Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Is Telling Training?

Recently, I saw an announcement for a presentation that declared, "Telling isn't training."

Permit me to submit a mild dissent.

I've attended many workshops and speeches where the audience longs for the speaker to get to the point. No, we don't want to do any role-playing. No, we don't need another group exercise. And if you bring out a game, we're going to start throwing chairs.

Tell us.

We're tough. We can take direct communication. We don't have to discover it on our own. We aren't asking for a Eureka! moment. We want practical information that is clearly and interestingly stated within a reasonable amount of time. Give us some case examples. Use visual aids.

But tell us.

Now we do want to be able to ask questions. We'd prefer to surface those while they're hot and not in some structured, near-the-end-of-the-session segment. We expect you to be dynamic enough to juggle a variety of unexpected points and then get back to the main theme.

But don't waste our time with a bunch of fluff.

We want to be told.


Eclecticity said...


Well said.

Anonymous said...

Tell me and I'll forget.
Show me and I'll remember.
Involve me and I'll understand.

I did not see the presentation that you're talking about here. But, the title is GREAT! "Telling" is not "training." There is no question about that title.

Your points are good. But, that title says a lot and I would tend to strongly agree with it!

Michael Wade said...




It's a great title and they may well address my concerns in the class. I have nothing against teaching approaches such as role playing with certain topics. My mild dissent is based on seeing far too many workshops and presentations that are inflated and where the exercises actually detract from the effectiveness of the training. I tend to use a lot of case examples in my own workshops, but move things at a pretty fast pace.

Anonymous said...