Steve Willis is a Master Trainer and Vice President of Professional Services at VitalSmarts.
This classic scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off comes to mind each time I prepare to train a new group. For those of you who have seen the movie, you’ll remember this scene. Ferris is absent from class. His teacher monotonously says his name during roll call in hopes that repetition will work its magic and Ferris will somehow show up.
I’ve realized over the years that, like Ferris Bueller’s teacher, our participants are hoping that we show up—and not just physically. It’s one thing to be physically present, but the participants of today expect more. They expect us to be present with them, not just present in the room. Able to read the group’s interest level and respond accordingly. Able to apply the material to their circumstances. Able to inscribe a personalized message on their heart, mind, and soul! Well, or at least a personalized message on the inside cover of their participant guide. I think you know what I mean.
So what’s your trick—what do you do in your preparation or during the session that allows you to be present with your participants? I’m interested in two categories of responses here: 1) what advice do you have for trainers who are fairly new to the VitalSmarts suite of programs and 2) what advice do you have for trainers who are so familiar with the suite they run the risk of phoning in their training?
Join the conversation by sharing your thoughts below.