Five Keys to Great Training Presentations

December 15, 2015 by  

Anyone can deliver a training session, but being an engaging, entertaining, and informative facilitator is an art. The skills necessary, however, can certainly be learned if you wish to improve your style and results. So if you wish to achieve more success in your sessions, consider the following keys.

1.The Opening: You have about 2 minutes to grab your audience, so best to begin your session with a shocking statistic, a challenge, an engaging story or an appropriate industry fact. If you do not capture the attention during this first few minutes, you will be chasing them for the rest of your session.
2. Audience Analysis: Find out as much as you can about your trainees so that you can be sure to use appropriate language when describing the concepts you are presenting. In addition, plan on a number of different ways to explain, demonstrate or illustrate the concepts taking into account the fact that few people are verbal learners, most are visual or hands on learners. Watch the faces of your trainees to “see their aha moments”, and if you see confusion be sure to offer other ways of delivering the concept until everyone seems to have “gotten” it.
3. The Plan & Design: When you plan your session, remember to repeat the key elements you wish the trainees to take away at least three times, as we all learn best through repetition. You can do this by teaching the concept, possibly showing a short video that depicts a workplace situation where the concept is used or abused so that they can see why they experience the resultant outcomes from their behaviour. Or you can offer them an exercise where they must apply the new knowledge to scenarios that are common to their jobs. Or you can provide an interactive activity that demonstrates the use of the concept or skill in a practical manner. Remember, the more active the trainees are in their learning experience the more retentive will be their learning.
4. The Delivery: It is a good idea to have a number of “back-up” plans in case what you try does not work for this particular group. You want to be sure to cover the pre-determined key elements however, exactly how they are delivered will likely vary with each group of trainees depending on the dynamics, previous level of knowledge, cultural mix, etc. In addition, occasionally, a “teaching moment” may come up if someone or more likely a small group of attendees have particular concerns around a concept. This when your flexibility and deep knowledge of the topic, as well as your optional plans can come into play and will keep your trainees engaged with the issues that resonate for them. What all trainers want is for the trainees to actually employ the new skills, strategies and options offered when they return to work. If that is going to happen you need to make it clear what the benefits of this new knowledge will bring to their tasks and outcomes. Finally, in preparation for the questions which may arise, try to anticipate what they may be by putting yourself in the shoes of the trainees, in that way you will be able to prepare for the answers you will offer. However, do remember this; you are human and not really expected to know “everything”. Only tell the truth, if you do not know the answer, ask if anyone else can provide the answer and if no one helps you, admit your do not know and invite anyone who wishes to help you research the correct answer and share what you all discover.
5. The Evaluation: After any training it is always helpful to evaluate your delivery: what worked, what did not quite work as expected, what could be improved, what needs to be eliminated. Also getting feedback from attendees can help you to tweak your plan and design so that future sessions will be more successful both for you and for the trainees.

Delivering training is challenging, interesting, rewarding, and fun when you approach it with the right attitude. Whether you have presented many sessions are just embarking on a training role, you can always learn new strategies and activities to make your workshops informative, engaging, fun and beneficial to those in attendance.
Remember to enjoy yourself as you set the tone for your session. When you are happy there is a much better chance that your audience will be happy too!

3 Tips for Effective Business Communication

May 14, 2013 by  

In business we need to impart beneficial information to our listeners….in order to do that we must use our voice to persuade and influence. That means paying close attention to the quality, warmth, tone and volume.

Here are 3 tips to remember:

1. Your voice is the agent of intention and expression. When combined with your facial expression sends more of the message than the words themselves and both must match and reinforce the verbal explanation. So use it your best advantage.
2. In order to do that, one must be able to create a calm and pleasant sound…that occurs with proper breathing techniques. A fullness of sound comes from belly or diaphragmatic breathing, which softens the voice making it sound soft, calm, and confident. Conversely, shallow breathing causes a thin, harsh sound which makes you seem hurried which can tire your audience.
3. To keep your audience engaged and comfortable you must appear and sound relaxed…your voice reflects your state of mind and the audience will hear that in your voice. If you are tense, nervous, distracted or anxious you will make the listeners feel that way; which will make it difficult for them to focus on your message.

Practice your presentation, get feedback, record it…this will help you to know how you will be received.

Your voice is your most valuable tool in any presentation…it must be honed, rehearsed, tuned, and strong.

Make sure your emotional investment is positive, energetic, confident, warm and responsive….it will pay huge dividends!

Are You Impactful When You Communicate?

March 17, 2013 by  

Do you have the ability to be impactful when you speak to others?
Can you persuade people to your point of view?
Can you easily articulate your vision to your team?

If you have answered yes to those questions you are an effective communicator….if not, here are 5 important tips to consider:
1. Consider thinking about the needs and desires of your audience. What do they care about? How can you get them to respond positively to any request that you make? Those are the approaches to consider when preparing your remarks.
2. Focus on the benefits to your audience and make them the common denominator in all aspects of your delivery.
3. Be authentic, sincere and true to yourself: show that you care about others and are passionate about your message.
4. Be sure to begin with a clear goal of what you wish to accomplish with this presentation.
5. Practice, practice, practice….the more you prepare the more confident you will be, the more relaxed you will become and the more effective you will be.

Remember, the speaker sets the tone for the audience; if you are enjoying what you are doing, comfortable in your style, and engaging in your manner, your audience will behave in similar fashion.  When you employ these elements, you greatly increase your ability to successfully connect with your audience, and when you achieve that connection, you enhance the value for them by making your presentation more impactful.