Training Tips to Keep Audiences Fired Up


As a leader, you are charged with introducing new programs, concepts, materials and initiatives. But how do you do that in a way that engages your listeners and motivates them to take action? The following three tips will help:


1. Tap into the five senses of learning.
Alternate between lecture mode and group activities. If appropriate, engage the audience’s five senses. For example, engage their sense of smell with fresh baked cookies, their sense of hearing with music, their sense of touch with squishy stress balls, or their sense of taste with candy or fruit. Tap into their problem solving abilities with games and exercises, and give them plenty of time for quiet reflection so they can process information. If you’re training the same group for more than a half day, consider using toys or props as fun things to keep the audience interested. Tapping into their senses is key to keeping them mentally engaged.


2. See the group as your customer.
Your job is to be the group’s coach and guide them through the learning process. You are to facilitate discussion, interest, and intrigue, and to provide information to inspire and challenge them. In that role, there’s no room for defensive behavior. Therefore, be mindful that you don’t challenge participants when they question your information. Instead, be open and ask questions when you get challenged. For example, if someone challenges your new concept, ask the person why he or she feels that way. Facilitate involvement from the room for understanding. Look at this as an opportunity to create some discussion around this new process so you can slowly shift the mindset of that individual, as well as others in the room.


3. Physically create change in the room.
If you’re conducting a session that’s longer than a half day, physical movement is essential. As you speak, move around the room. If possible, walk from the front to the back and from side to side. Alternate between seated and standing. You’ll want to balance lecturing with team activities. Physically move people around the room. Have them count off for various exercises and meet in various parts of the room. Visual movement also helps maintain interest. Consider using handouts, flip charts, video and PowerPoint® slides. Incorporate a mixture of movement from a visual perspective.


Fired Up for Change


A good leader does much more than simply present new information. A good leader shows listeners how they’re going to implement the new idea and what value it brings to the organization. Implementing these tips can be challenging, but when you’re up for the challenge, you will stimulate change in your audience and help the group move forward with the new process or information.


Sheri Jeavons

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