Of course your trainer should be professional and knowledgeable. But there is much more to successful training than those two elements. The training should also be engaging and fun. How well does the trainer relate to people's various skill levels? Your trainer should relate to people. And, as well as he can, he should try to tailor the training to your needs.
Training is more than just teaching tools. Good training educates about the thought process: how a computer program thinks, the reasoning behind good presentation practices, how certain practices make someone a better manager and produce better employees.
A bad trainer is overpaid at any price. A good trainer is always worth more than the fee. The difference between the two determines the success or failure of your training. Give me your employees for a day or two days and I'll make them more productive for their entire careers. Your company will recover my fee in productivity in the first week if not sooner.
The trainers I associate with are committed to the same quality of performance. And we all have the evaluations and bookings to prove it.
There are three pitfalls in the training market that can undermine the quality of training you receive. I think they are counterproductive to the ultimate goal: making the employee/student more productive. These pitfalls are:
1. Lowball Bids
Any company who blindly hires the lowest bidder without investigating the quality of the training will be disappointed. How much do you think they pay their trainers? What kind of trainers would work for those companies? They get the most inexperienced trainers or trainers who were rejected by other companies. You pay the price. They are late, have poor product knowledge, have poor customer service skills, and don't understand how to relate their training to your business. How do I know this? Because the companies who aren't thoroughly discouraged by the experience call me to clean up the mess. What good is the lowest bid if your employees learn nothing?
2. High Overhead Training Companies
Where does your fee go? To the trainer? No, to the franchise fee, office overhead, sales departments, marketing materials, etc. None of those things help make your training a success. The quality of the trainer determines the success or failure of your training.
Think about the kind of trainer you want: Polished, prepared, friendly, intelligent, experienced and many other qualities. In short, you want a professional. Do they pay their trainers like professionals? Ask your training company how they compensate the professional who does your training.
When you hire me, most of your fee goes to the trainer regardless of whether I do the training myself or assign one of my personally chosen associates.
3. Online or CD Training
Quality varies, but let's assume you purchase a good program. You can't ask it a question. It can't tell by the look on your face that you're confused. It can't give you another example. It provides one class for all regardless of your level of experience. These programs have their place. They can be a nice supplement to live training, but they are not a replacement for a good trainer.
There is one good CD product I can vouch for: CBT Clips by my friend Mike Shores. Mike is an excellent trainer and his clips are high quality and very easy to use. Even better, he can customize the clips to your organization's needs. Please remember, as with any automated training, they are best used as a supplement to live training.