By Ashraf Al Shafaki
A competent trainer is able to face participants and conduct presentations in front of an audience with great self confidence and no shyness.
The first step to be able to overcome shyness and build self confidence in facing an audience is to know that even long experience trainers, well practiced theater actors and start singers might feel a bit uneasy right before standing on the stage and even during the first few seconds they are on stage.
Knowing about this phenomenon can make a novice feel much better knowing that some degree of shyness or nervousness on stage is acceptable as long as it does not show in front of the audience and is kept hidden.
A novice trainer can greatly improve his or her self confidence and avoid shyness during delivery of a presentation by repeatedly performing visualization exercises. The visualization exercise can be practiced as follows:
- Start the visualization exercise one or more days before delivering your training or presentation.
- Sit on a chair and close your eyes or keep walking to and fro with your eyes open.
- Visualize yourself actually delivering the training inside the training room with the participants present.
- Imagine yourself speaking and saying specific things or explaining something in particular.
- Imagine trainees asking you questions and you answering them back.
- Try to imagine the interesting parts. Get pleasure out of imagining these situations as if you were day dreaming.
- Keep visualizing yourself delivering the training. Select various situations, some of them interesting others challenging.
By repeatedly going through the visualization activity described above you will get better at visualizing.
This exercise is useful for both novice and experienced trainers alike.
The visualization exercise has many benefits among which are:
- Your self confidence level will be boosted. As you enter the real training session you will feel that you have already delivered the session before, even more than once (if you have repeated the visualization several times). You might even find that some of the questions trainees ask you during the real session are the same as those you have visualized them asking you and you had already visualized yourself answering them with great confidence!
- You practice delivering training as long as you want in a protected "safe mode" without being faced with real a audience. Mistakes can be corrected, no real embarrassment would take place and no adverse consequences will result from your imaginary training.