The Secret to Effective Technical Training & Presentations

Have you ever attended a technical training event, and three days later, couldn’t really remember what you were trained on? In trying to recall what you just sat through, your mind comes up with the mental equivalent of a desolate Wild Wild West ghost town, perhaps with a sad tumbleweed or two passing through. You are not alone! At one point or another, we’ve all fallen victim to a training presentation that simply does not stick.

Training is an opportunity to engender a self-propelling domino effect of learning that can better humanity.

As a training developer, it’s my job to prevent students from walking away empty-minded. Come to think of it, this is also the goal for most sales people. You want your presentation to make a lasting impression: You want something to hit home — to stick —for the other person, in order to produce results. Whether those results are improved on-the-job performance or the President’s Club Award for Outstanding Sales, it doesn’t matter. Recognize that training is so much more than a stand-alone event: It is an opportunity to engender a self-propelling domino effect of learning that can better humanity.  “Well, when you put it that way, serving as a Trainer is an honor and a privilege!” my colleague said to me.  Yes, indeed it is!

So what ultimately makes the difference between a training presentation that produces results and one that doesn’t? What is the one secret to designing an effective presentation that sticks? Most run-of-the-mill trainers train for the affair, which makes training a mortal incident that dies when the bell rings. But the most effective trainers realize the true opportunity of training and humanize it. The key to it all is this: Relate to your audience. When it comes down to it, teaching is about reaching people. But you can only reach people if you know what matters to them, what makes them tick.

Most people fall into four main personality types, and each type receives ideas and absorbs information in their own way. The ability to quickly assess someone’s personality type comes with time and practice, but once you can do that, the world becomes your learning oyster. So what are these personality types?

  1. Drivers
  2. Expressives
  3. Amiables
  4. Analyzers

Drivers are assertive but not responsive. They control their emotions and are usually the stubborn, tough students in the room. They like efficiency and effectiveness and are driven by tasks rather than people. They like to make the decisions. To train Drivers, use facts and logic. They prefer a business-like efficiency and are straight to the point, preferring to see all their options and hear all the facts rather than hear personal assurance.

Expressives are impulsive, reactive and excitable. They are usually easily liked, social and enthusiastic. They take risks and tend to be more creative. To train Expressives, use fast-moving, colorful stories, always highlight the benefits to them, and utilize a friendly delivery and demeanor — it goes a long way.

Amiables are not assertive but responsive. They are agreeable, respectful and emotionally expressive. These are the people that don’t like to ‘rock the boat’ — they are low risk takers, favor security, and are sensitive to feelings. To train Amiables, understand that they care about personal interests, personal assurance, and they appreciate things presented as easy and low risk. Convenience wins with them, as do team environments because of their innate inclination to depend on others.

Analyzers are precise, systematic and business-like. They aren’t quick to make decisions and have a general mistrust for persuasive people. They are motivated by logic and facts. To train Analyzers, stick to specifics, and be upfront with expectations — they will respect you for it. They are not the most flexible people, but you will succeed when referring to actions and results.

Humanizing the training event means simply communicating to people and taking individual needs into consideration.

When interacting with your audience, you will naturally pick up clues as to which personality type each person falls into. There will be times when someone may fall into two or more categories: play on the most dominant one. Humanizing the training event means simply communicating to people and taking individual needs into consideration.  Understanding personality types helps you to relate to your audience and custom-tailor a message in a manner that makes sense the first time around. This is a golden ticket to delivering presentation that resonate with your audience. You will become known for effective trainings and memorable presentations in no time at all.

About Lindagrace De la Cruz

Lindagrace De la Cruz is a Senior Technical Trainer and Business Analyst, with over seven years experience in developing and delivering training programs focusing on Microsoft applications. Her solid relationship mangement experience, performance training, and sales background, paired with her Training Generalist Certification from Langevin Learning Services, provide Lindagrace with the ultimate edge in building and delivering dynamic, custom-tailored training programs that both excite and engage the user, as well as promoting effective, and lasting, knowledge transfer. A seasoned public speaker, she has presented at national conferences as well as on television. She is currently in charge of development and delivery of all training efforts at the Department of Treasury.
Lindagrace has lived abroad for more than half her life, in locations to include Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Mexico City, Mexico and Madrid, Spain. Developing an early love of cultures and languages, Lindagrace speaks Spanish, Tagalog, Portuguese and a little Italian. She received her BA from Georgetown University in Washington DC where her degree focused on Spanish, Business and Theater.

  • William Ryan

    I am currently going through training right now at a large local firm. This article really hits the nail on the head.

  • Really helpful information! Reading this article I realized my personality type is the Driver – skip the fluff & get to the point (stubborn too!). Definitely utilizing the info I learned for my next nurses meeting. Thanks!

    • Understanding your own personal balance between the different personality types is key, indeed! Thanks so much for your comment!!!

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  • Jen

    Thank you for your breakdown of personality types. This could have totally benefited me when I worked in sales and given me confidence and less frustration. Do you have any recommendations for training groups where each of the personalities are represented? Do you go back and forth trying to reach each?

    • Jen, thanks for your comment! When designing a course, I advise to build it with all personality types in mind so there is something that may resonate with everyone at different points in the session. You’ll need to stay present, and in the moment, during delivery to be able to cater the message in real time as needed.

  • Kristi

    Great great great article on training! All trainers need to read this.

    • I really appreciate your feedback, Kristi! This is definitely a great article for trainers — as well as sales professionals, public speakers, and anyone else who conducts any type of presentation. My background is actually in Sales, and I’ve definitely used the information in this post at the closing table, with much success!

  • Katharine

    This came at a great time! I’m embarking on some really important training and this will change how I approach it. Thanks

    • Thank you, Katharine! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or to brainstorm your approach 🙂

  • Great article, especially addressing the different types of audience members in any given setting.

  • Vegas Trainer

    I believe the principles you discussed are valid for everyone in the training field. Congratulations on a well written blog!

  • The idea of humanizing training is a great point. This is what a lot of trainers are lacking. I hope many trainers get to read your blog.

  • cojiecortez

    Great blog! This is a good outline for trainers/training be it in sales or any other fields. Very enlightening indeed.

    • I totally agree! When it comes down to it, the type of training should not change the usefulness of this information. Actually, all folks in people-facing positions can benefit from this information! Thank you for your comment.

  • Emy Gundayao

    Great article, good points and I can actually use this at my work . I never realized not till now what personality type am at..analyzer..

  • Al Gundayao

    This is a very good training tool for everyone. They recognize the situation that will make them successful and makes it easy for them to find ways of achieving their objectives.

  • Sam Beaini

    I like your concept, the key is retaining information and turning it to live practice. Thank you.

  • Kevin

    Really good article, LG! Having experienced different types of training through my own career of beginning different types of jobs, I have also experience different types of trainers: some care, and some don’t! Thank you for highlighting a really good topic to think about. More trainers should!

  • Jennifer

    Wow, this is very helpful advice. I will pass on to my husband as it relates to his field perfectly. Thank you.

  • Daryl

    Very interesting article on effective technical training. Well written and easy to read.