|Following on from The Secret to my Institute of IT Training Award Success Part I.|
So I have submitted my
Institute of IT Training (IITT) Freelance Trainer of the Year Award with minutes to spare on the submission
I wait for the
confirmation email from Nikki Kettle confirming that my submission has been
delivered within time, and when the short list results will be announced,
indicating whether one is successful or not.
In the mean time life
carries on as per usual as a freelance IT trainer, until the day of the short
list results. On that day everything
stops, you check you emails constantly asking and wondering have I done it,
have I been short listed?
So on you get back from
work, and you see the coveted envelop branded with Institute of IT Training
(IITT) logo. Shaking with nerves, as you rip open the envelope you are
asking yourself, have I been short-list or not.
There it is in black and white, you see the words "Congratulations you have been short-listed for the Freelance
Trainer of the Year award". In the key first initial moments you do not
bother to read the rest of the letter, as at this point, those other little
details are not really that important.
You are excited, happy and feel a million and one things, texting, phoning and
emailing friends and family the good news.
A little while later, you go back to the letter, as the practicality sinks in,
this is the IITT awards, and although you have been short listed, you are only
half way on getting your hot sweaty hands on a piece of silverware.
So first things first, you will have to
attend a judging panel at the IITT head quarters in Coventry, on a set date and
time, if you cannot attend you are out of the running.
Well that one is easy
enough, but by the time I have calculated how long it will take to negotiate
the car park commonly known as the M6 motorway, I work out that I will have to
wake up at 5am!!!!
For someone like me this
poses a challenge in itself, as I normally only see one 5 o’clock a day, and it
definitely is not the am variety. So I
have my first wobble, how much do I really want this award?
The judging panel part of
the award, lasts for 30mins, consists of 3 parts:
- An Overview of the Submission,
as to why you should win the award
- A training session, based
on a topic decided by the IITT, and
- A panel Q & A
We have access to the
room 5 minutes before our alloted time, and there will be a flipchart and
projector available for your use.
At the end of the judging
panel, there will be a photo taken, so if you ever wonder why all the trainers
look so harassed, stressed and/or shell shocked, you now know why.
Things are not looking
too bad at this point, as I will play to my strengths, the overview of the
submission part lasts for a maximum of 10 minutes, so I have to decide what is
the message I want to leave the judging panel with?
Of the 11 categories to
be answered within the award submission I decide the most important aspect to
concentrate on is “Delivering a Strong Learning Experience”, and it is with that I
set about designing my PowerPoint presentation with all the supporting evidence.
With only 10 minutes to
present, the maximum number of slides I want to use is 10, which includes the
title slide, an overview of what I am going to talk about, with the last slide
purely an animated slide that supports and concludes my presentation.
As for the training
session, I decide that I will be using a flipchart to allow maximum
interactivity and flexibility between myself and the judging panel, without
technology getting in the way.
As to the Q & A
session, well I have to play that one by ear and talk from the heart.
When you have been short
listed, you are always curious to know who you are up against, and so once you
have the logistics of the what you are going to do, it's off to Google to find
out more about the competition.
The type of freelance
trainer, will determine whether you can find any information about the
them. Finding out a previous winner has
been short listed can be a bit daunting, but if you have already won the award,
you really have to raise your game, to win it a second time.
But this award is really
about “Why YOU should win the award”, and not anyone else, so in real terms it does
not matter what the others are doing.
The day of the judging
panel comes, you are suited and booted, slides proofed, spell-checked, uploaded
and tested on the laptop, car full of petrol, you have got your best tunes
sorted for playing on the mini disc player, necessary munchies are within arms
length, and an emergency supply are handy, for unforeseen traffic delays, you
are set and ready to win that award.
You reach the IITT head
quarters, and as soon as you step in the office and see the list of your
competitors the nerves kick in, if you are not the first of the day usually you
will see the previous trainer before going in to do your bit.
I remember one time, not
only had I forgotten my car registration, but also my name luckily for me it was on the
board, to help me out.
The next 40 minutes goes
very quickly, you are given 5 minutes to set up, which once done, seems to be
an age before the judges enter the room, they introduce themselves, and sit down, the nerves have just ratched up another notch
and the session begins, while you are delivering your first presentation they
are scribbling notes, you are thinking “Are they writing good or bad things
They give very little away,
so you look for an ally in the room, if you are lucky and have Alan Bellinger on
the judging panel, that’s great because he is always smiling.
First presentation over,
now for the training session, this is great, because this is where your true
training personality can shine through.
You get to interact with the judging panel, you get to give them the learning
experience that you deliver to your clients, this is the easy bit.
An finally, the Q & A
session, this is a tough one, as the judging panel can ask you absolutely
anything, which can result in them throwing a spanner in the works. The nerves are back, my throat is dry so I take
my glass of water sit down, make myself comfortable to prepare myself for the
At the end of the Q &
A session, we shake hands, the judging panel leaves and I finally relax. I feel exhilarated, happy, tired and
Before I leave the IITT
head quarters, it’s the head and shoulder photo for the awards program, and it
skip back to the car while calling my best friend relaying the last 45 minutes
of my life.
So my advice to anyone
who has been short listed for the 2011 IITT awards is, with regards to the judging
- Be prepared
- Decide what the key
message is with regards to the award submission presentation
- Ensure that this key
message runs through and/or evident in both presentations
- If you are using
- Make sure the slides look
- Less is more
- Remember the colour
- If they are going to be
gimmicky, make sure that the judging panel get it!!!!
- If using transitions,
allow for any ad-libbing one may add during the session
- Arrive with plenty of
time to spare
- Style is great, but it is
even better if you have style and substance
- Own it, be yourself,
deliver with authenticity and from the heart
- But most of all remember this
award is an opportunity to shout about “Why YOU should win it?”
If you have any questions, or need
assistance, please do not hesitate to Contact Us