TRAINING MATERIALS

How to be an Effective Trainer

Traits of an Effective Trainer
  • Expertise - Good instructors know their subject. They take the time to study the material and to upgrade their skills.
  • Enthusiasm - An instructor can have a wealth of expertise, but if he or she is not excited about the subject or about teaching it, the expertise will not  be transferred to the students. It is enthusiasm that excites participants and motivates them to learn.
  • Clarity - Clear presentations are well organized, have smooth transitions from one topic to the next, and use language that is easy to understand.
  • Empathy - This is one of the most important traits of effective instructors. Participants need to believe their instructors understand them and know what is important to them. They also need to feel that their instructor respects them and is not judging them.
  • Absence of Bias - The classroom is no place for prejudice or for strong political, religious, ethnic, gender, age, disability, or social bias. Effective instructors accept and value diversity in their classroom. They work hard to bring group members together around one cause: learning.
Inner Traits of an Effective Trainer
  • Willingness to be a Role Model - Instructors must be perfect role models. This means that it is important for  the driving habits of the trainer be impeccable. If participants ask them if they have a driving record, instructors must be able to honestly tell them no.
  • Mental Alertness - In addition to expending physical energy, instructors also use a large amount of mental energy. Whenever there is a problem, the instructor is the one required to solve it. Anything can happen and the instructor must be prepared to handle it effectively and efficiently with a minimum amount of disruption to the class.
  • Good Listening Skills
Factors that Influence Motivation
  • Motivation plays an important role in getting employees to do their jobs. It is also an important factor in getting adults to learn.
    • Attitude - Adults must have a positive attitude toward learning in general and toward the topic specifically. If they do not, they will have low motivation to learn. ​
    • Need - If adults perceive that there is an important need that can be fulfilled by learning, they will be motivated to learn.
    • Stimulation - The more stimulating the learning environment, the more motivated adults will be to learn. The most stimulating environments are hands-on and active.
    • Affect - Adults who feel a positive emotion toward learning will be most motivated to learn.
    • Competence - Adults must believe that they can master and become competent in the knowledge skill they are learning. If they do, they are more likely to be motivated to try.
    • Reinforcement - adults who get reinforcement for their accomplishments are more motivated to learn than those who do not.
Types of Difficult Participants
  • Know-it-Alls - They have an opinion on every subject. They believe they are always right. ​
  • Derailers - They have a talent for getting the training session off track. They will pick up on something you say, then take it in a completely different direction.
  • Whiners - these are people who wouldn't be happy anywhere. No matter what you say or do, whiners will find something wrong with it.
  • Attackers - These are hostile people who do not want to be in the training session. 
  • Clowns - Clowns make a mockery of the training session. They turn everything into a joke and consistently try to draw attention to themselves.
  • Side-talkers - These are people who have side conversations with others.
  • Silent types - Silent types don't say a word. They are completely withdrawn from the training session.
Handling Difficult Participants
  • Know-it-Alls - The key to handling know-it-alls is not to let them intimidate you. Acknowledge what they are saying, and then get back to the facts.
  • Derailers - It is important to handle derailers early in the training session. When they first go off track, jump in and redirect their comments to the main conversation.
  • Whiners - Whiners are especially difficult to handle because they will find something wrong with every suggestion you have. Do not spend too much time trying to convince whiners to see the situation more positively. Instead, acknowledge their comments, and then quickly move on by asking for another opinion or by going to the next topic.
  • Attackers - It is important to learn why someone is using attacks. Sometimes attackers are simply frustrated with the situation. They don't want to be in your class, but have no choice. If this is the case, acknowledge their frustration and show that you empathize with them. Then move on with the discussion.
  • Clowns - If they are not too disruptive, clowns can add humor to a situation. However, if they begin to get off track, or bother others; it is important to curb their behavior. To do this, acknowledge their comment, and then redirect the conversation to the main topic.
  • Side-Talkers - There are several ways you can handle side-talkers. When a side-talker begins their conversation, walk close to them and give them eye contact. If that doesn't work stop talking and give them eye contact. Or ask them if they would like to share their comments with the group.
  • Silent Types - Silent types are difficult to manage because it is hard to determine why they are shy. They could be shy, or they could be naturally quiet. Try to get silent  types involved by asking their opinion. If they respond, continue to call upon them periodically until they begin to naturally contribute.
Controlling your Nervousness
  • Preventing Nervousness
    • Be prepared​
    • Be familiar with your surroundings
    • Recognize that you are your own worst critic
    • Practice your introduction until you can get through it flawlessly
    • Practice not to be perfect but to gain control of your ideas
  • Managing Nervousness
    • Remind yourself that the audience consists simply of people​.
    • Breathe deeply.
    • Look around the room. Find a person with supportive non-verbal communication. Focus on that person until your nervousness subsides.
    • Take a drink to ease tightened throat muscles.
    • Pause. Don't be afraid of silence. It can be very powerful.
    • Use simple stretches.
    • Think of your presentation as a conversation with others.
  • Control the Way you Sound
    • Volume​
      • Keep your voice audible at all times​
      • Vary your volume to emphasize important points
      • Raise volume to emphasize a point. Lower volume to deliver a somber point.
    • Pace
      • Be aware of your natural pace and adjust it if it is too fast or too slow​
      • Vary your speed to keep audience interest
      • Deliver important ideas slowly and deliberately
    • Pitch
      • Be aware of your natural pitch​
      • Vary your pitch to create interest
      • Deepen your pitch when you want to show authority
      • Raise your pitch when you want to show excitement
    • Pauses
      • Be aware that silence is a powerful presentation tool​
      • Use silence to allow participants time to reflect on what you have said
      • Use silence to show you are in control
      • Don't break eye contact when you pause
  • Control the Way you Look
    • ​Stance
      • ​Face the group with your feet 10-12 inches apart
      • Keep your knees slightly bent with your arms at your side
      • Keep your back and shoulders straight
      • This is your neutral position
      • Do not rock back and forth
    • Movement
      • Use movement to support your message​
      • Move to and from your visual aids
      • Move toward the audience
      • Go to various locations in the room
      • Do not pace back and forth
      • Occassionally return to a neutral position
    • Gestures
      • Make your gestures smooth, not jerky​
      • Make them reflect what you are saying
      • Use a variety of gestures
      • Avoid clicking pens, or playing with change in your pocket or playing with something in your hand
    • Dress
      • Be professional​
      • Dress in complete uniform if required
    • Expression
      • Smile​
      • Show you are energetic and enthusiastic
      • Show that you want to be there working with them
  • Eye Contact
    • Attracts and keeps the listener's attention​
    • Puts you in touch with your participants
    • Helps you read their non-verbal communication
    • Opens communication between speaker and audience
    • Shows sincerity
    • Lack of eye contact does not inspire people's confidence in the speaker