Speaking to train

You have become the specialist in your field of expertise. People look up to you and are guided by your wisdom and knowledge. You are now ready to transition into a teacher and train people around you. Let’s look at how to do this.

Doors of opportunity

You are a conduit of a message. Your mindset and attitude should be focused on the people in front of you. You have attracted this particular audience for a reason. In the time that you have with them, focus on delivering exceptional quality training, understand the challenges of your audience and provide them with practical solutions.

A great speaker is one who shows their vulnerability and human side. Yes, as a professional trainer you need to keep the delegates and workshop under control. However, if you come across as being too controlling – this can intimidate your audience. Aim to be more natural and relatable as a speaker; share stories about yourself – this endears the audience to you and shows your softer and humbler side.

Engagement and participation

Be a caring presenter by learning your trainees’ names as quickly as possible. Name tags and memory association techniques can help you with this.

Start with an activity to build group trust, lessen the tension and to establish commonality of goals. Entrench content through the use of left-brain activities like: facts, figures, statistics, research, scientific evidence. Anchor content through right-brain activities like: role-plays, case studies, simulations, videos, stories, pictures, discussions, demonstrations, sharing of experiences.

Offer rewards to your delegates for participation. Rewards can take the form of floating trophies, appropriate give-aways and prizes. Based on set criteria like being on time, completing pre-workshop assignments, appoint a“winner” who then has set privileges like: determining the length of the breaks; deciding the duration of a reading-assignment; being in control of the aircon remote. At the next session or the next day, appoint another winner.

Draft a running script to keep to time. Create modular training based on outcomes that can be extended or shortened based on time limits.

Create your own music playlist to play in the background in-between sessions and during workshop activities. Music creates an effect known as “enjoyment arousal” that helps to stimulate brain activity, improving focus and creativity. Diversify your playlist with genres and music types in line with the diversity of your audience. Invest in your own high-quality speakers.

As a presenter thank your trainees. Say thank you for: their participation; for showing up on time; for asking a question; for their enthusiasm; for their willingness to learn. The more you thank your audience, the more you acknowledge good behavior, the more they display that behavior back to you.


Inspirational Advice

  1. Set up early Once you have set up for the day, use the time to connect with your delegates, have coffee or tea with them. This engagement makes you more approachable.
  2. Use post-its to remind you of problem areas – either parts of the notes that need to be refined or as a parking lot for delegates for a later discussion.
  3. Feedback – Request for feedback during the session. Be flexible in your training approach Connect with the audience during breaks and after the session, to gauge understanding. Feedback shouldn’t only be at the end of the training, its continuous.

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