Creating the right mood

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14. Creating the right mood for the moment

Set the tone

  • Set the tone for the training in your own manner.
    • Be aware of your own state
    • State of trainer has a big impact on learners
    • Appear energised and enthusiastic, positive, well prepared
    • Well rested and alert

Build rapport

  • Welcome participants
  • Make sure they know you are interested in them as humans, that you care and have empathy and that you really are trying to deliver something of benefit
  • Friendly and approachable.
  • Fresh.
  • Sincere.
  • Address concerns or practical considerations that have impact on training
  • Share similarities and commonalities
  • Learn and use people’s names ASAP. Name tags or signs. Games can help.

Stress and repeat the benefits of the training

  • People need a reason to learn - relevance and purpose is very important
  • Overview of what participants will learn and why it will help them

Keep up the energy

  • Sessions should be short and punchy
  • Regular breaks are important – toilets, moving, time for reflection, drinking
  • Use of energisers
  • Using variety
  • Participative approaches

Put people at ease

  • Understand the reasons why some people may fear/dread training
  • How to avoid these negative feelings getting out of hand – telling people in advance about activities and what they will and won’t have to do.
  • Explain the reason for any activities, purpose
  • Get feedback frequently.

Use good humour

  • Be relaxed and be faithful to your own sense of fun and good humour
  • Relate humour to the training topic or the point you want to make
  • Use funny anecdotes to illustrate a point
  • Keep it simple and clear
  • Develop the capacity to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Keep the humour relatively disciplined so that you don’t get off track or waste time
  • When things go wrong, or you make a mistake – show that you are relaxed enough to laugh about it, and laugh at the situation.
  • Remember that you don’t have to be original – you can ‘borrow jokes’ from well-known comedians or sources of funny material.

There are a few simple pieces of advice about what NOT to do with humour

  • DON’T announce that you are going to tell a joke, let it come as a surprise
  • DON’T practice too much, it should come naturally
  • DON’T insult or hurt anyone or their religion, gender, political beliefs etc
  • DON’T drag it out or muffle the punch line.