TRAINERS are a dime a dozen in the market. To stand out from the crowd, the trainer needs to differentiate himself from others.

Traditionally, trainers just focused on the training itself. The modern trainers envision themselves as businesspersons. That is how I coined the term "trainerpreneur" - a marriage of training and entrepreneurship.

A trainerpreneur views training as an ongoing business venture instead of a mere instructor's job. His business is driven by creativity and innovation.

A traditional trainer communicates only with his participants. A trainerpreneur engages in a three-way communication - with his participants, the training department and the management of companies for which he conducts training. Some of the attributes a trainerpreneur should have are:

Involvement

A good trainer can draw participation from the class. If participants contribute, they feel they are part of the workshop. If they can claim ownership of the learning process, learning becomes fun and meaningful.

The trainer needs to be approachable, amicable and unassuming. Invite contributions and see things from the participants' model of the world. Encourage shy participants to speak up.

The greater the involvement, the more participants learn. For participants who contribute, praise them loudly and publicly. For those who err, correct them privately. Do not judge those who try and fail.

Personality

Every trainer needs to create his own niche and style. A trainer's unique training techniques, style and personality can shine at the workshop to engage the participants. Use your strengths. One of my colleagues uses magic, another sings and yet another draws cartoons to hammer home the learning points.

Keep yourself relevant with state-of-the-art learning technologies. Be enthusiastic. It is contagious and rubs off on your participants.

Variety

A good trainer employs a variety of teaching techniques to reach out to different types of learners. In a typical workshop of 20 participants, there are visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners.

Different methodologies enable various learners to learn in their preferred styles. Moreover, employing different techniques makes the workshop interesting. Participants anticipate surprises and their minds will not wander away from the main topic.

High EQ

Emotional Quotient (EQ) is more valuable than Intelligence Quotient (IQ) in training. A high EQ trainer listens to the needs and concerns of participants. Patience is a desirable trait as some learners are slower than others. He creates a safe environment for participants to learn without any fear of embarrassment or ignorance. Aiding the weak and managing the strong is the hallmark of an empathic trainer.

Clarity

A communicative trainer speaks ABCD - Accurately, Briefly, Clearly and Dramatically. He gives an overview of the workshop, proceeds to cover the contents and concludes by driving home the points he wants the audience to act on.

Marketing

A marketing-focused trainer makes himself visible in the crowded marketplace. In emphasising the unique features found wanting in his competitors, he stands out. He harnesses guerilla warfare in his marketing strategy - inexpensive but effective marketing tools.

These techniques include, but are not limited to, letters to editors of newspapers and magazines, contributing articles to newsletters and journals, giving free talks and previews, telemarketing, search engine optimisation and e-mail marketing.

A successful trainer networks regularly. You do not know when you will meet your next customer. Every time you train a class of 20, you have 20 potential sales executives who can promote you and your programmes. Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is the freest but most potent force in selling.

Obtain feedback and evaluate yourself continually. You learn more from your mistakes than your successes.