Coaches Corner

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by George Dans - Also by this author

I call this coaches corner because at the head of or behind each great team is a great coach. A coach is there to lead, guide, teach, motivate and train people to do better than what they are currently doing. In this month’s article I am going to talk about some of the best tips to becoming a great trainer along with becoming a speaker. After all, if you hold sales training and meetings you've got to have some really good skills to hold an audience, don't you? Training is teaching. Grinding is a noisy way of complaining, so make sure you don't turn your sales training into a grind session.
There are some keys to public speaking; first, there are three parts to training or speaking in front of a crowd:
1. Introduction
Prepares people for your subject
2. Body
Contains 75 percent content of what you will speak on.
3. Conclusion
Reviews your speech or training and ends on a strong and final statement.

Now, you have to analyze your team or whom you are speaking to. It’s kind of like pre-qualifying. What will they get out of the meeting? What kind of reaction will you expect? Will they agree or disagree with what you have to say?

Then you have to figure out your speech or training topics.
  1. Is it up to date?
  2. What is the purpose of the training?
  3. What is the headliner of the subject?

Preparation is a trainer/ speaker’s best friend. This takes away the nerves and fear. If you can remember the first two minutes and the last two, you'll do ok. Have your material written out on 3X5 cards. Have your flip chart pre-framed; that means have diagrams and charts or words and subjects on the flip chart before your team comes in. Sure saves you time, and it also shows your team you’re ready to teach or speak. Use training materials, books, DVD training, videos and other second party material.

Nobody likes a know-it-all. That old line, why I am going to use my experience to teach my team… Yawn. Is class over yet? Nobody wants to really hear your war stories. Ask your kids about this one… Hey kids did you know that….zzzzzzzzz.

You see when you run out of things to say, you wing it. If you watched ESPN’s Dream Job, one of the contestants ran out of things to say and started repeating himself. He lost.

Delivery of content - There isn't anything worse than a monotone speaker or trainer who is flatter than the water on a great day on the river. Talk about boring people to death. The art of tone and inflection is important; as 38 percent of how you speak is the way you modulate your voice. Punctuate points by putting EMPHASIS on your sentences. Go back and read the sentence and put the words in capital letters. This will really keep your audience alive. Nothing worse than seeing old ten-car Tommy over there sleeping during your training or speech. When you speak…pause on major points…….. and then pick it back up. This is a good way to have people lean on the last words that you just said.

Rhythm is so important. Don't give your best content all up front. Break it up in time. Be careful when on a subject. Some speakers will be talking about a subject and then make an extreme subject U-turn. It confuses people. Stay on track, or stick to the script so that you don't slip.

Overcoming fear of speaking isn't so easy. Someone once said that at a funeral the person giving the eulogy said, “I wish I were the one in the box.”

OK, we all have been there. Prepare yourself, and know your topic. Be sure to know your first few words. Practice out loud or record yourself. Take deep breaths or do some jumping jacks or take a brisk walk. Replace any doubt with faith; it works wonders. If you blow it, only you will know it. Move on and keep going. We all make mistakes.

Here are a few other things to think about when speaking:

  1. Do you have new and exciting material to use?
  2. Is your information or sales training subjects up to date?
  3. Do you have sales training in place right now?
  4. Is it consistent or does it have start and stop dates?
  5. If you don't train and reinforce skills, how will you develop your team?

Have a great month and I hope to see you soon.

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