Next week we are off to Destin Florida for our Leaders Training Event. After 8 years of training, we’re now training trainers. Here are our top twelve tips.

12. Send pre-work ahead of time.

This saves on laborious instructions, preps people for what will be taking place, and communicates a field of knowledge you would like them to be familiar with before they arrive. Your time together can now focus on training.

11. Ban power point presentations with lists of what you are saying.

Use media for beauty, quotes, main points, telling stories, etc. If others can read everything you are saying, maybe you aren’t needed.

10. Make your presentations 20 minutes or less before switching to another activity.

There are only a few people we could listen to forever. I’m not one and most likely you aren’t either.

9. Be yourself, use your unique abilities, and get help from others for your areas of weakness.

When we use games, my co-partner, Tami, explains the instructions. I can barely follow instructions let alone explain them to others. If I’m training on my own, I find someone ahead of time to explain game instructions.

8. Share your failures as well as your successes.

A trainer, who only speaks of successes, risks losing credibility. No one is perfect so why pretend to be.

7. Make your audience your top priority, not your presentation.

Be willing to change your plans in the moment even if it means you scrap something you spent hours or days preparing. If you are working with multiple presenters, make sure they know ahead of time that plans might have to change.

6. Get and give feedback through out the training event.

After a game or activity, debrief what was learned. If possible, ask others to do the debriefing. This will show what was taught well, keep others involved, and also let you know what you need to change.

5. Take risks and employ as many senses as possible.

If you are conveying a lot of material, divide into groups asking each group to create a song for what needs to be memorized. Give them tune suggestions. This was Tami’s idea and I wasn’t sure how it would be received. Not only does it loosen people up but helps a group to bond. Besides, it’s hilarious.

4. Offer something special at each event.

If you offer food, make sure it’s excellent! Simple and tasty is far better than lots of options but mediocre choices. Find something your audience will enjoy. Local business often will donate items for an event in their town. Several years we received donations from a lingerie store. No doubt about it, that was appreciated more than books!

3. Learn through playing games.

Besides being fun, we learn more when we’re involved in the process. When in the Colorado Rockies, we had a roaring fire in the evenings and served appetizers while conducting a training activity. When at a beach location, we met under umbrellas on the sand. And on one beautiful day in Florida we couldn’t bare to stay indoors, or at least I couldn’t. We found several huge inner tubes and with a few people holding us together, we led a training event in the water.

1. And for our best-kept secret, invite other trainers to join your team.

If what you offer is good, others are going to want to be a part of it even if you can’t pay them. We all want to be included in cutting edge stuff. Our non-profit has been in operation for over eight years and about 30% of operational costs have been donations of time and talent!