10 things to think about when you are doing a training
(besides your subject):
- THE ENVIRONMENT
I feel it helps if everyone can see each other. A small group
is good in a semi circle or a horseshoe shape. Make sure that
the environment is conducive to the subject you are teaching.
The temperature of the room and noise outside the training room
are also big factors that can actually make or break a training.
Know your space, stage or room in which you are presenting. Get
there before anybody else does. Stand on stage or wherever you
will be presenting from . Walk around. Sit in the audience and
test the sight lines. Be comfortable in your environment.
- YOUR CLOTHES
You HAVE to be comfortable. Do NOT buy a new outfit, new shoes,
new anything for a presentation. You need to wear your most comfortable
outfit that fits you well. This may sound petty- but it can affect
your presentation. Don’t wear jingly jewelry or oversized
earrings. And don’t try a new hair do! But do keep your
hair out of your face! Very important for people to be able to
see your face.
- WHAT YOU EAT & HOW YOU SLEEP
I always carry tums and heartburn medicine with me. You really
don’t want to have any kind of “problems” while
you are presenting. A good sleep helps you think clearly.
Take them. Stretch break. Icebreaker. Breakfast. Studies show
that the average person can truly pay attention for 30-45 minutes.
ALSO - give a time limit on your breaks and stick to your time,
don’t wait for stragglers.
- KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Get as much information as you can about who will be there.
- PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
Literally. practice practice practice. People will watch your
example. So keeping this in mind - never set yourself above anyone
in the room. You are equals with opinions and ideas. You are human
and do make mistakes. At least I do.
- BE REAL
Use real stories - no matter if they are yours or someone else.
They help the audience relate to what you are saying and show
that you have hands on experience and/or knowledge of what you
- BE SIMPLE
Simple. Use common vocabulary . If you are going to use technical
terms or slang be sure and define them. Do not assume that acronyms
are known by the participants. Be specific.
- BE PREPARED BUT BE FLEXIBLE
Know your material. Know how to present your material. Know what
to say if you don’t know the answer. Do all of the above,
1-8. At the same time you must be ready for anything from the
silly to sad to frustrating. Zippers can be unzipped. You can
be struck with grief after listening to a workshop participant's
story and begin to weep. The electricity can go out in the hotel
where you are staying and where your presentation is located.
Go with the flow. You can turn anything to your advantage depending
on how you look at it. The more you do that with everyday life
the easier it will be in front of 30 - 300 people.
- BE YOURSELF.
The first 3 minutes set the tone for the whole presentation. Don’t
try and be something you are not. It will show through and believe
me (I know) your presentation will suffer for it. Have confidence
in yourself and what you know.
Best to take the moment present, as a present for the moment.
~ Stephen Sondheim