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While Students are Waiting

Just before training begins, and while participants are arriving, can be a challenging time. You may start feeling nervous, and that's natural. It's important to have this time planned out.

Research has shown that the number one thing people do not want to do is present training. Most people are uncomfortable, to some degree, with public speaking even when they are experienced presenters. It's called "stage fright." Below is a two-step process for overcoming stage fright.

  1. Prepare the mind by putting everything in perspective with a little self-talk. Tell yourself students are here to learn from you, they want you to be a good trainer, because they'll learn more that way. Focus on them and making sure they understand the material. Don't worry about your performance, you're just the messenger. Deliver the message. Accept the fact that you will be nervous and, in fact, put that nervous energy into an energetic delivery.
  2. Prepare the body. Get familiar with the training environment, including the lighting, temperature, and layout of the classroom. You can do this during your practice session and also by arriving early on the day of training to check that everything is in order. Drink non-dairy fluids to soothe your vocal cords and prevent a dry or sore throat from extensive talking during the session (fluids with dairy create excess mucus, which could make it difficult to speak clearly for an extended period of time). You may also want to learn relaxation techniques and develop a standard ritual before training sessions to relax and prepare yourself.

The Problem: Stress-Induced Anxiety

Every trainer has to conduct training the first time. We call this "paying your dues". You can't get around it so you may as well not delay it.

You'll normally experience some degree of anxiety about unanswered questions as you prepare for the session, when a room full of people will focus their attention on you. Thoughts about having too much or too little time, how you look, or how your audience will "like" you, may cause symptoms of stress.

Symptoms of stress include:

  • Nervous stomach
  • Sweating
  • Tremors in the hands and legs
  • Faster breathing
  • Increased heart rate

Reducing Anxiety

Right from the start, give up the belief that you have to be perfect or that you must know everything about the topic. It's just not true. Even experienced trainers occasionally make mistakes and really "screw up," but they know how to roll with it. They don't consider mistakes as big deals or as major obstacles to success, and they don't condemn themselves when they make those mistakes.

The big secret is to accept the fact that mistakes are going to happen. As you take these courses, you will undoubtedly see a mistake here and there. Let me know about it. I love it when a student points out an error. Why? It gives me the opportunity to correct the error and that improves the quality of the training. Naturally, I'm thankful for it. I thank students all the time! Accept the fact that you are going to make mistakes and develop the ability to recover from your mistakes quickly, with grace. I personally think that to be perfectly human, is to be perfectly imperfect.


You Are Almost Ready

To help ease your nervousness, make sure you are totally finished setting up and ready to start the training. This will help you feel "in control" of the event. You're on top of things. Below are some strategies to help you do this.

  • Arrive at least 30 minutes early (I always arrive one hour early).
  • Open the classroom, turn on the lights, give the room a quick scan.
  • Arrange tables and chairs and make sure you have enough of each.
  • Look for the audio-visual equipment. Make sure it's working.
  • Set up your equipment and determine the location from which you will be presenting.
  • Pass out training materials (workbooks, pens, pencils, name tents, etc.)
  • Go through your lesson plan once again
  • Check all slides, etc. to make sure nothing is missing
  • After you are sure you're ready, greet each student as he or she arrives with a big smile!

Doing all this prior to each training session will increase your confidence and your students will be impressed with how "organized" you are.


Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. According to research, most people do not want to _____.

2. How can you best prepare your mind for the training you are about to conduct?

3. When you conduct training, do not be surprised if _____.

4. What is the big secret in how to reduce anxiety associated with training?

5. Which of the following will help you feel in control of the training event?

Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.