Foreword xix Preface xxi Acknowledgments xxiii How to Use This Book xxv About the Companion Website xxix Introduction xxxi Part I The Foundation of Hands-On Learning 1 1 Hands-On Learning in the Classroom: Articulate Your Approach 3 Product Training as You Know It 3 What Makes Training Effective? 4 Your Goal: Proficiency 6 Articulating Your Training Approach 6 Three Things to Document 7 Adult Learning Principles: The Foundation of Hands-On Learning 8 The Strategy of Hands-On Learning 10 The Structure of Hands-On Learning 10 The Delivery of Hands-On Learning 10 Conclusion 11 Making It Practical 11 Notes 12 2 Experiencing Learning: Emphasize Skill over Information 13 How Does One Develop a Skill? 13 Remember How You Became an Expert 14 Build on Your Students Experiences 14 Create Experiences in the Classroom 15 Let Them Learn from Negative Experiences 16 Allow Students to Make Mistakes 17 Capitalize on Informal Learning 17 Allow Students to Share Their Experiences 18 Give Lecture and Observation Their Rightful Place 19 Provide a Structure for Your Hands-On Training 19 Phase One: Exhibit the Product 19 Phase Two: Execute a Function 20 Phase Three: Explore Independently 20 Apply All Three Phases 21 Conclusion 21 Making It Practical 21 Note 22 3 You Know It, Can You Teach It? Overcoming Your Own Intelligence 23 Address Your Biggest Challenge: Yourself 23 The Four Stages of Competency Applied to Instructors 24 Unconsciously Unskilled 25 Consciously Unskilled 25 Consciously Skilled 25 Unconsciously Skilled 25 Why Experts Find It Difficult to Teach 26 Experts Rarely Remember How They Perfected Their Skill 26 Experts Have Trouble Distinguishing Between the Simple and the Difficult 26 Experts Don t Differentiate Between the Essential and the Nonessential 27 How Experts Can Teach It 27 Ask the Instructor (Yourself) the Right Questions 28 Conclusion 29 Making It Practical 29 Note 30 4 Ready or Not? Why Some Students Are More Ready to Learn Than Others 31 The Four Principles of Learner-Readiness 31 They Must Recognize the Need for Learning 32 What if Their Reason for Learning Is Wrong? 32 They Must Take Responsibility for Their Learning 32 Questions Demonstrate Learning 33 The Instructor s Responsibility 33 They Must Relate It to Their Experience 34 They Must Be Ready to Apply It 35 Conclusion 35 Making It Practical 36 Part II The Strategy of Hands-On Learning 37 5 It is Never Just Product Training: Why You Should Offer the Training 39 Product Solution Training Versus Talent Development 39 Employee Product Training 40 Customer Product Training 41 Business Plan 41 Training as a Cost of Doing Business 41 Training as a Profit Center 42 Training that Sells Products 44 Conclusion 44 Making It Practical 45 Note 46 6 From Good to Great: Defining the Focus of Effective Product Training 47 Aim at the Right Target: Doing Versus Knowing 47 Change the Approach: Facilitator Versus Lecturer 48 Call It the Right Thing: Training Versus Presentation 49 Make It Sustainable: Standardized Versus Customized 51 Measure the Right Things: Performance Versus Reactions 51 Value the Right Things: Results Versus Head Count 52 Use the Right Delivery Methods: Effectiveness Versus Availability 52 Continue the Conversation: Process Versus Event 54 Keep Improving: Progress Versus Contentment 55 Conclusion 55 Making It Practical 55 7 What Is Expected Must Be Inspected: Assessing and Evaluating Hands-On Learning 57 Assessing the Individual 58 Assessing Their Knowledge 58 Quizzes 58 Exams 59 About Creating Exam Questions 59 About Administrating the Exam 60 Assessing Their Skills 60 Creative Assessments 61 Combining the Grades 61 Evaluating the Class 62 Evaluating Perceptions 64 A Note about Measuring Instructor s Facilitation Skills 65 Conclusion 65 Making It Practical 65 Notes 66 Part III The Structure of Hands-On Learning 67 8 Dethroning King Content: A Paradigm Shift 69 When Content Is King 70 What if Content Is All They Need? 70 How to Tell if Content Is King 71 Giving Content Its Rightful Place 71 Introducing the 4 x 8 Proficiency Design Model 72 Is Training the Solution? 73 Training Will Not Improve Your Product or Solution 74 Training Is Not a Marketing Gimmick 74 How Can You Know if Training Is the Solution? 75 Conclusion 75 Making It Practical 76 Note 77 9 Designing for Proficiency: Determining the Curriculum 79 The 4 x 8 Proficiency Design Model 80 Level 1 80 Business Goal 80 Intended Audience 81 Level 2 82 Objectives 82 Exercise 83 Level 3 84 Outline 84 Constructive Activities 87 Determine Delivery Method 88 Delivery Method 88 Duration 89 Maximum Number of Students 89 Other Logistics 89 Level 4 89 Provide an Assessment to Validate the Learning 89 Create the Content 89 Why Is Content After Assessment? 90 Conclusion 90 Making It Practical 91 10 Pixels or Paper? How to Build the Content and Deliverables 93 Ask the Questions Again 93 Create a Student Guide 94 Create Your Visual Aids 95 Creating Presentation Slides 96 Use the Software Correctly 96 Don t Rely on a Presentation 96 Don t Let the Presentation Tie You Down 97 Know Your Material 97 Creating Handouts 98 Statement of Indemnification 98 Create an Instructor s Guide 99 Running a Pilot Class 99 When an Instructor Teaches This Class for the First Time 99 When This Class Is Being Taught for the First Time 100 Handpick the Audience 100 Plan on Extra Time 100 Be Aware of Too Many Auditors 100 Debrief with Everyone 101 Debrief with Your Core Team 101 Conclusion 101 Making It Practical 101 Part IV The Facilitation of Hands-On Learning 103 11 Speak Up: Effective Verbal Engagement 105 Decorative Speaking 106 Controlled Energy 106 Controlled Breathing 106 Controlled Pitch 107 Controlled Tempo 108 Controlled Volume 108 Controlled Articulation 109 Declarative Speaking 109 Controlled Jargon 109 Verbal Crutches 110 If Your Use of Verbal Crutches Is a Communication Issue 110 If Your Use of Verbal Crutches Is a Habit 111 Poor Grammar 111 Conclusion 111 Making It Practical 112 Notes 113 12 Shut Up: Effective Listening and Engagement 115 What You Are Listening for 115 What They Already Know (or Think They Know) 116 What They Want to Learn 116 What They Have Learned 117 The Foundation for Engaging Learning 117 Students Learn Better When They re Awake 117 Learners Require Time to Absorb the Learning 117 Set the Expectation for Engagement 118 Practical Engagement in the Classroom 118 Engaging as a Conversation 118 Engaging with Questions and Answers 120 Why Instructors Ask Questions 120 When and How to Ask Questions 121 Answering Student Questions 122 Engaging Group Learning Activities 123 Engaging Labs and Exercises 124 Icebreakers, Games, and Other Interactive Options 124 When Should They Be Done? 125 Games and Gamification 125 Interactive Technology 126 Conclusion 126 Making It Practical 126 13 Stand Up: Effective Nonverbal Engagement 129 Observed Communication: What They See You Saying 129 Posture 130 Facial Expressions 131 Eye Contact 131 Gestures 132 Physical Presence 132 Physical Appearance 133 Perceived Communication: What They Feel You Are Saying 134 Be Genuine and Humble 134 Be Likeable and Pleasant 134 Be Available and Prepared 134 Be Positive and Have Fun 134 Be Confident and in Control 135 Environmental Influences 136 Room Layout 136 Furniture, Lighting, and Technology 136 Know Your Environment 136 Hosting a Training Event 137 Make Your Students Feel Welcome 137 Conclusion 138 Making It Practical 139 Note 140 14 The Smartest Engineer: And Other Difficult Students 141 Set the Expectations at the Beginning 141 Take Responsibility for Your Learning 141 Be Prepared for Difficult Responses 142 The Stubborn Mule 142 The Pessimist 143 The Helper 143 The Talker 144 The Extreme Introvert 144 The Sleeper 144 The Expert 145 Conclusion 145 Making It Practical 146 15 Virtual Facilitation: Tips for Effective Webinars 147 What Doesn t Change 147 The Philosophical Approach 147 The Structure 148 The Definition 148 Facilitating Virtually 148 Regarding the Presentation 149 Regarding the Tool 149 About the Event 149 Conclusion 150 Making It Practical 150 16 Technical Presentations: Effectively Design and Deliver Technical Information 151 When to Use Presentations 151 When the Objective Is to Deliver Information 152 When Time Is Limited 152 When the Audience Is Large 153 To Motivate and Encourage Change 154 How to Design Effective Technical Presentations 154 Determine the Delivery Method (Optional) 156 Informational Objectives 156 Motivational Objectives 156 Delivering Your Presentation 159 Ask Questions 159 Practice, Practice, Practice 159 Relax and Have Fun! 160 Conclusion 160 Making It Practical 160 17 Culture and Proficiency: Training for Proficiency in a Global Environment 161 What Doesn t Change 162 The Philosophy of Hands-on Learning 162 The Strategy of Hands-on Learning 162 The Structural Design of Hands-on Learning 163 What Does Change 163 The Delivery of Hands-on Learning 163 The Facilitation of Hands-on Learning 164 Other Tips for the Traveling Trainer 165 Conclusion 165 Making It Practical 166 Part V The Operation of Hands-On Learning 167 18 Certifying Proficiency: The Fundamentals of a Product Proficiency Certification Program 169 What Is Product Proficiency Certification? 169 When Do You Need a Certification Program? 170 When Is a Certificate Program Sufficient? 170 Why You Should Consider a Certification Program 171 If the Product Is Complex 171 If Your Product Is Unique 172 Products That Are New to the Market 172 When the Go-to-Market Strategy Is Indirect or Complex 172 If It Involves More Than One Party to Integrate 173 If There Are Standards That Must Be Met 174 If There Are Industry or Company Standards That Must Be Met 174 When Quality Standards Must Be Verified 174 If the Product or Technology Changes Regularly 175 If Misuse Could Cause a Safety Issue 175 The Requirements of Product Proficiency Certification 175 Proof of Authenticity 176 Board of Decision-Makers 176 Curriculum and Program Acceptance 176 Proof of Conformity 176 Education or Experience 177 Exam and/or Proficiency Assessment 177 Code of Conduct 177 Recertification or Maintenance 177 Instructor Certification Process 178 Proof of Impartiality 179 Selection and Opportunity 179 Administration and Traceability 179 Exceptions and Deviations 179 Documenting the Certification Program 180 Certification Program Document 180 Process Documents 180 Conclusion 182 Making It Practical 182 Notes 182 19 Managing the Details: The Effective Administration of Hands-On Learning 183 Measurability 183 Sustainability 184 Revision Control 185 Simple Revision Tracking 185 Global Enterprise Classification 186 Propose, Approve, Implement 191 Train the Trainer 191 Prerequisites and Follow-Up 192 Prerequisites 192 Follow-Up 192 Traceable 193 Tracking People and Programs 193 Tracking Business Results 195 Tracking Compliance 196 Tracking Revenue Generation 196 Tracking Cost Savings 196 Improve Services 196 Conclusion 197 Making It Practical 197 Notes 197 20 Developing New Product Talent: Effective Mentoring of New and Junior Employees 199 Why Mentoring Matters 199 Why It Matters to the Mentor 200 Employers Value Mentoring Experts 200 Successful Experts Are Teaching Experts 201 Why It Matters to Your Company 201 Mentored Employees Have Real Input Sooner 201 More Meaningful Experience Sooner 202 Mentoring for Proficiency 202 Multiple Mentors 202 Real-Time Mentoring 203 Partnership Mentoring 203 The Foundation of a Mentoring Program 203 Develop a Structure for Success 203 Get Appropriate Endorsement and Approvals 204 Set Realistic Goals 204 Create Individual Objectives 204 Define the Qualifications of a Good Mentor 205 Aptitude 205 Attitude 205 Conclusion 206 Making It Practical 206 21 Now, Go Do It: To Be an Effective Trainer, You Must Train 207 Define Your Approach 207 DO Articulate How You Will Make Learning Effective 207 DO Emphasize Proficiency over Knowledge 207 DO Become Consciously Skilled on Your Products 208 DO Identify Students That Are Ready to Learn 208 Develop with a Strategy 208 DO Demonstrate the Value of Training 208 DO Improve Your Training from Good to Great 208 DO Inspect and Evaluate Your Training 208 Design with a Structure 208 DO Dethrone King Content 208 DO Use the 4 x 8 Proficiency Design Model 209 DO Build Engaging Content and Deliverables 209 Deliver with a Purpose 209 DO Speak Up 209 DO Shut Up and Listen to Your Students 209 DO Stand Up and Be Confident 209 DO Prepare for Difficult Students and Circumstances 209 DO Deliver Effective Virtual Training 209 DO Deliver Effective Technical Presentations 210 DO Allow for Flexibility When Training in Other Cultures 210 Don t Forget the Details 210 DO Define Certification Properly 210 DO Manage the Details Properly 210 DO Mentor New Employees 210 Conclusion 210 Making It Practical 211 Part VI For the Boss: Executive Overviews 213 22 The Foundation of Hands-On Learning: An Executive Summary 215 An Overview 215 How You Can Help 216 Conclusion 217 23 The Strategy of Hands-On Learning: An Executive Summary 219 Overview 219 How You Can Help 220 Conclusion 221 24 The Structure of Hands-On Learning: An Executive Summary 223 Overview 223 How You Can Help 224 Conclusion 225 25 The Facilitation of Hands-On Learning: An Executive Summary 227 Overview 227 How You Can Help 228 Conclusion 229 26 The Operation of Hands-On Learning: An Executive Summary 231 Overview 231 How You Can Help 232 Conclusion 233 Index 235
Daniel W. Bixby is a Training Director, in the USA. A training professional with a Masters Degree in Education, he has worked for a range of technology companies including Honeywell, Telex Communications, and Bosch Communications and has served as a chapter president of the Association for Talent Development. He specializes in creating training programs that improve the success of very complicated products. Working with engineers and product managers, he developed various courses, building the objectives and curricula from scratch. He has traveled around the world helping engineers and other technical experts become effective product instructors.