Nine confidence boosters for trainers

Total Success have been running successful Train the Trainer courses since 1995. This one-day course is essential if you have just been promoted to a training or coaching role or you wish to refresh your training skills. It is full of practical tools and techniques that include:

This course will also benefit those who have become Training Managers and wish to know the fundamentals of developing organisational training programmes focusing on implementing training policy and improving staff competency levels.

Even the most experienced trainers get the occasional butterflies before a course. The trick is not to show nerves to your audience for fear of losing credibility. Here are some key points every trainer needs – before, during and immediately after a training session for instantly boosting your confidence:

Before the training course

  • Choose clothes you’re comfortable in

The best clothes for training are the ones that course delegates don’t notice. They don’t notice them because they look ‘right’ and they can focus on what they are learning rather than being distracted by something you’ve got on. Choose clothes that you feel both comfortable and confident in. You might have something you wear which makes you feel good and in control of the situation.

  • Be consistent

Many trainers have a ritual they go through before beginning a course. Whether it’s going through positive visualisation exercises through to having a checklist of everything you need to bring to the training room. It’s all about having that little piece of certainty about your day; something you’re in control of that can help to calm those butterflies down. It also ensures you’re fully prepared and ready to start.

  • Getting it right at the start

When your heart’s beating, the last thing any trainer wants to do is stumble over the first few words. Starting confidently sets the tone for the training session and relaxes those nerves. Practice that opening line out loud and you’ll find you put both yourself and your delegates at ease. They want to learn from someone who sounds like they know what they are talking about.

During the training course

  • Smile and make eye contact

A smile is the international signal of confidence and acceptance. Smiling with eye contact also sends out signals to the people in front of you that you’re approachable and trustworthy when done in a genuine way. First impressions are important when you meet people and will have an impact on the rapport and relationships you are looking to achieve.

  • Stand up straight and deepen your voice

When people are nervous, their breathing tends to be quite shallow and fast. When you stand up straight and breathe from your diaphragm you’re able to fill your lungs properly and get oxygen into your bloodstream. This in turn relaxes you. When you breathe from lower in your chest, you can also deepen your voice. A deeper voice is associated with maturity and authority while a high squeaky voice is often associated with immaturity and inexperience. When you hear your voice deepen it not only makes you feel in control, it also makes people take what you say more seriously.

  • Be okay with not knowing the answer

It would be impossible for a trainer to know absolutely everything there is to know about their topic, so accept that there might be some questions you can’t answer straight away. A technique sometimes used when faced with tough questions is to reflect it back to the group: “What a great question. What do you think the answer might be?” while scanning around the room. There’s always someone who has been aching for the opportunity to show how much they know. Being able to field tricky questions means you can relax and exude confidence. Another great tip is to set up a ‘question scribe’, someone who writes down questions that crop up during the course. Using this technique it allows you to “come back to you all later via email with the answer to the question”.

After the training course

  • Don’t expect miracles

It’s always nice if you’ve done such a great job that everyone jumps to their feet to applaud you – in reality it doesn’t happen all that often. If people gather up their things and leave the training room without saying a word, that’s okay, provided you know you’ve done a good job. Remember you are there to deliver information in a way that makes people more productive – end of story. You’re not ‘making the world a better place’; so make the shift in your mind to facilitating their learning rather than being responsible for changing lives and you’ll boost your confidence and be much more present.

  • Check feedback forms with someone else (not on your own)

No matter how good the training session went, one piece of less than positive feedback has the potential to knock your confidence. We’re all human. The tip is: go through the feedback forms with someone else so you can talk it through and put any negative comments into perspective.

  • Be kind to yourself

Ask people what their number one fear is and most will tell you it’s speaking in public. As a trainer, you’ve got a skill that many people wished they had. It takes guts to get up there and take a training session and you need to give yourself a pat on the back every now and then. Beating yourself up emotionally won’t help anyone. Remind yourself that you are “good at what you do” and that it takes a special someone to do what you do. Most people would run from the chance to do it so by conducting a training session you’re already ‘someone special’.

Good luck!!!

*This article was referenced from an original article in Training Zone (

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