I once invited my girlfriend home to showcase my culinary skill, though it was just an attempt at making vegetable fried rice. The entire effort lasted a gruelling 3 hours. Out of the 3 hours spent in the kitchen, more than 2 hours were spent cleaning and dicing the vegetables. I gave up when my final attempt tasted unpalatable. Embarrassed, I made the wise decision of buying it. She devoured the dish and left very little for me.
All is well that ends well. Lesson learnt, cooking is not my forte! My girlfriend became my wife and since cooking is not her forte too, we eat out a lot. We do not spend time re-inventing the wheel!!
A close friend of my mine, also in the training profession, a process trainer, learnt it the hard way. He was a very talented process trainer. The CEO of his company, impressed by his ability to brilliantly articulate ideas and keep up the interest of participants all through a 6-hour process training, entrusted him the task of training the mid-level managers on presentation skills. My friend who was always ready for a challenge accepted the task gleefully. He had 5 days to prepare a 2-day presentation skills training module.
What transpired the next 3 days was arduous and yet funny (well, funny for me). After seven hours of work he called me and said that he was yet to finalize on an outline. His exact words describing his ordeal was “This is worse than searching for a needle in a hay stack especially when you are not sure if what you need is a needle.” Before the close of day he rushed to the neighbourhood library and got 3 books that claimed tall on how presentations are made effective . That night he hardly slept but managed to collate adequate information.
The next day at office, barring few short breaks the entire day was spent on creating a PowerPoint. In the evening he wanted me to review his PowerPoint. It was a 48 MB file with 322 slides. I made it very clear that I would not go through his PowerPoint and left him with a small word of wisdom – “Ideally an 8 hour training day should not have more than 35 slides.” And so his second night was spent cutting down 80% of the slides.
On the third morning at office my friend sends me a mail with a compact 1MB PowerPoint as attachment and a subject line reading “size zero – presentation skill program.” As I perused his PowerPoint and spoke to him on what methodologies he intends adopting, I realized his program was heading for a disaster. He spent the 3rd day at office working on the participant handbook and few handouts. In the evening when we met I told him what I felt about his preparation and narrated my fried rice story. I suggested he should buy online soft skills training materials that come with PowerPoint, facilitator guide, participant handout, handbook and other related training objects. He looked at me with mixed emotions. He was relieved that his ordeal might just come to an end but he was piqued with me for not advising him of this option earlier.
I am sure there are lot of us out there who would love do our own stuff. It’s good as long as we have the luxury of time.
If not, why re-invent the wheel, just buy it!!
Consider buying the time-tested and proven soft skills training material created by the expert trainers of MMM Training Solutions.