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B.E. rates the nation's top management training programs.

A look at what national, low-priced career development and management training programs really have to offer

LOOKING FOR A TRAINING program to help build assertiveness? Or one that will give your receptionist an "ah-ha" experience that will result in better customer service? Then read on. These training programs are designed to give you the results you want at a price you can afford. To develop this list, BLACK ENTERPRISE contracted one of the nation's leading African-American management training consultants to canvass the offerings of the top low-cost training and development programs. What we found was a variety of offerings for one-day workshops and seminars, starting as low as $49. Programs offered by the American Management Association, Toastmasters or Dale Carnegie were not reviewed because they cost more and the sessions usually run at least three days.

One-day, low-cost seminars, with their "hit them hard and leave them wanting more" approach, are designed to empower employees by providing them with solid skills and career enhancement advice. A good instructor can help you identify and even modify unproductive behaviors in just one day. The benefit of these inexpensive programs is obvious: a low-cost outlay with a high return on investment.

The challenge in sending employees to a one-day public seminar is following up on what they've learned. Managers must be aware that with little or no back-on-the-job coaching, a one-day seminar is like a hot shower; it won't be long until you need another one.

Seminar trainers are chosen for their ability to connect quickly with the audience, make entertaining presentations and leave you wanting more, which you can have by buying the books or tapes in the back of the room. Trainers are usually seasoned professionals contracted to do a set number of classes per year. Unfortunately, few programs would say what percentage of their trainers are African-American. However, most of the companies we surveyed do employ or contract minorities.

In reviewing the programs, we noted each company's specialty. Market recognition is more easily obtained in the longer-running programs. In one-day seminars the connection is more elusive. However, many of these programs are gaining immediate name recognition by developing a focus and an audience.

Not all the programs offer seminars directly targeted to minorities or focused on diversity issues. Since many of them are just beginning to look at these types of courses, contact the company directly to request more information.

In terms of price, we stayed in the more affordable range of $49 to $195 a day. Then we considered what each company felt was its competitive advantage. Here is what we found:

Fred Pryor Seminars 2000 Shawnee Mission Parkway Shawnee Mission, KS 66205 800-255-6139

FPS trains 550,000 people annually, focusing on business training for entry- and middle-level managers. And, it's the only program in its niche that offers a 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee. FPS feels comfortable with the offer because its presenters are carefully handpicked from the most accomplished professional speakers and trainers. Its programs are action focused; most of the titles start out with a "how to" statement. "How to Supervise People," "How to Manage Priorities and Meet Deadlines," "How to Enroll for Success," for example.

Another seminar, "Evelyn Wood's Reading Dynamics for Business Professionals," promises to teach you four basic concepts for "unlearning" your old reading habits. The $195 program will train you to read vertically, thereby eliminating slow, unproductive "line reading."

FPS promotional materials have impact. Easy to read and attractively presented, with quotes from satisfied participants, the multipage brochures list seminar dates and locations for six-month periods. During one six-month span, seminars were offered in 46 states (with up to 11 cities per state) and Puerto Rico.

Creative Training Techninues Seminars 7620 W. 78th St. Edina, MN 55439 800-383-9210

If you have trainers in your organization who require a refresher course, or who need to learn how to deliver training that "sticks," send them to Bob Pike's Creative Training Techniques Seminars.

The small, dedicated staff of instructors, who are chosen only after a series of auditions, help to develop the country's leading trainers.

Public seminars and in-house programs and consulting services, customized to meet the needs of clients, are offered. Reference materials and informational books are also sold.

Creative Training Techniques is dedicated to helping trainers achieve better results from every presentation. Products such as Trainer's Bingo also address the human side of business; the game helps people unwind at the end of the day. Tricks for Trainers (in two volumes) offers brain twisters, early-bird exercises and easy tricks to teach participants.

This program is fun and instructors learn a variety of exciting and engaging techniques. Because only 200 seminars are offered each year, you'll have to arrange your calendar to attend the event closest to you.

Dun & Bradstreet Business Education Services P.O. Box 51 00 New York, NY 10150 212-692-6600

The well-recognized and respected name of Dun Bradstreet adds to the competitive advantage of its Business Education Services. D&B seminars focus on managing a changing workplace, handling multiple priorities and working smarter, not harder. Brochures are mailed regionally, with local listings for seminars. Convenient locations seem to be planned within an hour's driving distance to most large cities. Ambiance is important to D&B; it books medium-priced hotels, rather than cheaper ones.

Each brochure concentrates on one program and explains it in great detail. Easy to read with humorous graphics, these promotional pieces are one of D&B's most successful drawing cards. The promotional material details the benefits to the participant, his or her manager and the organization. This approach makes it easier for the employee to sell the merits of attending D&B's seminars.

Included in the workshop material is a well-executed workbook that can double as a reference book.

These seminars fall in the upper price range of $155 ($125 each when three or more enroll from the same organization). Each D&B brochure offers information on only one seminar, so you need to wait until the next brochure is mailed to find out about upcoming programs in your area.

CareerTrack P.O. Box 18778 Boulder, CO 80308 800-334-1018

These one-day, hard-hitting workshops cover the problem areas of management, from managing difficult people to the art of delegation or negotiation. Best known as the "$79-a-day seminar," CareerTrack is quickly gaining a good reputation as a provider of audio learning tapes.

The immediate name recognition and ability to blanket an area with brochures keeps the CareerTrack name in front of its potential customers. CareerTrack's printed materials highlight program benefits and topics, which include management training, career development, time management and sales training.

Seminars are the backbone of CareerTrack's business. But its series of "no train, no gain" stand-alone audio and video tapes can be used for at-home or in-office training. Most well-stocked public libraries carry CareerTrack tapes. However, some tapes, such as "How To Deal With Difficult People," are overacted, which lessens the impact of an otherwise sound message. Also for sale are motivational posters.

CareerTrack is now moving into the train-the-trainer and computer skills areas.

Seminars International, Business Communications & Information Inc. 12920 Metcalf Overland Park, KS 66213 800-843-8084

Seminars International targets employees at all levels, including secretaries, supervisors, executives and salespeople. The emphasis is on human interaction and increasing productivity while decreasing conflict.

Founded in 1986, Seminars International has a staff of 100 trainers who travel throughout the country. Prices range from $89 to $125.

Pudgett-Thompson P.O. Box 8297 Overland Park, KS 66208 800-255-4141

Looking to fill a void, Padgett-Thompson, a division of the American Management Association, focuses on safety and health issues on the job, and programs for administrators and secretaries. In the moderate price range ($98 to $150), the one- and two-day seminars emphasize train-the-trainer and communication skills.

Padgett-Thompson promotes itself as having an unrivaled wealth of information. Its trainers are highly rated professional seminar leaders and powerful public speakers, who deliver clear, concise presentations that are informative and enjoyable. The trainers explore all avenues of what works and what doesn't work, and participants leave with a clear understanding of their next step.

The Pace Group Inc. 31105 Greeninq St. Formington Hills, MI 48334 810-855-9500

The Pace Group has carved out a niche by focusing on communication skills. Pace offers workshops on presentation skills, holding effective meetings, listening and writing skills, and interpersonal negotiating techniques. It targets people in a broad range of industries--government, education, health care, finance, Fortune 500 firms--and at all levels--skilled and semiskilled, professional and technical, managers and supervisors.

A wide range of seminar topics is offered, including resolving conflict, cross-cultural diversity, team development, benchmarking and problem-solving.

The program falls in the mid price range. Instructors are certified staff members who work out of 37 offices across the United States and Canada.

Rockhurst Colloge 6901 W. 63rd St. P.O. Box 2949 Shawnee Mission, KS 66201-1349 800-635-9540

Rockhurst College supports two different training initiatives: National Seminars and the National Business Women's Leadership Association. Both companies teach basic skills development as a way to facilitate personal and professional growth. The seminars focus on communication skills, including listening, writing and interpersonal negotiation.

Like CareerTrack, its leading competitor, Rockhurst has carved out a niche for itself by guaranteeing bottomline results through practical lifelong learning. Combined, these organizations offer 5,000 seminars a year throughout the United States and Canada; the seminars are conducted by contract trainers.

With a professional faculty of over 75 presenters, the parent college, Rockhurst, concentrates on the organization itself, offering business training and development of human resources systems. Rockhurst sells training resources, videos, books and audio cassettes.

National Seminars Group delivers a broad range of personal and professional developmental training programs. They don't fix; they build. National Seminars participants pay the lowest and the highest prices within the range of this survey ($49 and $195), and receive continuing education units (CEUs) for most workshops. National Seminars is well known in the nursing field. It is approved for CEUS in nursing, a requirement of all professionals in this field. The group publishes low-priced support pieces (usually $9.95). You can buy the materials even if you don't attend the training courses.

The National Business Woman's Leadership Association is committed to career development for women. As the association advertises, its seminars can help "speed you along your career path." Like the National Seminars Group, NBLA offers CEUs and publishes low-cost support pieces for course attendees and others. With a staff of 150, NBLA conducts 5,000 seminars a year. It also offers on-site, customized seminars.
COPYRIGHT 1995 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:1995 Career Guide
Author:Randall, Iris
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Directory
Date:Feb 1, 1995
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