Let me ask you these questions. How many of you would like to become successful trainers? How many of you would like to spread your messages to many people? And how many of you would like to get paid to spread your messages to many people?
Thank you for your participation as you have just finished reading the first paragraph of this article. This is exactly what I will do in my training with a view to encouraging participation from my participants. In essence, the technique is to ask the right questions in order to capture the attention of all my participants in the training room and no one should be left behind. Therefore, it is worth spending some time to design these questions carefully.
In addition to the above, I am also going to offer you some tips to help you to engage your participants in a meaningful dialogue based on my experience as a certified trainer in the Accelerated Learning Method. I hope you will find my sharing useful.
1. Training is about context and not the content
It appears that there is a myth about what it takes to be a good trainer. According to one theory I am aware of, a good trainer is someone who will continue adding content throughout the entire training session. For example, if it is a 4-hour training, the trainer must keep on adding content for the entire 4 hours. How many of you can relate to this?
If you are currently using this approach, please stop now. This is because if you spend every minute on teaching, you would not have time for your participants to ask questions. Some trainers might have plans for questions and answers at the end of the training session. In reality, this might not happen since the trainers focus on teaching and adding content.
In my opinion, participants should be invited to ask questions at any point of time during the training. It is also important for the trainer to set the right context within which participants would be allowed to find out the answer by asking the right quesions. Therefore, the context is more important than the content.
2. Engage your participants to participate by asking a lot of questions
At the beginning of the training session, you should make it clear that you would keep on asking your participants questions and you would need them to respond. You should also explain to your participants what benefits they would get if they were to participate. For example, typically I will ask this question - "how many of you would like to learn faster and remember more?" If they say "yes', it means that they would be open to me asking questions throughout the training session.
3. Demand response from your audience
Suppose you have just made a learning point and there are keywords you feel that your participants should remember. You can invite them to repeat the keywords out loud. Using my mentor's approach, if you cannot hear what they say, you can keep on repeating the phrase "I can't hear you!" This technique is known as demanding a response. From my experience, this technique works well.
4. Partner sharing and small group discussion
Another technique I use to encourage participants to participate is to invite them to do partner sharing or small group discussion. Some participants may be shy away from speaking out loud from their seats, especially if I have a big crowd. Therefore, partner sharing and small group discussion will give them the opportunity to participate. It has been my experience that many people would feel more comfortable to participate in smaller groups.
I hope you will find the above tips useful and apply them in your next training. Visit my website as you will find a lot of useful tips I share on public speaking. Please leave me with your comments on my website as I would love to hear from you too.
After working in the corporate world for 16 years as an international tax lawyer, Jack Wong is now an entrepreneur working from home, allowing him to spend more time with his family. He specialises in coaching his clients to identify their passion in life, and how to make money from home. For more details, check out Jack's Website http://www.empoweredrangers.com and Personal Blog at http://www.empoweredrangers.net.