The Effective Subject Matter Expert

Training for SMEs to be expert facilitators of learning

his mastery-level interactive workshop builds and polishes the skills necessary for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to facilitate adult learning. As they work with real-life training content, participants practice presenting information, being efficient, facilitating group discussion, setting up and debriefing exercises, and providing productive learner feedback. This workshop is based on the book Effective SMEs: A Trainer’s Guide for Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning, which was co-authored by Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger, Turpin’s leadership team.

Experience Level

sme training

Medium to High


Duration: 3 days
Maximum Enrollment: 8
Number of Instructors: 2
Location: Client Site

Degree of Coaching

High: personal coaching occurs both in the classroom and in private video review after every in-class exercise

Intended For

Subject Matter Experts asked to deliver training

The Effective Subject Matter Expert

Training for SMEs to be expert facilitators of learning

Throughout the class, participants apply the principles of The Orderly Conversation® to their own real-life training content.

Successful participants will learn to

  • Understand their dual role as experts and as facilitators of learning
  • Engage learners in a productive learning conversation
  • Frame the training with clear expectations and learning objectives so that learners understand why they should participate and how the training applies to the work they do
  • Create the conditions for a fruitful exchange of ideas and facilitate the learning process
  • Weave in their personal stories to make the training content come to life
  • Deliver visual aids effectively (even content prepared by others)
  • Be concise
  • Listen effectively to connect dots and identify common themes
  • Encourage and control discussions
  • Work with co-trainers
  • Manage difficult people and situations
  • Set up and debrief learning activities

sme training

Attendees receive a copy of The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined

“Very well designed course. Everything had a purpose. Most skills are transferable to presentations as well.” Scott M.

Additional Post-Workshop Skill-Reinforcement Options

In addition to the skill-reinforcement resources included in eCoach, consider these options:

Manager Support Program: Managers play a critical role in helping employees apply what they learn in class to the situations they face outside of it. To help managers support the learning, and when appropriate to do so, we provide guidance for setting expectations prior to the workshop and for providing support after.

Facilitating Learning in the Virtual Environment: If SMEs deliver portions of their training content virtually, consider adding a virtual session after the face-to-face workshop. Building off what has come before, participants deliver another portion of their training– working on being easy to follow in the virtual space, setting up and debriefing virtual activities, managing the complexities of virtual and hybrid discussions, and using the camera effectively.

Communication Training Yields Business Results

We believe that business communication training must focus on business results: making work easier, employees more successful, workplaces more cooperative, and goals more attainable.

Getting Business Done and Growing Leadership Capability: Everything we do is designed to help people get business done and grow their capabilities. While a particular workshop may focus on a specific business goal—closing a deal, making a decision, learning something new, or gaining alignment—every workshop is designed to help the participants be more comfortable, effective, and confident communicators. When employees communicate more effectively, leadership capability increases and careers advance. This brings positive results to your team and company.

Private Coaching and Video Review: Capturing learners on video as they work on their real-life content, which is followed by private video playback and coaching, is an essential element to this training. It helps workshop participants understand their natural strengths (and weaknesses). As they grow their self-awareness, they can apply what they learn in class to the variety of situations they face outside of it.

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