Presenting = Communicating = Training

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By Ellen Finkelstein

If you’re a trainer or teacher, the title of this blog post is an obvious statement for you.

But if you do more persuasive presentations, it may not be obvious.

All training involves persuasion; my trainer clients taught me that, telling me in no uncertain terms that they need to persuade their trainees to pay attention and implement their training.

But the opposite is also true.  All persuasion includes training or teaching. After all, if you are trying to sell something, you need to inform your audience about the benefits they will get. If you’re trying to get approval for a proposal, you need to convey its value. No presenting happens without teaching or training. You might call it informing.

When I give webinars, I have a lot of trainers in my audience. I once asked why, since I don”t think that trainers  make up the largest segment of presenters as a whole. They told me, “We’re trainers. We love to learn!”

I think that’s why so many of my clients are trainers.

Trainers are very invested in the success of their students, so they go out of their way to present in an engaging way. In fact, often their trainees are not in the audience by choice. Some trainers need to teach boring subjects, such as legal regulations.  This forces them to use stories, graphics, and interactivity to keep the attention of the trainees.

The value of getting training

Some business presenters who are not trainers think of presenting as an off-the-cuff activity that doesn’t require much knowledge or preparation. They do themselves an injustice, because they could

  • Make a bigger impact
  • Get better results
  • Even change the world a bit

In my experience, getting training is transformative for presenters.  That’s why I train. Occasionally I do slide makeovers but I prefer to teach people to do their own. It’s like the difference between giving someone a fish and teaching a person to fish. I love training because people are so happy with the result. They not only like the slides–and maybe their reorganized, rewritten content– they feel much more self-confident when they present.

In fact it’s hard for me to do makeovers of content and organization on my own because this must be a collaborative effort. After all, only the presenter knows what content needs to be conveyed. So working together in a trainer-trainee  relationship is most productive.

My clients who are not trainers get the value of training. They are managers (often executives), sales people, entrepreneurs,  and thought leaders. They want to make a bigger impact, get better results, and maybe even change the world.

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