Hone Your Training Skills with These Seven Hacks


  1. Pace Yourself - A lot of software trainers, and public speakers for that matter, come out of the gate at an energy level of 10 and then gradually deflate to zero. You can see and feel it happening, like watching a balloon deflate.
  2. Be Well Rehearsed but Sound as Though You are Saying the Words for the Very First Time – When you’re conducting training and it’s feeling repetitive, think about the best concert you’ve ever gone to. Think about how many times the band played, and the singer sang the same lyrics and how they made it sound fresh and new each and every time. Then bring the same energy to your delivery.
  3. Read the Audience – Sometimes as trainers we tend to go on autopilot. We know the material, we are well rehearsed, and we know what motivates the learners; that is, until we don’t. No matter what organization you train, each class is slightly different, and the audience reacts in different ways. Get in the habit of making eye contact and feel what the audience is feeling as you speak to them. And if you can’t read the crowd, stop and ask a question, or take a break. Better to have a short interruption than to waste the entire learning session when you’re not able to relate.
  4. Don’t Eat Lunch with Your Learners – While the people in your classes might be incredibly nice and interesting, excuse yourself and have some alone time during this break. Introverts need this time to recharge, and extroverts can use the time to rest their voice and replenish energy. Go ahead, take time out for yourself and feel good about it.
  5. Take Care of the Pipes – Up to 60% of an adult human body is water. So what’s needed to hydrate and make sure you have a voice to speak with, water. Drink before, after and during the training if you need to. And avoid dairy which can cause mucus build up and cause you to have to repeatedly clear your throat. It’s best to avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages too because they are diuretics and may create the need for bathroom breaks.
  6. Confident but Not Cocky – It’s good - no actually it's great for trainers to be confident. We have to be in order to get up in front of a room full of people and presume that we are going to teach them something. There is a difference however between confidence and cockiness. Most people have a built-in detector when it starts to happen, and they will shut down if they detect any level of cockiness or condescension. Telltale signs include slight eye rolls, change in tone, or body language that indicates you’d rather be anywhere but here. So, go ahead and strut your stuff but realize that once you cross the line between confident and cocky or condescending, you lose the audience and won't get them back. To learn more about body language and public speaking, check out this Ted talk by author and renowned expert, Amy Cuddy.
  7. Speak Directly to Each Student and Use Their Name – Most people like being seen and heard. As student’s enter the class, make a point of introducing yourself directly and learn their name. Write it down so you won’t have to ask or rely name tags. Call on them in class or refer to something they said using their name. Everyone likes to be seen and acknowledged.

Most importantly however, enjoy the experience and know that you are having a direct and immediate impact on people. Find out about the training offered by PayneGroup and watch for more articles on this and other subjects.