Home Mail

Training Officer Tip Archive

August 31, 2004 - Get Influential People to Champion Your Training Ideas - Part 3

We're back with the third and final part in our series on finding and utilizing champions for your training cause. We left off in July with a discussion of briefing your chosen advocates on your plan.

Designing and Delivering Your Briefing
Your briefing should be succinct, but not lacking in sufficient detail. You have worked hard up until this point designing your training plans, finding your champions, enlisting their help and scheduling a briefing for them. Now it's show time - how you design and deliver the briefing can make or break your initiative.

When you're designing your briefing, think about who your audience is. What kinds of personalities do they have? How do they like to process information? Do they like being talked to conversationally, or do they respond to supporting facts and figures better? But regardless of who comprises your audience, remember the First Commandment of Briefings - Thou Shalt Not Be Boring!

One of Benchmark Training's "Briefing and Presentations" instructors, Arnold Sanow, suggests that when preparing for your briefing consider these questions as well:

1) What is the objective of your briefing?
2) How will you open your briefing?
3) How will you organize it?
4) How will you keep your audience's interest?
5) How will you close the briefing?

The time of your champions is valuable. Thank them for investing it with you, but don't apologize for taking them away from other things. You need to have the attitude that your briefing is THE place to be, and that what you have to say to them can change your organization's way of looking at HCD, employee retention and recruitment. When you show you're serious about your subject, they will become engaged at your level of seriousness. If you aren't sure of yourself, they will pick up on this. Your non-verbal cues will tip them off. So, be confident and composed.

At key points in your briefing, check their temperature. Ask them if they are following your logic. Ask for feedback. Ask them questions about their experiences and whether they think your notions are on target. Don't be afraid to seek their advice; it will be extremely valuable as this will help them take partial ownership in your agenda. It will help you build rapport and strengthen your common cause of improving your workforce.

Following Up on the Briefing and Co-launching Your Initiative

As we stressed in Part 2 of this series, your follow up is of utmost importance. Follow up with your champions within one week of the briefing to get their feedback. Don't wait too long, or you can lose your momentum. When you follow up, ask them for added commitment by getting them to agree that they will stand by you when you propose your HCD vision to the decision makers. Remember to remind them what's in it for them in terms of credit, recognition and praise when you succeed. Ask them if it is okay to put their names and signatures on your proposals and get them to agree to answer questions for decision makers as your proposal is being evaluated. You need their influence, and now is the time to bring their influence to bear.

After you submit and present your plans to decision makers, remember that the scrutiny of your ideas will just be beginning. But unlike most bold plans, you will be prepared to defend your ideas because you are prepared and you have champions who will get your back. Even the most jaded bigwigs and purse string holders will be impressed by your strategies and the way you've chosen to employ them. Your success is not guaranteed, but you've positioned yourself nicely to be given a chance to strut your stuff.

Should you choose to use any pieces of advice discussed in this series, we'd love to hear how you make out. Email us at Benchmark Training at jgorman@benchmark-training.com. Keep up the good work!

Forward to a friend
Copyright © 2008
Home   |   About Us   |   Services   |   Tips & News   |   Information Request