If you're responsible for your organizations training needs, especially those that involve technical subjects, you have likely experienced the difficulty of training adult students. As adults, we have comfort levels, experiences and fears that mold our ability and desire to learn something new. If you're going to train your coworkers, you must reach them in a way that encourages them to change their behavior.

In a recent survey conducted by the Sustainable Workplace Alliance, we found that the overarching problem with technical training was "How to make the training interesting". It's true, teaching regulatory topics may not be the most exciting of topics, but does that really mean that the training must be boring?

Absolutely not! In fact, by focusing on just four critical areas, we can move the needle from boring and forgettable to exciting and memorable.

Using Icebreakers to Open Up Your Audience

Studies show that nearly 75% of the population fears public speaking. This is especially true when teaching difficult EH&S compliance topics.

In fact, there's a name for this fear: Glossophobia. Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking. The word "Glossophobia comes from the Greek root "glosso" (which means ‘tongue’) and the root "phobia" (which means ‘fear’)

Wouldn't it be nice to deliver a polished presentation, not be so nervous and get your audience involved and interested?

This can be achieved by starting the presentation with an icebreaker. The icebreaker is a low-stress opening that puts both the audience and the trainer at ease. If the trainer is less stressed out, she can deliver a memorable presentation. If the audience is at ease, they will be able to pay attention, feel free to ask questions and really absorb the main points of the discussion.

What does an icebreaker look like? Perhaps discussion of a current event, a relevant statistic or an emotional story. Be sure to ask relevant questions of the audience during the icebreaker. This puts them at ease and signals that your presentation will be an interactive one.

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