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First time presenting?

How to prepare and present a training course:
10 easy tips for beginners

 1. Plan to get time on your side

Give yourself at least an extra week beyond what you think you’ll need to create your training program. Then leave time to fine tune your course materials and practice reading them out loud every day before the big event. As we all know, life tends to happen and cause unexpected delays.

2. Channel your audience

As you start to put together your training course, have your trainees and what they need to know in mind. Put yourself in their shoes. What information will help them better complete the work they’ll have to do? It’s likely that the answer to that questions will help you design a relevant outline. Then, filling in the blanks in your course content may actually be a piece of cake.

3. Take the fear out of public speaking

If you don’t feel confident in presenting your training course verbally, consider joining a public speaking group such as the Toastmasters. Being in the same boat with others who fear presentations as much as you do may help you get over your fears so you can conquer any podium — or boardroom.

 4. Practice, but forget the ‘perfect’

 Practice reading your presentation in a smooth voice. Rather than trying for that elusive thing called perfection that never really seems to exist anyway, concentrate on sounding natural and avoiding “ums” and “ers.” That, plus speaking slowly enough to let your audience really get what you’re saying, is going to go a long way in making your presentation a successful one.

 5. Have a back-up plan

 Preparing trusty, clearly-written, hand out sheets stressing the crucial things to remember in your course content will save you if your electronic presentation tools fail you. This way, whether or not your charts and graphs do get broadcast without a hitch, your trainees will literally have a better grasp of your key points.

 6. Revisit your training materials

Just like a roast, let your completed training course “rest” before going back to it. You may notice information to delete or add that escaped you before. Check for a logical, flowing order to your sections and again, put yourself in your trainee’s shoes.

7. Take your cues from the top

Be original, but also consider what successful higher-ups in your company do during training and presentations. Understand your company’s culture and don’t include anything in your materials that may be offensive or controversial.

 8. Do have a sense of humour

Good-hearted humor can really help a dreary training course be more palatable for everyone involved. Again, don’t insult anyone — when in doubt, leave it out! And stay on target with your objectives and timing; you’re not there to deliver a comedy show.

 9.  Checklist

Keep a running checklist during the project and check items off as you go. Lest you forget anything from home on the big day, place your materials and anything else you need in your car the night before or right at your front door along with your shoes.

 10. Special delivery

Tell yourself that the presentation is going to go well. It probably will. After all, you’ve put a lot into it. Be calm and enjoy the experience as you arm your trainees with the knowledge they need in the workplace.