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The Secret to my Institute of IT Training Award Success Part I

A number of people have asked what does it take to be an IITT award winner?  So here is my take on how to bag yourself some much sort-after silverware.

It is August, and in the world of an IT freelance trainer, this is the time when things die down a bit.

Most use these times to analyse their performance of the year so far, catch up their CIPD, revise their marketing strategy or just chillax and go on holiday.

This is an ideal time to consider adding for an award or two to your marketing mix.

The Institute of IT training (IITT) are now working on their 2011 training awards, which has 13 categories this year.

As a previous winner, number of people have asked what does it take to be an IITT award winner?  So here is my take on how to bag yourself some much sort-after silverware.

The first time I entered the IITT awards was in 2005, when Margaret from Broadskill threw down the gauntlet, “to prove that I was good as I thought I was”, at the time I had thought of entering the IITT awards, but it just seemed like too much hard work.

So challenge made, I made all the enquiries, and found that I:

  • Would enter the 2006  Freelance Trainer of the Year category,

  • Had to enter a 3,000 word submission, explaining why I should win this award

  • Had until midnight on the 30th Oct 2005, to get the entry in

  • If short-listed I would have to travel to IITT HQ to:

    • Deliver a 10 minute submission presentation, 

    • Deliver a 15 minute training session, 

    • Participate in Q & A session, and

    • Have a photo taken

So nothing too taxing really!

Typically October at the time seemed so far away, and I was under the impression that I had plenty of time to get my submission in.

I woke up on the morning of 30th October and realised that I hadn’t even started writing my submission, but I had a few ideas knocking around my head, but I was training that day.

That 3000 words award submission was not looking likely. 

Back from a day of training I finally settled at my computer, bottle of rosé in hand, at 9 pm, and hammered out my 3,000 word submission, addressing the 10 pertinent sections as set out by the IITT.

So with minutes to spare on the award entry closing date midnight deadline, tired, sore eyes and back, bottle of rosé empty and slightly merry to say the least, 2,605 words later I scanned, copied and pasted my signature to the award submission form, saved both the submission and submission form as a pdfs and finally emailed the submission to the IITT.

So my advice to anyone who is thinking of entering the 2011 IITT awards is, with regards to the awards submission:

  • Concentrate on what your core message it is that you want to get across in the award submission.

  • Decide on which of the award submission sections, you want to concentrate on, such as innovation & creativity, or delivering a strong learning experience, and then use the others sections to support it.

  • This award is about “why you should win the award”, so you have to demonstrate how and what benefit and/or value did you add to your clients, that differentiates you from other freelance trainers.

  • Keep an eye on that deadline date, it has a nasty habit of creeping up on you!

  • Do not under-estimate the amount of time you will need to formulate what you want to write.

  • Keep to the 3,000 word submission, anything more and you are just wasting you time, as it will not get read.

  • Complete the award submission, by completing the categories, make it easy for the short-listing panel to pick your submission.

  • Write the submission yourself, if this is not possible ensure that you have some participation in its completion.

  • Back up your submission, with clear client endorsements and evidence of your claims and/or statements.

  • It is hard to express and articulate how good you really are, and recognise the benefits, impact and influence you have had on your clients, because it seen as boasting or being arrogant, but if you don’t do it who will?

  • Do it, it is a great opportunity to blow your own trumpet to the whole IT training industry, about what you have done in the previous months.
In Part II I will deal with the presentation day.

If you have any questions, or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to Contact Us

Jooli Atkins

Thanks for the insights Julia. I hope that many will follow your example and raise the profile of freelance trainers :) Jooli


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