About the Training Basics Series

About the Training Basics Series

ASTD’s Training Basics series recognizes and, in some ways, celebrates the fast-paced, ever-changing reality of organizations today. Jobs, roles, and expectations change quickly. One day you might be a network administrator or a process line manager, and the next day you might be asked to train 50 employees in basic computer skills or to instruct line workers in quality processes.

Where do you turn for help? The ASTD Training Basics series is designed to be your one-stop solution. The series takes a minimalist approach to your learning curve dilemma and presents only the information you need to be successful. Each book in the series guides you through key aspects of training: giving presentations, making the transition to the role of trainer, designing and delivering training, and evaluating training. The books in the series also include some advanced skills such as performance and basic business proficiencies.

The ASTD Training Basics series is the perfect tool for training and performance professionals looking for easy-to-understand materials that will prepare non-trainers to take on a training role. In addition, this series is the perfect reference tool for any trainer’s bookshelf and a quick way to hone your existing skills. The titles currently planned for the series include:

  • Presentation Basics (2003)

  • Trainer Basics (2003)

  • Training Design Basics (2003)

  • Facilitation Basics (2004)

  • Effective Communicating Basics (2004)

  • Performance Basics (2004).


So, you are now the teacher, instructor, trainer, the person who will be leading a class of adult learners. In other words, you’re now a facilitator of learning experiences. Where do you go from here? You may not know it, but you’ve already embarked on the journey to becoming a great facilitator! The mere fact that you’re reading this book means that you have already discovered that facilitating learning is not the same thing as presenting information (but more on that as we go along). That’s key to your success.

What Is a Facilitator, Anyway?

The expression, “Those who can, do; and those who can’t, teach,” could not be farther off the mark. The fact is that those who teach, or facilitate learning, and do it well know their subjects (both content and application of that content to the job) better than anyone else.

Subject matter expertise is the foundation for facilitating an effective learning experience. Furthermore, facilitation proficiency—the focus of this book—is a new skill set that supports your ability to facilitate others’ learning and application of the subject matter.

The word facilitate comes from the Latin word, facilis, which means “to make easy.” As facilitators, that is our job: to guide the learning process and make the journey as smooth and as rewarding as possible for our learners—to make the learning easy.

Who Should Read This Book?

We have written this book for people who want to enhance their skills in facilitating others’ learning experiences in an organizational environment. That group might include

  • subject matter experts who occasionally function in a training role or who are moving into a training role in their jobs

  • trainers who are ready to move beyond presenting information or using learning activities for their entertainment value only

  • faculty members in educational institutions who want to add skill and application to their classroom experiences

  • HR professionals or managers who contract with facilitators and want to evaluate their performance

  • trainers who want to enhance their facilitation skills

  • trainers whose organizations are holding the training function accountable for learners’ performance back on the job.

Our purpose in this book is to facilitate your learning and assist in enhancing your facilitation skills. When you continue your learning journey by enhancing your own skills, you will increase the learning that takes place in your courses, increase the probability of skill transfer back to your learners’ jobs, and increase the impact of training on your organization.