Whether you are training a large group or one person, you know your training session is lackluster when participants:
Uncontrollably yawn throughout your entire presentation. No matter how much they try, they have a hard time staying awake and energized during your presentation.
Keep looking at their watch. To them it seems like time is standing still, and no matter how much they try to keep track of time, your presentation feels to them like an eternity.
Start sidebar conversations during your presentation. Your topic is so uninteresting that they don’t hesitate to start a mini-conversation with the person sitting next to them, maybe even adding a joke or two about you.
Speed read through the entire training manual before you are finished. You belabor one point to the extent that they go ahead and just read the rest of the manual. While you are still focused on page 3, they have read all the way to page 15 just to make the time go by quicker.
Go to the bathroom and never come back. Once they get out of the training room, they feel a sigh of relief and feel sick at the thought of having to go back in and continue listening to you talk.
Doodle on your training materials. They feel that drawing is a way of escaping from your annoying, monotone voice and endless series of confusing information.
Have a blank stare, especially when you ask them a question. They have been daydreaming of being in on some topical island throughout most of your presentation, and have no idea that you have called on them to answer a question.
The best advice for overcoming boring training presentations is to know your topic inside and out; create visual aids and handouts that are colorful, informative, and lively; animate your tone of voice so it is interesting and not monotone; don’t just stand in one section of the room, but walk around; add humor; and most of all get the audience involved by asking open-ended questions. Following these few simple tips will not only help engage your learners, but also inspire them to look forward to attending future training sessions that are facilitated by you.
Theo Gilbert-Jamison is CEO of Performance Solutions by Design, a global performance consulting firm that caters to luxury and premium brands with an emphasis on transforming organizational culture. She is also the author of two books, The Six Principles of Service Excellence (2005), and The Leadership Book of Numbers, Volume I (2008). As the creative force behind Performance Solutions by Design, Theo is a highly sought after speaker and consultant to CEOs and senior executives in high profile organizations. Please visit Theo’s website at http://www.psbydesign.com