Training Materials Buying Guide
Buying ready-made training materials will save you a lot of time and effort. Another great advantage is that you can tap into the expertise and knowledge of those specialised in producing such content. Well-researched training materials can do wonders in making your life easier and allow you to quickly meet market demand in delivering training courses.
However, as with any product, there are good training materials and there are bad ones. At Skills Converged, we understand that there is no point in producing content that doesn’t help trainers by either saving their time, allowing them access to new content or making it easier for them to accept new work. This is why we provide fully editable content with full source files so you can customise materials if you wish, mix and match content or simply add content to meet certain training needs.
There are various providers in the market that offer training materials. The question is which one to go for and why. This guide helps you to see what you need to look for when purchasing such training resources. It lists a number of criteria that you must check to make sure a supplier’s products are useful.
The guide also contains comments about the training materials provided by Skills Converged so you can see what we offer for each parameter.
We have also developed a detailed training materials comparison checklist based on this guide which is useful when comparing products. You can find this checklist in the download section.
Content and Quality
What training materials are included in a product?
You can find what is included in each set of training materials here.
How current is the content?
Our products are based on the latest research on training methodologies. Our qualified and experienced Subject Matter Experts provide us with the best content in their fields. The content is designed using the latest design principles to make them engaging, useful, educational and memorable. Your delegates don’t deserve to endure a 90’s style Power Point presentation and that is what we always aim to avoid.
How is the content structured?
Each product is targeted at a particular subject area. The broad field of soft skills mean that there are often too many subjects to cover in a one day course. This means that each course must target a particular area. We design our courses in a way that allows you to mix and match sessions from different courses, thereby creating custom courses as necessary based on your specific training needs. This feature helps you to easily offer custom-made courses to your clients.
How much details are provided about the syllabus of the course?
We provide the objectives, general description and a summary of all sessions for each product. This is included in the product’s specific page. We also provide the philosophy behind the development of each course which further helps you see what the course aims to achieve.
How many slides are included?
It is important to get what you pay for. We adhere to specific standards to produce the slides. In particular:
- The slides are designed to be visually nice, uncluttered and easy to read. We strongly aim to avoid death-by-power-point.
- The slides are designed to help a trainer convey a message as efficiently and elegantly as possible.
- We provide comprehensive instructions to the trainer so it is easy to see what needs to be covered while going through each slide.
To satisfy all three design choices, we place a lot of content in the trainer’s script. After all, there is no point for the trainer to read through a slide for delegates and there is no point for delegates to see trainer script in the projected slides.
On average this means that we have about 70 to 100 slides for a one-day course which varies from course to course. Remember though, there is an old saying that the number of pages of a book doesn’t represent how good it is; so always consider the overall package.
How much detail is included in slides? Are they just a series of bullet points?
Slides are designed to be minimalist when possible. Bullet-point slides can be boring for delegates, though they can be useful for trainers. We aim to avoid bullet points when possible and instead provide a comprehensive script for trainers. This allows trainers to show a highly targeted slide which is aesthetically pleasing while still knowing what they need to cover when they show it.
Is the training material generic?
For each topic, we aim to be as specific as possible. If you want to teach a generic course, such as one on general interpersonal skills, you can customise it by combining a series of sessions from different courses such as anger management, giving feedback, listening skills, handling difficult people and so on.
How well-presented are the slides? How are they aesthetically?
We value the artistic part of our design greatly. We believe that by appealing to the emotional side of delegates and by presenting an uncluttered and visually stimulating slides, we can increase the learning efficiency and in particular memory retention rates. Countless research shows that humans can memorise images much easier than sound, words or text. We take advantage of this by showing relevant images and animations when appropriate to facilitate the memorisation of content.
How focused is each course?
Each product focuses on a particular topic within soft skills. There is a lot of content provided in workbooks for each topic. Depending on the level of your teaching, you can cover certain topics in-depth as the content is there and ready to be used. If not needed, you can easily skip over them and move on to subjects that are more important to your specific audience.
What is the word count and page counts?
In general, a workbook for a one-day course contains about 10,000 words. Trainer’s script is about 12,000 words. A workbook is about 60 pages for a one-day course. This varies from course to course. Our experience and the feedback from our customers suggest that this is an ideal amount to cover in a day without overwhelming delegates.
Does the course contain any exercises? How many are included?
Each course has a different structure and several exercises are included in each course based on the skills taught. Some courses contain optional exercises which allow you to extend a course beyond its nominal length or engage delegated on certain topics for longer if needed.
Is a training schedule provided and is it well-defined?
We provide an agenda and pacing guidelines with every course. In addition, the trainer script has specific instructions on what to cover at every point in the course so you will know exactly how to progress forward during course delivery.
Impact and Application
Does the course identify who it is for and what it aims to achieve?
Each course contains a section on the purpose of the course and the main objective. Each course is then divided into a number of sessions, explaining their specific purpose and objective.
Is the material clear?
Clarity is an absolute priority at Skills Converged. We believe there is no point in explaining something in a training course that most people don’t understand. A training course is not a pitch aiming to demonstrate the complexity of a topic; instead it is about transferring skills quickly and reliably. That requires clarity which is why we pay so much attention to it when designing our courses.
Are there any interactive exercises?
All our training materials are designed around interactive exercises. Hand-on teaching is central to our design and we strongly avoid teaching using lecturing. Our training materials are therefor designed to facilitate this.
Does the material relate to current realities through examples, case studies and recent research?
Most courses come with many examples and case studies that clearly capture a realistic situation. Many of these examples are provided through interactive exercises which further help delegates to remember the lessons by analogy and memorable examples.
Ease of Use
How well is the training explained for the trainer?
We pay a lot of attention to make sure that our products will save you time. As a result we design our training materials in a way that allows you to familiarise yourself with the content quickly and efficiently. We don’t think any other supplier goes as far as we go to achieve this aim and we are proud of what we have achieved.
For each course, we provide general guidelines on running the course. We provide a series of guidelines on how to deliver high-impact courses using the latest established training methodologies.
In addition, each course contains an agenda, instructions on any pre-course assignments and also the preferred pacing. The package also includes the trainer’s script with detailed notes on what to say at each point during the course and as you go through the slides. It helps you with stories to tell, exercises, quizzes and asking thought provoking questions to engage your audience. The package also contains a recommended reading list which is useful for both you and your delegates.
Do I have to study several books in addition to the training resources provided to be able to teach the course?
You don’t necessarily have to. The workbook is written much like a book and we recommend that you read the workbook first to familiarise yourself with the content. You can then move on to the trainer’s notes and learn more about what to cover and how to cover it at each stage. Of course, reading books especially those relevant to the course will increase your confidence and prepare you for more demanding delegates.
How much preparation is required when going through the training materials?
This highly depends on your expertise and overall familiarity with the subject. In general, you may need to spend a few days reading and rehearsing the training content before delivering the course.
Does the material clearly state additional resources that might be needed to prepare for and run the course?
Each course comes with a recommended list of reading which you can use to study about the course topic or find more content and resources to cover during the course.
Terms & Conditions
Can I customise the training materials as I see fit?
Absolutely. We believe you should not be restricted with how you can use training materials when delivering a course. As stated in our terms & conditions, our flexible license allows you to customise the content as you see fit.
Can I put my name or my company’s logo on the workbook or slides and use it when I deliver training?
Yes you can. You can put your name and logo on the workbook, slides and exercises in line with our terms and conditions.
Would I get the materials in print, in PDF or in source files such as MS Word and MS Power Point?
Upon purchasing training materials through the shopping cart on our website, you will receive emails with links to digital downloads. The package contains editable source files in MS Word and Power Point, making it easy for you to customise them if you wish to do so.
Can I have access to samples of training materials?
We provide a comprehensive set of screenshots of each training course which illustrates what each product contains. You can explore the samples and screenshots on each corresponding product page. If you want to know more about any particular course, please contact support.
You can also download fully usable samples of courses here for further evaluation and study. The free package also contains several useful training resources which you can use to enhance your courses.
Can I see the type of content you produce so I can judge its quality?
We provide one of the largest collections of free training resources on the net and many trainers rely on our library to find useful content and exercises or get ideas. Please explore the site for details.
If you are new to our site, start from our free training materials. Also consider registering to use all the services and training resources we provide. Registration is free.
Support & Value
How much support do I get before choosing the products I want?
You are welcome to contact support for any questions in regard with our products. We will do our best to help you.
Would I get a discount if I buy more than one product?
We have a very attractive and popular discount system. It is used commonly by new and returning clients to expand their course portfolio affordably. For details please see the applicable discount rates when purchasing a bundle of training materials. Unlike most other suppliers, we don’t limit the bundle to any specific set of subjects or courses. You can choose any combination of courses and save on the total price.
Are training materials good value for money?
We don’t think you can find products of such high quality and flexible terms and at affordable prices anywhere else. As always, we stand by our products, we are proud of what we make and constantly listen to our customer’s feedback to improve them.
Would the training product bring the kind of value and change I want to the organisation and people I am going to train?
We work hard to make sure our courses help delegates and improve their personal and interpersonal skills. We continuously test our products when we provide them ourselves and also collect feedback from the training community that use our training materials. These two sets of feedback allow us to constantly improve our products and increase their impact.
Together, with your excellent training delivery, we aim to bring change to people’s lives all around the world and improve their quality of life.