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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Archive for Speakers

training signTrainers: Is your training really a ‘hot mess’?

This month, we’re focusing on training. Why? Because you can recruit your heart out, but, if you’re not developing each agent to his/her potential, you’re not retaining! (and you have a revolving door……)

Doing Everything Wrong? Or Right?

“Oh, no. I’ve been doing EVERYTHING wrong!” That’s what one of my attendees groaned after I explained the training calendar evaluation tool I created to help trainers assess their training programs. Too often, I see training programs thrown together from various cobbled (and ripped off….) sources. Sure. You can do that and call it your training program. But, it makes for a disjointed, shattered ‘picture’ of your company and culture. And, it doesn’t work to get what you want—more production and profits.

Here, I want to share an analysis tool I created that will help you see the good and challenging parts of your training program and tune it up to really make a difference in your company.

Do You Really Have a Training Program?

When asked this question in a National Association of Realtors’ survey, the majority of the brokers said they did have a training program. But, what does that mean? What does it encompass? How would I know you had a real program? Here are the three questions to ask yourself to see if you really have any type of cohesive, coherent training program focused on the results you want:

1. Is your training program a part of your business plan?
2. Have you created a training calendar so you know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it?
3. Could I look at your calendar and see exactly why you had scheduled those events—and that they had cohesiveness to your ‘big picture’?

Evaluate your Training Program Now

The training calendar evaluation tool I mentioned above is invaluable to see how effective your training program really is—and to target the changes you want to make so you’re training with purpose.

At the end of this blog, I’ll share it with you. First, let’s walk through it.

What Kind of Training Are You Offering?

Look at your training calendar. If you don’t have one, simply take a 3-month calendar and write in the training you’re providing.
What’s the ratio of business-producing vs. business supporting training modules? When I see some training calendars, I can see why their training is not increasing productivity. All their modules are concerned with business supporting subjects (technical knowledge): home inspections, the law of agency, websites, social media, etc. That’s all nice, but what does it directly do with creating productivity? Here’s the path to a sale:

Lead generation

Interviews/qualifying buyers and sellers

Listing homes/showing homes

Selling a home/listing sells        $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

If you want to increase productivity and profits, your training calendar needs to reflect your training in these business-producing areas.

What are you training to that will make a real difference in your productivity and profits next year? Put that in your business plan.

What Does Your Profit and Loss Statement Tell You to Train To?

Take a look at your P and L. What’s your ratio of listings sold to sales? Do you like that ratio? Would you like it to be different? Do you want more sold listings? If so, start training to that. When I took over a failing office, I saw the ratio of listings taken to listings sold was a miserable 30%! So, I started action-focused training on the whole listing process. I had them role-playing their hearts out. I did a listing presentation play-offs  In short, I trained them specifically to change that ratio for the better. By the end of three years, our ‘conversion’ ratios were 85%–the highest in the area.
What is your training accomplishing? What do you need it to accomplish? Want can you measure?

Who Are You Training?

We segment our markets when we design our marketing plans. We need to segment our ‘market’ for our training plan, too. In this case, our ‘market’ is our agents. When I ask seasoned agents about whether there is a training program in their company, they say ‘yes’. It’s for the new agent. What? Are those seasoned agents in the office chopped liver?

Click here to grab the training calendar evaluator.

Tell me: How would you rate your training, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being fantastic? What can you do to improve it?

Tip: See my resources on training and writing courses at www.carlacross.com. 

trainerTrainers: how to make your course ‘teachable’.

Here are some tips on how to gain focus on that great course you want to create–that course that’s been bouncing around in your head for years! In my next few blogs, I’m going to give you some specific tips to make your course truly ‘teachable’. Why? From teaching for over 2 decades, I’ve found many courses are not actually very ‘teachable’. In fact, they are either

1) Streams of consciousness

or

2) Information dump

If you’ve picked up someone else’s  ‘course’, and tried to teach it, I’ll bet you know what I mean. Unfortunately, too many times, courses are written from an ‘information organization’ perspective, not a teaching perspective. In fact, because so many instructors have expressed frustration, I’ve just finished a resource on how to write a course.

Gaining Focus for your Course

Let’s look at the 6 W’s that you should answer before starting to create your course: The What, Why, Who, When, Where, What’s Next of your course, so you can clarify what you want to accomplish and gain focus. As I give you these, take time to answer each of these questions.

 What course do you want to create?

Take a moment and write exactly what is in my mind (and heart) about this course. Ask yourself, “Is this actually a course”? Or, is it your desire to persuade people to your point of view? That’s certainly okay in a course, but not as a whole course. Instead, you have a ‘persuasive presentation’. Sometimes we want to impart our beliefs to people or make them ‘be’ in some way, but that’s not a course. (Be responsible, be customer-service oriented, etc.) Now, it’s true that can be one of the objectives of a course, but, just getting in front of people and telling them how they should be won’t make it as a course!

Do you see this course as an overview?     An introduction?  Comprehensive?    A series?

Why?  What are your compelling reason(s) to create this course? Be sure it’s not just all about you….

Who is this course for?  What segment of the population do you want to address? One of the mistakes we make is not narrowing our focus to the level of expertise of our desired target audience.

What is their level of learning in your topic right now?

Who would not benefit from your course?

Do you need to narrow your scope for this course?

Where (type of delivery)

Is this course ‘live’? Is it distance learning? Will it be given as a webinar? Your decisions will direct you to the delivery methods (how you will teach).

Armed with the answers to the 6 W’s, you can gain a laser focus for your course, and go to the next step of course creation.

Expert Guidance to Write that Great Course!

SSS_coverIf you’re serious about writing that great course, this is the resource for you. Step by step, Carla Cross, who has written courses for Re/Max, Better Homes and Gardens, Keller Williams Realty, GMAC, Royal LePage, and CRB, shows you exactly how to create your course and your outline. And, for those Washington state instructors, she shares tips on how to get your course approved for clock hours.

This resource is digital. You will get access immediately.

Introductory bonus: Keys to a Killer Introduction

Includes:

2 instructional videos
Templates to use as guides for course creation
Examples of courses
2 ‘cheat sheets’ to write your course modules
Guidance in how to get your course approved in Washington state.

With 95 pages, this resource, along with the 2 instructional videos, shows you exactly how to create a course that has substance, sizzle, and ‘sell’!

Thank you for a wonderful class on writing a course. This practice and hands on class has given me the confidence and tools I need to move forward with my course curriculum. I feel I have been given a business race car and I can move forward towards my dream of training agents across the country.  Mary Lee, former head of training for Windermere Real Estate, Spokane, Wa.

Just  $129.50   Click here for more information and to order. You’ll get immediate access to the 95-page resource guide and 2 instructional videos. Plus–a bonus: Keys to a Killer Introduction. 

 

 

Trainers: More ways to teach effectively than you can name! (42)

Do they snooze when you’re in front of them? Do their eyes slowly close—and then blink open when they’re startled by something you do in the classroom? Do you feel frustrated when you can’t keep their attention?

The solution is simple: Gain more teaching skills.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But, the most difficult thing for us adults to do is to gain new skills. Instead, we tend to try to purchase competency (invest in software, programs, and ‘things’ that supposedly do the work for us). But, in this case, all the PowerPoints in the world can’t overcome a boring presenter!

You Can Expand Your Teaching Repertoire

Did you work to put yourself through college? I did. I found out it was much easier to put my talent to work and get paid, than to pick beans! So, when I was nineteen, I got a job playing piano in a bar. (Boy, did I learn about human nature).

When I was tickling the ivories, playing my way through college and graduate school, I noticed that, the more tunes—and styles–I mastered, (that’s the repertoire), the more tips I made. I could please more of the people more of the time. It’s the same way with teaching, or doing keynotes, or presentations, or facilitation. The more skills you hone, the easier it is to be effective in front of people.

Most Presenters Know Just One Tune and Style

Most of us who present start by getting in front of people, and naturally doing some things right. We get acceptance. We get acclaim. We find we’re good talkers in front of people. In fact, most people think that refining presentation skills are merely a function of

talking better.

So, we try to talk better. But, then, we hit our ‘ceiling of achievement’. We can’t seem to get any better. Then, we get frustrated. We try harder. That doesn’t help. Sometimes we look for someone who can help us ‘talk better’. We take a class thinking that someone will make us titillating on the stage. The interesting thing is that—it’s not the answer for most of us.

Gaining Other Presentation Skills

Sure, there are a myriad of presentation skills that help us in front of audiences. We can speak slower, speak more clearly, pause more effectively, use our bodies more effectively.  But, in addition, there are teaching methods that increase the effectiveness of our presentations. These include

Crafting of the presentation

Audience participation

Use of visuals and props

How good are you at these teaching methods? Do you tend to rely on the good old stand-by, lecture?  If so, you’re boring your audiences to death!

A Great ‘How to Teach’ Course Will Help You

I teach Instructor Development Workshop in the state of Washington. This fulfills a requirement for instructors to teach clock-hour approved courses in the state. So many times, people come into the class wanting me to ‘fix them’ so they will be fascinating in front of people. What I have to do is to teach them all those other methods to teach effectively—skills they can learn and master. It’s interesting to watch their paradigms switch from “make me another Johnny Carson or Don Rickles” to “I’m grasping great teaching methods that work for me.”

To see my upcoming course, coming up Oct. 5-6, click here.

Those 42 Teaching Methods

One of the things I do in Instructor Development is to demonstrate to students many teaching methods. Then, we ‘take it apart’ and talk about how they would apply these methods to their own situations. I’ve developed a list of 42 Teaching Methods to summarize the course.

Click here to get it.

Bring Skills to Your Company or Association

Want me to come to  your company or association and teach these methods? I’ll customize the subject matter to match what you need. I believe training is major answer to our industry’s offering value for services, and I can help you create great trainers and effective training. Click here to contact me, and we’ll talk about your needs.

shaking hands over computer

Presenters: Is there a webinar in your future?

This month, I featuring training.

Is a webinar in your future? Everybody and their brother are doing webinars. I am doing a ‘live’ Instructor Development Workshop, and there is interest in webinars each time I do this course. So, I thought I’d write a blog

about them. Here goes. Enjoy!

Should you become a webinar ‘maven’? If you’re a

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Team leader
  • Salesperson

you may want to consider the ‘delivery method’ of a webinar. What can a webinar do for you? It can

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

What can’t a webinar do? It can’t

Change people’s behavior (it’s not training. It’s education). Webinars are not the magic training bullet we’ve wished for. There are limited objectives you can accomplish by doing a webinar. (We’ll investigate this more later).

Of course, the upside of a webinar is that

  • People don’t have to travel to get to the ‘event’
  • It’s very cost-effective
  • It puts you in front of new audiences
  • You can make it ‘evergreen’ (record it and share it)

Some Basic Choices to Make Before You Start

  1. Your vehicle

Which company will you use to deliver your webinar? There are over 100 companies today offering some type of ‘screen sharing’. They range from free to $100+ a month. The free versions companies tout are for a limited number of viewers (usually 5-10). After that, figure on paying for the services. Among the most popular services are GoTo Meeting, WebEx, and BrightTalk. Whatever you choose, pick a service that will be easy for you! Getting caught in the technicalities while you are trying to be a sparkling presenter is death by webinar.

  1. What’s your message?

Decide on your topic. Is it something that would lend itself to a webinar? To find out, study webinars you’ve attended. Do some seem too wishy-washy to have been worth your time? Are some so full of facts and figures you snooze off?

Now, decide on your objectives. In other words, start with the end in mind. To write your objectives, start with this sentence,

As a result of this webinar, attendees will____________________________. Examples of objectives for a business planning webinar could be:

  • Understand the ‘flow’ of the strategic business planning process
  • Be able to differentiate between a vision and a mission statement
  • Be able to pinpoint 3 areas of concern about their business from the previous year

After I’ve written my objectives, I know the basic structure of my webinar. I can prioritize those objectives and start arranging my webinar in the right presentation order.

Your Topic: Overview or Detailed?

Is your topic an overview, or is it more detailed? Decide on the scope of your topic, and your objectives, before going further.

Common webinar mistake: Either being so ‘global’ there is little information, or being so detailed you lose the audience in facts and figures.

After deciding on your desired delivery company, and drafting your topic and objectives, you’re ready for the next step. In the next blog, we’ll discuss best presentation methods–and common presentation mistakes.

A Resource for You

To get more information on creating courses with objectives, see The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide. Not only for real estate presenters, this guide provides a step-by-step process for putting together a presentation (not just webinars), and dozens of presentation tips.

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