The current training industry is huge, and people interested in participating in a conference, training course or workshop can choose from a rich offer, properly regardless of the specialization. For organizers of this type of events, making the offer more attractive becomes an absolute “must have”. One of the permanent elements to which one should pay particular attention to is the lecturer/speaker or trainer. Why? Because she/he will carry the burden of delivering merit content of the workshop/conference/training courses according to attendees’ expectations. How to find a perfect person for this task?
Evaluate the needs and priorities of potential attendees
First of all, you have to identify the needs of potential attendees of the event. You must know exactly who is your target audience and what expectations you will have to meet. Once you have established these issues, you will know what kind of coach you are looking for and what skills and experience are needed.
Look for a specialist and passionate
Once you establish what kind of knowledge you want to provide during your event, start looking for specialists in this particular field. Try to find practitioners – their knowledge and experience are most valued.
Among the specialists–practitioners in a given field, search for real enthusiasts. It is they who have the greatest chance to inspire participants with their enthusiasm.
Check the way of work
Not every specialist–practitioner – including a passionate one – will prove to be a great lecturer/speaker or trainer. When choosing the right person, it is worth looking at her work technique. Knowledge, even the most valuable – handed over in an illegible manner – won’t be worth much, which may affect opinions about the event and attendance rate during subsequent editions. So what should you pay attention to?
The style of conducting lectures or training courses
Verify how a person conducts training courses or presents his lectures. Search for speakers who have no articulation problems. This matter – seemingly not very important – may turn out to be crucial during the event. You don’t want event attendees to have difficulty understanding the words of the trainer! Of course, the sound system is one thing, but it won’t help much in case of bad articulation. Pay also attention to whether the lecturer/speaker modulates the voice, e.g. to emphasize important points.
Also, pay attention to whether the way of conducting the training course provides for the interaction of the lecturer with the attendees. This is a very important element, helping to avoid the monotonous presentation. Thanks to this event attendees won’t have a chance to get bored. It is important that the speaker keeps eye contact with the audience. A sense of humor is crucial – it can wonderfully revive and break the ice.
Take a look at the planned structure of the training or lecture: well prepared should start with an interesting opening, which attracts the audience’s attention, and end with a summary of key points in order to consolidate the knowledge transferred. The whole thing must be logical and consistent.
Preparation for the task
A great trainer, before he starts the task, makes sure about his goals. Check, therefore, whether the person you have chosen collects information about the recipients of the training and their needs in order to adapt the material accordingly. Make sure that the lecturer prepares examples relevant to the participants of this particular event.
Pay attention to whether the trainer is punctual and whether the presentation precisely fits in time – you don’t want the situation when the workshop ends too soon or the lecture lasts too long.
Search for people who are open to the evaluation forms being filled by attendees – this is a sign that the speaker/lecturer guarantees a quality and at the same time is open to corrections resulting from the comments.
In advance, ask the lecturer/speaker to present a lecture outline, it will allow you to make sure that she/he is not going to prepare it for the last minute. Remember that – even in the case of “celebrities” in a given field – full spontaneity can be accepted only in the “Q&A” section.
Take note of whether the lecturer prepares attractive slides with the right amount of detail. Make sure that you will be able to share copies of the slides in advance so that attendees don’t have to make time-consuming notes.
Remember that professional lecturer use notes, but doesn’t read them. There is nothing worse for the attendees than listening to a monotonous lecture! Make sure that the presentation includes interesting examples of practice illustrating the theory.
Fame is not enough
A frequent mistake of people organizing training courses, workshops or conferences is to invite only so-called “celebrities” from a given field. While their presence may indeed turn out to be a powerful lure, don’t hesitate to invite people who have great knowledge in a given field, are passionate about it and have special skills allowing them to pass the knowledge interestingly. The event attendees will appreciate it. Ultimately, the knowledge gained from the training course or conference will determine their assessment of the event, at least in its substantive aspect.