The ability a trainer has to invigorate and lift a session depends on two primary factors:
The personality of the group
We (the trainers!) are responsible for the first point. In general trainers are personable people. We enjoy social interaction and want to encourage all trainees to actively participate in every session.
The recruitment managers are responsible for the second point. Hopefully the new team members that enter your training room are buzzing with excitement and are looking forward to working with you.
There are a number of techniques which are well suited to helping your trainees engage with the session. I'll include a few of my favourites here.
Make your trainees at ease. Trainees (particularly those who have never been in one of your sessions) can feel nervous if surrounded by unfamiliar co-workers. I always include a short introduction about myself, and if the audience permits some self-depricating humour goes down well.
Let your trainees know how you want them to interact. As a university lecturer I encourage participation by asking general questions about the material in early lectures. This sets the expectation that I might ask questions and that it is OK to get answers wrong. Doing this helps me to evaluate how much material has been understood, and helps me to better pace my lectures.
Use a variety of media. Different trainees will respond to material in different ways depending on how it is presented. Reiterating a point using alternative media may mean the difference between a trainee understanding the material or leaving them bewildered.
If you have any tips you would like to share on engaging an audience, then please contact us!
Dr Adam Chester is a cofounder of Prodeceo.
He is excited about empowering Training Managers and Learning and Development professionals with technology that is easy to use.