Body language is one of the essential parts of delivering great training, and as we have discussed in many blogs before, people get caught up in thinking their aids like PowerPoint and Flip Chart are the most important things they have to get right.  We see it time and again on our courses but what’s so great is how quickly this can be changed with the right mindset and skills.

I want to share a story with you which helps with one of the most effective body language skills. One of the earliest memories of visiting the seaside on holiday is seeing the distant lighthouse white and red like a beacon standing proud, ready to shine its scanning light out to sea to warn the ships of the coastline.  So how can this relate to us when we deliver training?

Think back to a great training session or a presentation you have been given in the past. It is likely to have been so enjoyable because the trainer was fully engaging with his or her body language.  One of the skills they will have used is their eye contact; they’ll have looked around the room permanently scanning; looking into your eyes and those of the others looking confident, strong and proud like a lighthouse!  This great “light-housing” technique gives you some real benefits:

1. You’ll see the engagement immediately.  Are you engaging your audience; are they following you, or are they looking into the distance disengaged?  Are they all with you?  What are you going to do to get them back ASAP?

2. You’ll look confident and comfortable to your audience even if inside you are feeling nerves; this is a great technique to mask them!  You will look natural and all importantly, human; training “robots” don’t make learning happen.

3. You’ll be able to select the questions and ask the right people carefully; challenge yourself to look beyond those who are super confident, staring at you keen to answer; ask the person who looks away and then see what happens!

4. You’ll be able to monitor the behaviour of the people in the room; if you are permanently scanning, they will be less likely to try and misbehave.

So, the next time you deliver a training session or presentation, remember and be a lighthouse!

Scott Fraser is a Master Trainer at Target Training and delivers our PTT Train the Trainer courses and our Advanced PTT Train the Trainer courses.  You can read more about him here.