What Attributes Should You Look for in a Workshop Instructor?

Walking out of a classroom with the impression that you didn’t learn as much as you should have is never a good feeling. After an experience like that it can sometimes be hard to put your finger on what exactly went wrong:

* Was the instructor lacking in real-world experience?

* Did he or she fail to explain the material clearly enough?

* Was the content just not presented in a relatable manner?

Whether it was one of these issues or some combination of them, leaving frustrated is unfortuante on many levels. If the registration fee came out of your budget, then the money was wasted. And no matter who wrote the check, you personally paid with lost time.

A poor instructor can be the reason industry professionals leave a classroom discouraged, defeated and disheartened. The instructor is the leader and he or she holds responsibility for delivering a rewarding training program that meets the goals of the attendees. Whether those goals are new skills or practical, what was the point of attending the workshop if your goals haven’t been met?

Here are three (3) attributes that any instructor should possess if they hope to deliver a meaningful workshop especially if the topic is PID controller tuning:

Expertise in the Field

The most important attribute that an instructor must possess is knowledge of the topic they’re expected to teach. Indeed, a good lecturer must be a subject matter expert in his or her field. While they must possess the right academic credentials, it’s arguably more important that they have extensive and relevant experience in the field.

An instructor’s foundation in the material is key to leading a workshop. When that foundation includes several years of real-world experience, then workshop attendees should have confidence that they’re being taught by an expert.

Engaging and Entertaining

Any run of the mill instructor can cover a topic like Process Control, but an exceptional instructor will captivate his or her class while covering even the finer points of the PID. Whereas an instructor who drones on will eventually put a classroom to sleep, an interesting instructor will use presentations, simulations and other tools to keep attendees on their toes.

The most effective instructors expertly juggle their use of lectures, demonstrations, and discussions in such a way that even busy practitioners remain attentive. Keeping everyone engaged is the hallmark of an excellent instructor.

Connection to the Audience

Lastly, an instructor must have the ability to present content in a way that’s relatable. If planned examples are unfamiliar or too difficult for the class to follow, then a good instructor will adapt and share others. As the leader he or she must anticipate both the knowledge level of the class and the type of examples that will be most relevant. Effective examples enable the whole class to grasp important concepts and to move on to more complex topics.

Most expert instructors will begin their workshop with a quick audit to determine not only the knowledge and experience of attendees but also their industry and location. Those details allow an expert to connect more meaningfully with practitioners. It’s our view that expert instructors are the key to quality training. Effective instructors are able to engage workshop attendees in a way that equips them with the knowledge and skills that they require to be effective at their job. Control Station’s instructors possess these attributes, enabling them to deliver impactful classes on complex topics like Process Control and PID Controller Tuning. Our lecturers are experts in the field, teach entertaining and engaging workshops and relate expertly to the needs of workshop participants.


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