The Importance And Purpose Of The Trainer / Group Leader Introduction At Seminars By Robert Bacal
As a trainer or group leader, EVERYTHING you do should have a purpose tied to creating learning in your group, or creating a climate and atmosphere that promotes learning (e.g. creating trust).
It's easy to forget that even the little things -- for example, how you introduce yourself to a group should have a clear purpose, because, after all, it's only an introduction, right?
EVERY little thing is important, particularly when training time is so valuable, and these, days, so rare. Let's look at WHAT your introduction should accomplish. In the additional articles listed at the bottom, you'll learn, more specifically about the do's and don't of introducing yourself to your group.
The Functions & Purpose Of The Trainer Introduction
So, what do we need the self introduction to accomplish? Some of the items listed below will seem a bit obvious, but others may not.
Establish Credibility: Participants need to know early on WHY they need to listen to you, and believe in you and the seminar content. Some people are cynical, some more trusting and open. Your introduction can either turn people off, or create additional resistance to learning form you.
Create A Learning Atmosphere: People learn best when they are relaxed but also in an attentive, focused state. HOW you do your introduction makes a difference. If you come across as someone who is going to FORCE people to learn, or that you, as the trainer, know everything there is to know, people will react negatively. What you say about yourself, and how you say it are important.
Establish A Sense Of Safety: Your introduction is part of the "starting off successfully sequence, and you need to help people feel you aren't going to embarrass them, demean their beliefs, and that in fact, everyone in the room is a "learning team". If your introduction is intimidating, cold, robotic and authoritarian sounding, people who don't feel safe, won't participate, or even worse, will vent their anxiety in the form of aggression, resistance, even heckling.
Establish Yourself As Both A Trainer, and A Person: WHO you are as a person is important in establishing trust and credibility. Learners need to know that you aren't just a trainer, or subject expert, and they need to be able to relate to you on a human being. They are often curious, too. If they can relate to you as a cat lover, or a choral singer, or any of those other things where they may share your passion, that's a good thing. Learners who know a few things about you that have nothing to do with the training content, will relate to you, like you, and above all, interact and listen to you.
So, those are the main functions of the trainer introduction. In the two articles below, we'll look at the specifics of how you achieve these.