5 Deadly Sins for Trainers

    May 8, 2002

It’s been reported that the most common human fear involves public speaking. In the business world, the day will come when we will be called upon to give a training presentation. The result is a flock butterflies the size of pigeons in the pit of your stomach.

Sometimes, the best way to learn how to do something well is to know how to poorly. With that in mind, here are some ways to give a simply horrible training presentation.

1. START OR END LATE – Starting and ending your presentation late sends the message to participants that you do not feel their time is valuable.

2. APPEAR UNPREPARED – Fumbling through your notes, or searching for out of order visual aids makes you look unprepared and you are less effective. Rehearse your presentation. Thirty minutes before your presentation is scheduled to begin, check your teaching aids to ensure that everything is in order.

3. DON’T INVOLVE THE PARTICIPANTS – The quickest way to lose your audience is to simply stand in the front of the room and talk at them. It was as true for Confucius in 451 B.C., and it’s true today — What I hear, I forget; What I see, I remember; What I do, I understand.

4. USE INAPPROPRIATE LANGUAGE OR HUMOR – There is never an “on” reason to be off color. Inappropriate language and humor lessens both your image as a professional and your effectiveness as a trainer.

5. BE A KNOW-IT-ALL – As the trainer, you really are the know-it-all — just don’t remind the class of it. Remember that every chance you take to raise yourself up will usually lower someone else by the same margin.

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