All trainers need to understand the importance of introductions in a training environment.  As a delegate, we make our mind up very quickly on the trainer and the subject matter, so we have a limited time to capture their attention.  An effective introduction motivates the group and encourages participation.  

Five things you can do to improve your training introductions:

Be warm and encouraging – many trainers think only about their concerns, remember delegates will often be nervous, and it is up to you to make them feel welcome.  Remember body language has a huge factor here, and we may be giving the wrong message without meaning to.

Get people involved – from the outset the more you get people involved, the more likely that they will be engaged and the more likely they will positively react to training.  However, don’t rely on ‘ice breakers’ that embarrass or frustrate delegates or it will have the opposite effect.

Tell them why they are there – often we rely on assumptions in that individuals must know why they are there.  It’s critical that we tell people why they are there such as the benefits they will gain from attending.  The fact that they will be able to perform better etc.  Using statements like “It is the policy that you attend this training” is not effective, tell people why from a perspective what’s in it for them.

Aims and objectives – essential so that the audience can see what will be covered.  Remember the ‘aim’ is our final destination, and ‘objectives’ are how we are going to get there.  This should be visually reinforced either by flip chart or PowerPoint.

Spend time on a contract – getting individuals to state the rules on how the training session should be run is very powerful, spending 15 minutes on this as an activity can save hours with issues.  Remember don’t tell them, get them to tell you.

The benefits of an effective introduction are massive, delegates will be relaxed and engaged, and of course, this affects how you as the trainer feels too.  Focus and preparation of these areas will have a positive influence on our training.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.