differently about the way you
help people to learn
Dr. Stephanie Burns
is an art that develops over time, as life-experiences and knowledge
influence a trainer's perceptions and behaviours. There are no
one-time quick methods to gaining mastery as a trainer - but there
is a path of development that, if adhered to, can lead to mastery.
is a book documenting the key concepts and skills taught to trainers,
coaches, leaders and managers in the face to face Training To
Train program conducted by Dr. Stephanie Burns. This book is excellent
capture of the contents of that program and today is used by trainers
in organisations throughout Australia and elsewhere. When TTT
ceased to be offered to individuals as a course this book significantly
helped fill the void.
257 pages plus references and an index, soft cover
published in 1996
Reprinted in 1999, 2000
Now available as a downloadable pdf
given a presentation to a room full of people and realised that
you were failing dismally? Ever had one student in your class
who you just couldn't reach? Ever thought of giving up teaching/presenting
because it's no fun anymore and your audience is getting tougher
to handle everyday? Ever wanted to be better at what you do and
don't know who to turn to for the answers - well read on.
new book entitled Artistry in Training by Stephanie Burns
takes us to a higher level of understanding about the role and
impact of the educator/trainer, in a concisely written, logically
sequenced and easy to read format.
we start, perhaps some definitions are necessary. Throughout the
book Burns uses the term trainer to describe "anyone seeking to
change or modify human behaviour - affecting the skills or actions,
the thoughts and emotions of other people" (she covers this well
in a section within her introduction entitled "What's in a Name").
for the purpose of this review I will use the term trainer to
identify anyone involved in the teaching world - coach, teacher,
counsellor, leader, sales manager. Further, Burns refers to members
of the audience as students. So again, I will use this term throughout
this review. Finally, whilst Burns has spent much of her life
focussing on adult education, her focus is on education and learning.
The methodology detailed in Artistry in Training
has equal application to a group of five year olds or fifty year
olds, so I will not distinguish adult or child education in this
review, I will simply use the term education.
if you want just another "how to training book", stop right here,
Artistry in Training is not for you. If, however,
you are seeking to understand the experience of the learner, what
is happening in the classroom and what you need to do to achieve
100% participation & results from your students, then Artistry
in Training is an essential read.
let's start with the author. American Stephanie Burns is a leading
force in the field of education. She has spent her lengthy career
exploring the "why's" of learning (both as student and
educator), specialising in the area of adult education. Burn's
client list (attained from another source) reads like a 'who's
who' of world business. Try NASA, Coca Cola, ABC -TV and General
Electric to name a few, and you have got to sit up and take note
of what Burns is saying.
Now resident in Australia, Burns has placed much of her recent
focus on sharing her knowledge with other trainers in the live
seminar environment. One suspects from her acknowledgments at
the start of this book, that Burns was cajoled into writing Artistry
in Training by her publishers, Woodslane, and to them
we owe a debt of gratitude. For Artistry in Training
is truly ground breaking and streets ahead of other training materials
on the market.
Burns had me by page 9 of Artistry in Training when,
after sharing an amusing story about her first training attempt,
she writes "that those with perseverance and a willingness to
make all their experiences useful, will without doubt succeed".
Anyone who has sought to train or educate another person in anything,
must surely be inspired by this line.
what makes Burns' approach to the world of education different?
Simply, it is these three core concepts.
Know and understand the learner's experience - realise that
students are not all the same.
Understand the range and flexibility of behaviours that you
as a trainer possess
Develop coherent presentations/material that make sense Now
don't be fooled here.
concepts whilst making inordinate sense as one liners, are the
result of years of research and study and are backed by a mass
of theoretical data which Burns has painstakingly gathered from
around the globe.
I particularly like about Burns work is that she obviously understands
why her work works (or fails as in her first training experience)
and this is well communicated throughout the book. This is probably
what makes Burns unique and allows her message to be labelled
is no guess work here and as we read the book we can see that
Burns has tested every concept and idea in real learning environments.
Artistry in Training is a true blend of academic
foundation and experience, which has been simply translated for
the most experienced or novice trainer.
easy 250 page read, Artistry in Training is extraordinary
in its detail. Burns use of anecdotes keeps the reader grounded
in the real world and builds a bridge of shared experiences, which
most readers will immediately relate to.
construction of the book (7 chapters) is solid, with each chapter
containing an introduction, body and summary. Whilst I would not
recommend it, this format allows the reader to read the book based
on chapter interest, instead of from front to back. An FAQ chapter
concludes the book, which is particularly useful for those hungry
for immediate practical applications. Entitled "Going real-time"
this section has quickly become my favourite.
in Training is an enthralling first time read and for
anyone engaged in the education field, a constant companion that
will age well with time. So if you are charged with the task of
teaching anything to anyone, Artistry in Training
must be your first point of call. It is practical, intelligently
written and provides hope to anyone seeking to communicate a message.