Which is More Important – Quality or Delivery of the Message?

I have had this argument on many occasions as to which is more important when developing employees – the material or the trainer? Or, in other words, the message or the actual delivery of the message?



One side of this dilemma is focused on the training material. Many of the large professional development organizations, whose model is utilizing volunteer instructors, subscribe to this belief. They argue that any competent professional (in addition to a vetting process) can teach as the material is regimented and well organized. There is an attendee guide, an instructor manual, slide deck and specific notes as to how to teach the course. This is definitely tried and true method that has worked well for many years.



The converse of this argument is focusing on the actual delivery of the message. This is really about utilizing a true professional trainer and speaker. The actual message importance will never be lost but I would argue that regardless of the quality of the material, a bad instructor will lose an audience within the initial hour of a course if they cannot engage and make the subject matter interesting. In many circles, the speaker is the lynchpin – if he/she stands behind a podium, in a monotone voice and without commanding presence, regardless of the content, you will lose any audience.



Ultimately, it s a great combination of message and delivery of the message that is important in any professional development session. If I were to weight it between the two, I would say we are still leaning heavily to delivery – at approximately a 70/30 ratio. What do you think?

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