The title of this book suggests that it is nothing more than a practical guide for training professionals. However, it soon becomes apparent that it is far more comprehensive. For instance, a chapter on the basics of business writing explains how to get a point across in an understandable manner – useful for any manager involved in business communications.
Each chapter ends with a handy checklist of tips that you might want to refer back to at a later stage. In addition, there’s a ‘for reference and interest’ section that deals with matters such as copyright, legalities and grammar. Again, useful information for any line manager (whether in HR or elsewhere).
If I bought the book as a trainer, my specialist interest would start on page 61, where topics like course notes and lesson plans are discussed. The chapters which follow cover issues such as course visuals, handouts and practical exercises. Most of these are useful for trainers and, in particular, someone involved in the profession for the first time.
The good thing about How to Write… is that throughout it follows its own advice and is written in simple, succinct language that flows well enough to maintain interest.
Overall, I feel the book would be useful for many of the managers with whom I work and indeed would assist my own trainers greatly. It is written in a pragmatic and practical style and in my view is not overpriced.
That is not to say it’s perfect. Any book that takes 61 pages to get to the heart of the subject has obvious flaws. And although you can simply flick past the pages that are irrelevant, it is a shame that the author didn’t make more of the opportunity she was offered.
How to Write & Prepare Training Materials
Richard Jones is HR director for North West Wales NHS Trust. He is currently reading Staying Healthy at Work by Jonathan Kitchly and Managing the Poor Performer by V&A Stewart.