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Training the Trainer: 5 Basics

Training the Trainer: 5 Basics

At Say Leadership Coaching (SLC) we concentrate our efforts on just that which our name implies; coaching the leadership in companies to reach their greater potential. Executives are but one group we work with; there are leaders at every level of a company’s official org chart, and we find that titles can be irrelevant when it comes to discovering leadership talent.

Once we discover leadership talent, one of our objectives is to get that person more “broadcast air time” in their company, so that they’ll get increasing comfortable with sharing their ideas.

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In my article here last week, I stated: “All managers must be able to coach, however sometimes their best tactic in the beginning of the learning process is having someone else do the initial teaching.” This week, I’d like to offer you some suggestions on where to improve upon the training that all your managers will do in-house, and for the sake of their own credibility as managers and as emerging leaders.

Why?

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Great Managers develop their own training skills and style, and in doing so, they simultaneous develop a stage presence which either adds to their credibility, or will unfortunately detract from it. When you train, your demeanor, this ‘stage presence’ gives your audience a clear message on both your command of the subject, and your confidence. This is pretty significant when your ‘audience’ is composed entirely of your staff.

‘Train the Trainer” classes rank up there with the most frequently requested curriculum assistance our customers seek, and it’s a win-win for us both. We at SLC eventually go away; by design we help train the in-house trainers (yep, those are the Great Managers becoming Great Leaders) who will seize our Managing with Aloha curriculum as their own, continually re-train it, and in doing so “kaizen it” into the sustainable culture of the organization.

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These are five basic ways you can help “Train the Trainer” in your own company;

  • Deal with stage fright by giving them early wins; ask them to make presentations to staff groupings on their strengths and on what they do exceptionally well first. Allow them to feel the thrill of being the expert. A huge part of confidence-building is being able to draw on past experience when fielding questions, and unlike those mixed-audience conferences to send them to, your in-company staff will not be shy or hesitant with asking pointed questions.
  • Start small and internal, then successively progress to bigger and external. Network broadcasters largely started in their home towns on the local news or morning radio show before they made it to the big time. Same strategy applies to getting emerging managers and leaders on stage in a company.
  • Start a company practice which reserves the last five minutes of every presentation for immediate feedback your trainers can learn from. Hand out a one-page sheet where you ask the staff in attendance just two questions, getting their responses in writing. First, “What are the top two or three take-aways you’ve gained from this session?” Second, “Is there anything we talked about that you’d like more clarity or discussion time with in the future?” Essentially this will help the trainer see where he or she succeeded or may have fallen short with the message to be delivered. The bonus is that they can also follow-up on those expectations as managers.
  • Video their presentations for them. Immediately pop out the tape and hand it to them for their own viewing later and in private; you will be amazed at what they will continually improve upon in their own performance without a word of coaching from you!
  • Require your Trainers to catalog their curriculum, and journal both their process in developing it, and their own feelings in what worked for them and what didn’t. The catalog will help them continually refine their subject matter. With the journaling, they will begin to see patterns in when they achieve flow in presenting, and when they don’t. Some people need extensive facilitation guides to help them, others do best ad-libbing to the right set of 3×5 index cards which trigger their story-telling style. There is presenting style akin to the existence of ‘management style’ and they will discover what training techniques work for them and which don’t.

A sixth, bonus suggestion for you; Get all your Trainers together in mastermind groupings which meet on a regular basis. Have them assemble with those curriculum catalogs (think of these as the intellectual property you share!) and personal presentation journals to share their lessons learned, and gain support and new ideas from each other. Partner with your local Toastmasters/Toastmistress chapter so your Trainers continually learn from others, and can practice in another forum.

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By the way, you can use these same tips for every person who conducts meetings, for after all, meetings are just another kind of ‘presentation,’ and if you treat them as a class, everyone will leave the meeting feeling they learned something and didn’t just waste their time.

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Rosa Say is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business. She fervently believes that work can inspire, and that great managers and leaders can change our lives for the better. Her index of past articles written for Lifehack.org can be found in the left column of this page. You can also visit her on www.managingwithaloha.com.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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