For those who have not taught or lead training exercises before, they can be intimidating. There is something rather scary about standing in front of a group of other people and providing them information, regardless of the topic. That being said, I have a good deal of experience training people from my previous job, as well doing community theater and being confident in the subject matter. Still, I was a bit nervous, just like anyone else would feel.
If you find yourself preparing for such a presentation, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Preparation - Being prepared is critically important for any kind of teaching or training activity. Make sure to have talking points or an outline to help keep you on task. It is also helpful to have something to provide to the people attending the class, to allow them to follow along.
- Confidence - Be confident in your presentation. Hopefully, you have been asked to make the presentation because you are knowledgeable on the subject and the others are interested in learning that information. Confidence in that knowledge will help you get through the presentation.
- Flexibility - Good instructors respond appropriately to questions from the students. You want people to ask questions and to spend time to answer them. If one person asks a question, others in the audience probably have the same question and will value the time you spend answering it. However, do not let it side-track your presentation too much.
- Repetition - Make sure to repeat the most important points of the talk, as you do not want them to be missed. An old Army training maxim holds true - "Tell them what you are going to teach them. Teach them. Tell them what you taught them."
- Fun - Try to work some humor or anecdotal information into the presentation to break up the flow. People get bored listening to one person talk for extended periods of time. Even including some pictures into a slide presentation can really help.
Note: Updating post with two images taken during the class by Jeff Sties, who was nice enough to send some along to me. Thanks, Jeff!