Important Skills of a Trainer by Businessmaker Academy + HR Club Philippines

4 Important Skills of a Professional Trainer

What makes a trainer highly effective?  Let us go back to a time when we were in school. Most of us sat at a desk with a teacher in front of us and hopefully taking in the lessons that our teachers were presenting to us. Back them, classes were mainly a one-way process—the teacher talks, the students listen. That is how most of us associate learning. However, as we get older, we see learning in a completely different perspective. As adults, we tend to be more discerning as we have needs that we would like to satisfy. One of those is our natural craving for learning.

Trainers as Participants

At one point in our lives, we have become participants in some training events.  Our experience may have made us want to emulate the effective trainers and forget about the bad ones. A successful training workshop can have a profound impact on participants.  Training programs can either spark professional development and personal growth to the participants. And one big factor to this success is the trainer.   

Let us discuss 4 essential skills to make a trainer exemplary in this field.

#1 Problem-solving skills

Training programs are designed to solve problems in the organization and trainers must be able to identify the training issues.  There are three issues that training can fix.  One, a gap in knowledge where employees need to know information.  Two, a gap in skill where employees need to know how to do something, and three, a gap in ability. If the issue is not related to a gap in at least one of these three areas, then training is not the right solution.


Let’s say that there is a conflict between two employees in the company, and you were asked by the Human Resource Manager to conduct a team-building workshop to resolve the conflict.  Would you just accept the request and come up with the modules? No, as trainers, we must be able to identify the training issue.  Would the team-building activity solve the gaps?  Is there a gap in knowledge, skill, or ability?  An exceptional trainer knows that training can only solve the problem if you’re missing a KSA, knowledge, skill, or ability.

#2 Project Management Skills

Typically, trainers may not be involved in all the stages of the development of a program. Your teams may have subject matter experts and/or instructional designers, as some companies do. However, effective trainers will take the time to assess the course design and adapt the content to meet the learning needs of the participants. In doing so, it helps them align with the business measures and the desired performance outcomes specially during the delivery of the program.

Training Program as Project

The training program is the project that a trainer must effectively deliver. It’s a lot like building a dream house. First, you have to think about you want your house to look like.  You would ask the services of an architect to create a blueprint that specifies how the house should be built.  You wouldn’t just be gathering nailing boards together. This is the same thing as with your training programs, you have to carefully consider the learning objectives. Next is to create a design that will achieve your goals. Materials and required resources are then put together. A professional trainer must be able to make an analysis of the training needs, draw out the objectives, design the program, implement and evaluate the outcome of the project.

#3 Facilitation Skills

The key to learning is interaction.  Participants actually learn and retain information better when their minds are active.  Excellent trainers manage the transfer of learning competency. To ensure learning, the training program requires activities and materials that will help participants apply what they learn on the job.

Moment of Truth

Trainers must remember two things when facilitating discussions in class.  First, you need to challenge the participants to stretch their abilities by applying new knowledge or skills.  Second, you have to encourage participants by creating a positive learning environment. As facilitators, help your participants achieve the moment of triumph. That moment is defined as that particular time when they overcome a challenging problem.  Oh yes, being challenged by the trainer may be a bit uncomfortable for some participants at first. But when they’ve learned something new, they would feel great. That is their moment of triumph.

#4 Leadership Skills Communication

Leadership skills would cover two important abilities of effective trainers.  First is the communication skills.  Professional trainers are able to communicate clearly and effectively. The audience is more essential than the topic, this is one of the secrets to effective communication. This is the reason why trainers should establish a clear presence making it easier for participants to tune in to their message. Be mindful of the body language and try to keep an open, welcoming, and energetic posture.


Second, is the ability to motivate and engage the participants in the learning process.  Effective trainers draw connection between the course material and how it will help participants in their job. They relate new ideas through familiar examples. Professional trainers recognize the importance of building trust with participants. Trust is a powerful motivational tool and participants are more likely to buy into your message after you earn their trust. In that way,  you can expect active participation from them.

Participants’ Role in Learning

Trainers need to encourage participants to transfer new knowledge, skills, and abilities back to the job.  But in as much as the trainers have a big role in the success of the program, equally important is the role of the participants in the learning process. They need to take responsibility for their own learning. The role of the trainer is to do the best he can to set off the participants on the right track.  

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top