Training Tip: Collaborating with a Subject Matter Expert

Whether you’re an instructor or a training professional, you are likely an expert in some phase of your training content. Trainers get focused on one area or simply like a certain aspect of their job. Even if you’re just an informal “trainer” you probably know some things about your job better than other things. And while your knowledge may be vast, you can’t be expected to know everything. That’s why subject matter experts, commonly referred to as SMEs, can be a critical component to creating a comprehensive and successful training course.

So, why work with a SME for training? Here are just some of the advantages:

  1. Saves time. On average, it takes an instructor 20 hours to design one hour of content. You can reduce this time significantly by working with SMEs. Remember, they hold the key to the knowledge door. They’ve heard the questions before, found the answers, and know the topic. That means they can quickly direct you in how to targets content that learners want and can use the most.
  1. Builds credibility. Students want to hear training content from people who actually possess the knowledge and skills being conveyed. SMEs live and breathe the content every day, so incorporating their knowledge showcases genuine expertise which heightens the credibility of your presentation.
  1. Relationship building. Bringing a SME into the delivery of your training program can forge lasting working relationships. When you reach out to departments and people outside your training team, your acknowledging their value, worth, and expertise.

You don’t have to craft an entire course on your own. You don’t have to be answer questions you’re shaky on when training a new co-worker. There is so much knowledge out there from subject matter experts who know exactly what trainees need – utilize that knowledge by talking to them!


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