Home > Safety, Security, Training > More Than Words: Tips for Training Trainers

More Than Words: Tips for Training Trainers

It’s not just what trainers say that determines their effectiveness, but also critical nonverbal cues for engaging trainees. Trainer’s who make eye contact with trainees and who use body language and vocal control effectively are much more likely to engage their audience than trainer’s who don’t, says Lynn Espinoza, president of Speak! Communications, Inc.

Body Language

It important for trainers to convey a sense that they are comfortable and in control of the training session by using “open and authentic body language,” says Espinoza. “If you naturally use your hands when you speak, feel free to use your hands during the presentation. You will appear more comfortable and energetic.

“Conversely, if you don’t naturally gesture, just let your arms and hands fall comfortably to your side. Avoid fidgeting with a pen, pointer, etc. Also keep your hands out of your pockets. Putting your hands in your pockets looks less professional and tells your audience that you may be nervous.

“Once the audience knows you’re comfortable, it’s much easier for them to listen to what you say,” suggests Espinoza.

Eye Contact and Vocal Control

Espinoza encourages trainers to avoid using a podium and to position trainees’ seats in a horseshoe shape rather than traditional rows of seats. This provides more opportunities for the trainer to make eye contact with, move closer to, and connect with trainees.

“You want to take the time to make sure you have looked each participant in the eye,” she says. If you look at the floor or at the back wall of the room, “you’ve missed an opportunity to connect with them.”

However, “voice control—or vocal presence—is the most important aspect of a presentation,” Espinoza says, referring to trainers’ ability to project their voice so that trainees “hear you and hear that you’ve passionate about the topic and that you want to be there.”

She adds that “vocal presence is the number one indicator to the audience that the speaker is in control and comfortable with the material.”

Trainers will pay more attention to their vocal control, body language, and eye contact, says Espinoza, if they approach each training session as if it were the first time they presented the topic.

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Categories: Safety, Security, Training
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