The first aspect that needs to be realized that it takes more than “a” person. To do great professional development it takes a team of at least 2! For me collaboration is an aspect that is key (I’ve written about that here). Great professional development takes a team effort of true collaboration.
I also strongly feel that there needs to be some knowledge about the topic, subject, or thing that is being presented on. I think trainers can learn about things, but having some background knowledge seems necessary. If the trainers have no knowledge of what is going to be presented it is a sure beginning of failure. If the trainers haven’t gathered any of their own knowledge on their own then I question their commitment to the professional development. This leads into my next thought on what kind of person does it take to professional development: Passion.
I could write a lot about passion and how it plays into professional development. I would say that there needs to be a passion for the subject mater (whatever it is). I believe it is that passion that drives you to want to know about the subject, and there in have the knowledge to help guide people in their learning. It is in the passion that you will take the time to learn all about the subject so you are able to ‘break it down’ and help someone else get it. Passion is not an assignment given to you by your boss. It is the passion that gets under your skin, in your mind, and invades your day. When you are passionate about something you want to SHARE it and help others GET IT. I believe this is NECESSARY (yes I said necessary) for professional development to be GREAT, and successful. I believe passion is the lynch-pin to a successful great professional development.
Finally, notice that I did not say any one type of personality was “it”. There isn’t one type of person; extrovert, or introvert, or whatever that makes a professional development great. It does take presentation skills, and the more masterful the better, but it is not one “type” of person. I fully believe that for a professional development to be great it takes a team effort that has knowledge of the subject, and a lot of passion.
It is on the passion that hangs how great and successful the professional development will be.