10 Tips for Becoming an Interesting Trainer

10 Tips for Becoming an Interesting Trainer

No one can argue that being an interesting trainer is a quality that will almost always guarantee successful training sessions. No one wants to spend a training day listening to a boring trainer.

Successful trainers know that to deliver a useful memorable course, they must make it engaging. They make sure that they are remembered as part of the process of teaching and helping others to stick to new skills and habits long after the course is delivered.

Over the years we have identified a critical set of techniques that help trainers become more interesting. These techniques are as follows.


1. Tell a Good Story

Everything has a story. With story we understand how the world around us works. We constantly hear other people’s stories and tell our own. We also know how powerful good stories are. The problem is that despite this knowledge still not many trainers use storytelling to their advantage. Good stories can make you a legend and the story can become so memorable that no one who hears it would ever forget it again. That’s the kind of story you want to tell, and that’s an art to master. If you want an example, have a look at this masterpiece story telling by Anthony Robbins:



2. Differentiate Yourself from Others

To be interesting, sometimes you need to be different. Establish your own brand by making yourself appear unique. Everyone is unique, though sometimes in our effort to blend in we end up getting lost in the competition. Think of ways that you can make yourself more memorable; what to wear, what to talk about, what props to use, what exercises to run, all of them in line with the particular “brand” you have in mind.


3. Provide a Cure

People who come to a course have a specific need. They have a problem and are in your course to sort it out. Think of yourself as a doctor who wants to help a patient overcome anomaly disease. Aim to understand the issue, look for symptoms, highlight these symptoms to delegates, provide a diagnosis and offer a treatment. Help them go over that treatment during the course so they can fully understand and learn the skills so they can use these skills on their own after the course and to form new more powerful habits.


4. Pay Attention to Quality

People notice quality and admire those who plan everything carefully and systematically. Increase the quality of your training delivery by focusing on top recent content. Throw is a few short stories about the latest trends in the industry or the field you are teaching, show elaborate analysis, images or videos that capture the underlying complexity of a topic. Show that you have spent time and effort to simplify the topic so you can deliver it in a concise and non-confusing way.


5. Communicate in a Way that Others Can't

Training is about engaging others to the point that they stop thinking about anything else but what you are talking about. Good training requires preparation. You need to know how to build up to a topic, how to increase enthusiasm, how to make your audience care about the topic and then help them to question their old bad habits and think of new ones, with your help, to replace them.


6. Surprise Your Audience

One of the ways to stand out is to break away from the usual behavioural patterns. People would immediately start paying attention and it is your opportunity to take advantage of this sudden show of interest. Make an engaging analogy while explaining a concept, take a surprising position, move quickly or simply do the opposite of what you normally do. So long as it is unexpected, you will get their attention.


7. Make Your Delegates Laugh

Some training topics can be dull or boring. Lightening the mood can significantly increase the interest of your delegates in the topic and help everyone to move forward. Studies show that people learn better and faster when they are happy or laughing. Make the best of this tip.


8. Be Visual

Our eyes are our strongest tools to sense the world. Rich imagery helps us to remember a concept better. Use graphs, videos, illustrations, props and anything with complex visual information in your training courses and you are bound to make the course more interesting.


9. Use Metaphors

Metaphors help people to understand a concept by relating one topic to another better known topic. Great speakers in history have always used metaphor to capture the imagination of people and get them excited about a cause. Metaphors in training also help learners to remember a concept by creating free associations in their minds between various concepts which further increases the effectiveness of your training and ROI.


10. Put Your Audience First

Centre your entire training on your learners. Delivering training is not about you showing off your knowledge, networking with people or popularizing yourself so you can win more work. Above all, it is the learners that matter the most. Make the learning effective and everything else falls in place; i.e. you become famous, well-respected and rich. Neglect learning at the expense of your selfish quest for popularity or money and you will soon see people avoiding your superficial and self-serving courses.



Jonas Ezeanya

By Jonas Ezeanya @ Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:35 AM

I really enjoyed reading this stuff. I'm a public speaking trainer and, to be honest, ALL of the 10 tips you mentioned above just happen to my style, well except for #6 -- surprise. But now that you mentioned it, I'll tie it in in my training sessions.

I use LOTS of visuals in my sessions. One of the first things participants notice when they first walk into the class room (studio), is the unusual seating arrangement I have prepared for them (I guess that counts for surprise). But one of my favourite training strategies is that mentioned in #3, Cure.

I like to start by describing the problem, even exaggerating it a tiny bit, and explaining WHY IT IS a problem worth dealing with. I go on to make them THINK and FEEL it's a burden they have little hope of getting off but just then, I turn the tide around by proffering a solution. This method starts out building up their expectations, building up their attention, making them feel a desperate NEED for a solution, before I provide them with the solution. They go off feeling very fulfilled that I've solved their problem but not only that, they start to see me as a genius who 'always knows the solution' and that's absolutely a plus for my reputation (builds up my 'ethos'). (Jonas E. from Lagos, Nigeria)

Chelsea Elm

By Chelsea Elm @ Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:06 AM

Jonas, thanks for sharing your views. Glad to know that the article has been helpful.

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