Over the past few months, the team has been taking advantage of conferences happening around the state. At the center of all of these conferences were knowledgeable experts speaking and providing training. However, upon examining the materials our team brought back, we found the training was not always up-to-date and usually did not cover new, relevant practices or sources of information. Everything changes quickly on the Internet, whether it is changes in privacy law, new best practices, or the popularity of social media platforms. As investigators and researchers, it is important we budget our time and ensure we are spending our funds wisely to keep abreast of these changes.
Here are some quick easy tips on how to make the most of your training experience.
Vet the Trainer
Beware of self-proclaimed experts. Many individuals actually work in areas tangentially related to the subject of the training. Learning the perspective of the trainer can greatly inform you about what to expect to learn from a training session. In order to ensure the trainer has working knowledge of the subject, research their biographies appearing on websites, news sources, and social media profiles. You can also use information present on conference websites and in related training files (see below) to see if trainers cover material from an angle that matches your needs. Additionally, these sources can give you an idea of when the trainer worked in this field, whether or not they are using up-to-date information and techniques, and if they routinely update materials or simply recycle the same information.
Get Free Materials Using Internet Searches
Many trainers and conferences post documents and videos online which are readily available for use. All you have to do is leverage Internet-based searches to your advantage. Good places to start looking for information are on websites of companies and individuals which provide training, conference websites, and document and video sharing websites. However, sometimes the information is not always easy to find. As training materials are most often posted in .pdf, .ppt, and .pptx formats, using a filetype search on Google can often make all of the difference. While free materials are not always the best materials, finding this information before you purchase training sessions can save you time and money by allowing you to explore your options and vet trainers.
Plan and Engage
The true key to getting the most out of your training experience is planning and preparation. Before you schedule your training regimen, you have to set your goals and measurable outcomes. There are many questions you should ask yourself before you register:
- What skills do you want to work during the training period?
- How will this training help you enhance these skills?
- Are there others in your office that could also benefit from this kind of training?
- What is your expense budget?
- Do you want in-person or webinar training?
- What questions might you have for the trainer on this subject?
Once you find the answers to these questions, you will have a better idea of how you and others in your organization can benefit from training. To enhance your experience at the training session, be attentive, take notes, form questions as issues arise, and ask those questions to the trainer during the session.
In business, you cannot afford to waste time or money. We can use the same skills utilized during investigations to vet out the other areas of business we encounter on a routine basis. All business intelligence is built upon a solid foundation of relevant, up-to-date knowledge and clear objectives. Who you select to teach you these skills can make all of the difference to your long-term success.