Home Mail

Training Officer Tip Archive

August 4, 2005 - Introducing Trainers: Your Pre-Class Presentation Sets the Tone

Speaking in front of others can be nerve-wracking. At least we convince ourselves that it can be. So, many of us avoid it at all costs. However, training officers and anyone responsible for coordinating training efforts should become comfortable speaking in public. Why? Introducing trainers at the beginning of a class sets the tone for the entire session, and it's your responsibility to make the introduction.

Training coordinators introduce the class and trainer on the first day in only about 50% of the programs we run. This stat can and should be better. The participants in most trainings are asked (or told) to be present, so they require guidance from someone within the organization as to why they are there, what they can expect to gain from the training, and who it is that is leading their instruction. This guidance should come from you. If you are uncomfortable in this role, here are some tips to help make it a pleasurable experience.

Preparation is the key to any introduction. Plan in advance what you are going to say, how you are going to say it, and what effect you are hoping to achieve. Take notes about the session's topic, the instructor's experience, and the goals for the session. Go over the notes several times in advance and even take a few minutes to rehearse what you're going to say. Being prepared always pays off.

Talk to the Instructor
We always have bios of our instructors made available to training officers. If your vendor does not offer a bio to you, use the one that was in the training proposal. If this is not enough fodder for your introduction, and you want to make it more personal than a resume, talk to the instructor ahead of time to get a feel for what he or she is like outside of the classroom. Making the instructor sound just like the rest of us goes a long way towards making the participants comfortable with the training.

Keep it Short
When you introduce a session, keep your words to less than two minutes. One of the best role models for keeping it short and sweet is a client of ours from the Comptroller of the Currency, Elaine Waldstreicher. Elaine does an excellent job of introducing programs and keeping her introductions short.

Get Trained
Elaine believes so much in this skill, that she is having all of her staff trained on the art of briefings and presentations. She understands the impact that the introduction can have on setting the tone for the training, and she is putting her money where her mouth is by making sure her people have the same skills as she has. If you want to run a top-notch session, look to your organization first, and give them the tools necessary to get the job done well. If you cannot afford to hire outsiders for your staff, connect them with Toastmasters International. There are thousands of groups looking for willing members all over the country. Find a group for your staff at www.toastmasters.org.

Have Fun!
Trainings are rarely effective if they aren't fun. So have fun with your introductions! Your employees will take a cue from you and get a whole lot more out of the training than if they saw it as a punishment.

Forward to a friend
Copyright © 2008
Home   |   About Us   |   Services   |   Tips & News   |   Information Request