One of the major obstacles facing new trainers is their fear of facing an audience. They are afraid that some unexpected situation might arise during the training which they might not be able to face. They fear that some difficult participant might misbehave and they won’t be able to deal with such a situation. They fear to face a large audience. They fear of losing control of the class.
All such fears of starting trainers are legit. A further fear of starting trainers is the fear of making mistakes during training.
First of all, new trainers must know that it is totally OK for a trainer to make mistakes during training even for experienced trainers. Attempting to deliver training that is absolutely free of any mistakes whatsoever is not realistically possible and actually puts too much strain on the trainer making it difficult or even impossible for him to deliver training effectively.
Secondly, novice trainers should be aware of common difficulties that might face a trainer during a training session and learn how to deal with each, such as dealing with difficult participants, handling difficult questions and knowing what to do when the video projector is not working or the flip chart is missing.
Armed with such knowledge and the knowledge that it is OK for the trainer to make some mistakes during training, a trainer can enter the training room with lots of confidence.
As for the part related to fear of facing an audience, this can be overcome through repeated practice first by speaking in front of friends and family members then in front of larger and larger groups. This activity done repeatedly and gradually helps greatly increase trainer confidence.
An additional method to build trainer confidence is through visualization. A trainer can start imagining himself delivering the training session and answering trainee questions one day before the actual delivery of the training. This visualization technique is very powerful and helps boost trainer confidence. The beauty of this method is that it can be done at any time and in any place without the need to get an actual audience. It is also considered the safest environment to practice in.
Through repeated practice and visualization combined with the knowledge of dealing with difficult situations and the flexibility to accept making mistakes, a new trainer can start climbing up the ladder of ever growing confidence.
What other methods can be used to overcome shyness and fear of facing a live audience?