I have often heard that the only thing that you have control over every day is the attitude that you will embrace for that day. For me, I like to embrace each day - and my training as well - with a smile, a positive attitude, and enthusiasm. Using the following SMILE technique will have the same positive impact on your training that it has had on mine for years.
S: Start your courses off with high-impact...
...and one way of doing this is through storytelling. Storytelling is also a great way to make an immediate connection with your audience. I believe that good storytelling has a purpose. I especially enjoy sharing stories that inspire my audience by telling them how I overcame obstacles.
For example, I remember the first workshop I facilitated with Langevin. The vice-president, who hired me, just so happened to be in NYC at the same time I was conducting my workshop. I was sooooo nervous that every other word I said was "OK." At the first break we went out into the hallway. He put his arm around me and said, "Relax, Ron. I hear you saying "OK' too often." I got my game face on and changed that in a heartbeat. At the end of the day, he hit me on the chest and said "you the man!"
Story telling is a powerful technique that allows me to create genuine relationships with my audience.
M: Make everyone in your audience feel as if they are the most important person in the room.
I have learned to maintain eye contact, establish positive body language, and use words of affirmation genuinely. During lunch, or at the end of the day, I make a point to thank someone for their contribution to the class. Oftentimes, that will spur great conversation. In fact, one time, at the end of the day, I complimented an individual and we ended up talking for almost one and one half hours!
I: Incorporate fun and humor into your programs.
People often tell me that they don't tell jokes well, or that's just not their personality. Well, my response to that is just have fun with, and enjoy, your audience because fun and humor do not necessarily revolve around telling jokes.
I like to embellish my inner-child - (just ask my wife)! Life is too short, so I don't take it too seriously. As a result, I enjoy every minute that I am in the training room - and I especially enjoy what each participant brings to the table.
L: Love your audience.
I was given a pearl of wisdom from someone special to me. I promised her that I would never forget it. This pearl was not meant to be locked away in its shell, so here it is: "Do you love to talk to people, or do you love the people you talk to?"
When I was an employment manager, I often heard people say, in an interview, "I love to talk to people." Many times I found out that these people were all about themselves. The main focus was on them. However, when we love the people we talk to the focus is on the audience, and meeting their needs. Your needs become secondary.
E: Enthusiasm is contagious.
I am no different than any other person, in that I can feel blue at times. Being a professional I need to leave that "stuff" at the door, and find that enthusiasm from within. My enthusiasm will not only change my outlook, but it will change the entire room's as well. I am always pleasantly surprised what a great workshop it turns out to be, and I am glad that I did not miss the opportunity.
So, remember to SMILE during your training - it will increase your face value!