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Key Differences Between Delivering Training, and Lecturing Or Presenting

There are several key differences between delivering a training program, and delivering a lecture or a presentation.

Flow Of Information

A major difference between training and lecture/presenting has to do with how the interactions and information flow. In a lecture or presentation, the major flow goes from the speaker to the audience. Generally, that means that interactions between audience members is low, as is interaction starting from the audience members to the speaker.

Training, however, is far more flexible with information going in all directions -- it's far more interactive.

Different Purposes Or Outcomes Expected

The second major difference has to do with the purpose of the event, or the outcomes expected.

Presentations and lectures are informational in that the attendees are exposed to information, but the emphasis is on exposure rather than learning that can be applied in the real world. It's not that presentation information is irrelevant to real world behavior -- it's that the emphasis is different.

Training, however, is designed to alter the capabilities of attendees (learners), and to build new capabilities that can be used "out there".

One way to make the distinction is to say that presentations involve "learning about", while training involves "learning to do".

Presentations Have Wider Range Of Outcomes

While training should always be about "learning to do", presentations actually have many more possible outcomes, which need to reflected in how the presentation is planned and executed. Presentations can be of various types, depending on whether the presentation is intended to:

  • Sell
  • Inform
  • Motivate
  • Persuade
  • Advocate
  • Persuade
  • Entertain
  • Educate

Lectures Often Half-Way Between Presentation and Training

It's not quite that simple, because lectures are often part of training, and are intended to result in learning, while that's not the case with all presentations. Still, lectures involve an information flow from teacher to learners that is primarily one way.

That's why, in educational and "learning to" situations, it's important to alter the flow somewhat so that lecture segments are interspersed with thinking exercises, and most important questions to audience members.

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