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February 23, 2013 / glennlim thots

How to be an ‘Authentic’ Trainer / Speaker…

ImageWe all know that effective teaching is directly linked to a trainer’s disposition, not just his knowledge of the subject matter. And the more ‘authentic’ his disposition, the more convincing his delivery.

In my years of training and curriculum writing, I’ve realised there is a sequence that good trainers/speakers follow in preparing themselves to teach a new subject. The below 3 steps are part of developing an authentic understanding of your subject matter before you deliver any type of training. Wanna be a trainer, teacher or speaker but don’t know where to start? Follow this routine…


It all starts here. One needs to familiarize with every aspect of the training content (lesson points, illustrations, applications, flow of sequence, even the technical aspects like pwpt slides etc). The best way to do this is to watch someone else do it. This requires intentional and keen observation. Personally, I adopt a 2-hat role when I ‘check out’ other trainers. I attend their workshops watching, learning, assimilating everything about his delivery BOTH as a student, and also as a trainer, knowing full well that I will be delivering the same material in the near future. When I am conscious of this fact, I become a more engaged student, and I find myself integrating the lessons much more effectively.


This is the ‘digestion’ phase. In Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive learning, he refers to this order as Sythesis, where the trainer begins to personalise the material in his own words & terms he’s familiar with. He does this by breaking-down the lesson components so that he can perform an in-dept analysis. He begins to study & understand how the lesson points connect with one another. He also connects lessons to his own personal illustrations. At this stage, the material he is internalising is becoming uniquely his own.


This is where real authenticity is developed. The lessons internalised comes ‘alive’ through the trainer’s experiences. Trainers must ‘manifest’ his subject matter in concrete life applications before he can confidently tell his hearers that it works. He must conscientiously find opportunities to test the lessons in his own life, materialising it in life applications, evaluating it, and reaping the benefits of the lesson learnt. This is when he can now declare “been there, done that, it works”.

Remember, teaching is not just taking material from another place and call it your own. We can’t copy-n-paste, drag-n-drop lessons. Teaching is not superficial lip service. It is deep stuff. And when it comes from the depths of a trainer’s own experience, it becomes authentic…Glenn Lim


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