Standing in front of a roomful of eager professionals is no small feat. Even the most seasoned trainer feels the surge of adrenalin when presenting important content to a group. Anxiety could and should be a net positive, as it shows you care about the event’s outcome. And managing anxiety (no matter how great or small the dose) is key to connecting with your audience in any training situation. But how do you hone your style to ensure that connection?
Speak with intent
When addressing groups, it’s important to present with confidence (even if you don’t always feel it). When you’re well-prepared, own the content and choose vivid language, you’ll authentically connect with training groups. Audiences find speakers who talk like real people refreshing, especially when compared with PowerPoint-reading conference “speakers.” Find and use your true voice to establish professional credibility early in your group conversation. Speaking directly to audiences primed to learn adds to your overall accountability and trustworthiness, which in turn lets people receive your target messages. Nothing fancy is needed—just real conversation delivered in a real voice: yours.
Be positive and polished
People also respond to speakers who convey enthusiasm and spontaneity. If you’re merely a talking head, or sound like you’re not interested in your own presentation, then your audience won’t be, either. As you practice and prep for your training sessions, talk through your material—out loud, outside your own head. Do you pepper your speech with positive language? Do you sound like you’re having a vibrant conversation with a team of professionals? Is your voice one you’d like to listen to if you were in the audience? If so, stay the course. If you’re not quite there, then tweak your notes and practice, practice, practice until it feels like the best version you can possibly present.
Think overall impact
Throughout your training session, offer creative, interesting, authentic examples and narrative that communicate meaningful, useful information. Be real, yet avoid fluff or over-sharing. You have a task—leading people through relevant content and tasks that have lasting impact on their professional roles and goals. As you steer the conversation around targeted main points and themes that matter, you’ll offer impact while avoiding information overload. Give them something to ponder—some new task or practice to put into play immediately—and your training participants will be more likely to remember key messages and the speaker delivering them.
Compelling content showcased in a confident, organized way has the ability to transform. When you provide unique, meaningful takeaways and present material in your authentic, poised voice, your training session is sure to be a success!