it could be.
How, then, we can avoid the pitfalls of bringing in the “wrong” expert? What should we really pay attention to?
The experts really need to know their domain in and out and deliver high-quality training or talk. Superficial knowledge, or one that is taken from books and podcasts, won’t cut it. Make sure they are experienced and qualified to deliver.
If you would hire a musician, you would expect them to know how to play their instrument, right? If you’d hire a chef instructor, you would want to know that they cook on a regular basis, correct? The same goes for professional experts in the corporate setting – you want to know that they know the territory, and can share real and relatable examples, learned by trial and error.
Oftentimes, the true learning part starts with the Q&A and the conversations with the participants. Check first that the expert leaves enough time for it, but more than that – they can handle challenging questions, objections, unexpected aspects of the topic, and so on. The way to do it is to use the prep call with the expert to ask them such a challenging question – as if you were the participants – and see how they react!
Interesting and compelling
Even if you brought a brian surgent or a rocket scientist, that won’t ensure you a highly interesting and interactive session, as you would hope for.
Professional knowledge doesn’t always equal natural charisma, experience in delivering workshops and talks, or even how to design a good presentation.
Ask the expert for testimonials and confirm those, ask to watch videos, you can even ask for the session flow and exercises – to check that those are not boring, too obvious, etc. Ask to see their slides, if you’re not sure. You’d be surprised how important your input and involvement will have for the quality of the session.
Yes, you want them to be authentic. But if the expert can’t be flexible to your company’s specific requirements and can’t adjust to meet the audience’s needs – that will likely be a flop.
Explain to the expert what would you hope the participants will receive by the end of the training. Share with them the company DNA and challenges, and ask for their response.
You will most likely to see quite immediately if they are flexible and professional enough to adjust their content so it will be tailored to your people – or if are they stuck in their niche, and don’t fit your unique situation.
There’s always a fine balance between letting them do what they’re great at (very important!) and ensuring that the message and method are suited to the audience.
Remember that when investing resources in bringing in an expert for employee training, everyone wins when all aspects are being met: needs, quality, interest, and a great experience.
Ready to explore how Uppey.ai helps companies find and book the optimal experts for the next training, workshop, or talk? Hit the button and let’s start: