21st Century Trainer Skills

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Today it is generally accepted that the average trainer will have, along with his/her vocational expertise, skills in instructional design processes and group facilitation. That is, he/she can both design and deliver face-to-face training.

In recent years, additional skill sets have been added to what many trainers are expected to have in their training tool kits:

  • business acumen,
  • systems and compliance,
  • organizational knowledge, and increasingly,
  • virtual facilitation skills for events such as webinars.

I would like to briefly discuss in this post the skills related to producing videos for educational purposes as the natural evolution of today's multimedia technology used in training. Trainers will need to be proficient in multimedia content creation and production, because multimedia communication will be a core skill of tomorrow's professional.

Any person who needs to communicate in his job needs to be proficient at multimedia communication. But in the learning profession, there will come a time when multimedia production skills, such as video production, move from desired to essential criteria on job descriptions. This scares some people, but it shouldn't. This fear often comes from the assumption that multimedia skills are largely technical. They're not.

While multimedia has a technical component to it, it is less about gadgets than it is about content. We need technical skills to fire up Microsoft Word, but these skills are not what make a good piece of writing. The multimedia trainer will be more an expert in multimedia content than in multimedia technology. And instead of knowing every piece of technology and software known to humanity, he/she will in fact have the skill of being able to learn it quickly when necessary.

Developing the multimedia competencies of content development involves much about communication and learning. Communication and learning are closely related. I define communication as the process of creating shared understanding. And I see learning as taking communication one step further so that
shared understanding is followed by retention and application.

Videos will be use in a face-to-face delivery to illustrate demonstrations, in an e-learning platform, in mobile devices, offering a valuable and now cost-effective way to support learning. It is important for today's trainers that are willing to incorporate videos into their practice, that understand videos as another delivery media that can add value to training, but the quality of training will continue to be determined by the quality and relevance of the instructional design.

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