Trust us - everyone who has delivered training has felt nervous at some point; even the most accomplished, confident trainers on the planet will have stood there with sweaty palms, a dry throat and trembling voice.
This is entirely normal, because standing in front of people and delivering training isn’t normal if it isn’t your profession.
However, if you’re lucky enough to be given the opportunity to aid your colleagues’ development by providing in-house training, you’ll need to conquer those nerves.
Here’s our best tips for doing just that!
A solid training session plan will become your best friend when it’s time to take to the metaphorical stage and lead a day’s training.
This doesn’t mean you’ll be holding a piece of paper constantly and referring to it at every opportunity, either - it simply means you’ll have done your homework in advance and, even before you enter that room, know exactly how the day needs to progress.
Write down the aims, learning objectives, timings, kit that is needed and any activities that will take place. Knowing this stuff in advance is a huge nerve killer.
Nerves often arrive if we’re running late or feel rushed, so take plenty of time to get your training space set up and ready for the learners.
Arrange handouts, set up any equipment that’s required and make sure the room temperature is just right.
If you can give yourself at least thirty minutes before everyone arrives, you’ll have ample time to get everything sorted and refer once again to your session plan.
If, having planned your session and set up the room, you still feel nervous or anxious, take ten minutes out to completely relax.
Deep breathing techniques are designed to calm both your body and mind, and work wonders in these situations. There’s a great, simple guide on how to do it here.
Once everyone is in the room and ready to go, avoid the temptation to dive straight in.
Take a sip of water, smile, breathe and ground yourself. This period of silence might feel long to you, but it won’t to them, and it’ll settle everyone in the room.
This might feel a little uncomfortable to begin with, but making eye contact is a great way to reduce your nerves, connect with your audience and break the ice.
While you’re doing so, smile and sweep the room, so you give everyone equal eye contact. As you begin, focus on those who are smiling and who look comfortable. There will inevitably be people who look like they don’t want to be there, and while it’s important to engage with everyone, starting with those who are most at east will put you at ease, too.
A common mistake made by inexperienced trainers and public speakers is to assume the audience as hostile. This is a basic human trait; we want people to like us but sometimes assume when we’re outside our comfort zone that everyone ‘has it in’ for us.
This isn’t the case! These are your colleagues, and chances are, they’re rooting for you. Consider them your best audience, and you’ll find it hard not to smile and enjoy training them.
If you suffer from nerves but have still taken the opportunity to train people in your company, you’re already halfway there.
Like anything, this will come with practice, but use our tips above to rid yourself of those nerves and deliver brilliant, engaging training sessions people won’t forget.
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