How many of you have attended any motivational workshops before? If so, how many of you noticed that there was something different in these workshops but you could not really tell what the difference was? And how many of you know that any difference you noticed was a result of the effort made by the trainer to ensure that you could achieve the maximum learning experience?

In all kinds of training I do, I always find it crucial to build rapport with my participants at the very beginning. I may or may not know these participants beforehand. How do I build rapport with them? This has been by far the biggest challenge I have as a trainer. The worst thing I know is that without building rapport with my participants, they would remain unresponsive and resistant to learn. The training would be a failure immediately.

In my training career, I learnt different ways of building rapport with my participants by getting ideas from other trainers and testing them out in my training. I keep those that work for me and continue exploring new ideas. I hope it makes sense to you.

I know it is almost impossible to demand any participation from my participants if they are not ready physically and mentally to learn. Participants need to warm up just like a Ferrari that needs at least 6 seconds to reach the speed of 100 miles/hour. In this article,

I am going to share with you 4 tips that could help your participants to warm up and be ready for your training. I hope you will find them useful.

Tip No. 1: Scan the room and have a natural smile

The first tip I am sharing is obvious. How many of you know the universal language to greet people? The answer is "smile". However, I am not suggesting that you have a big laughter as some participants would find that you are not sincere. You never know if any of your participants are C-style people based on the Extended DISC Model. In plain English, C-style participants are critical people. Thus, having a natural smile would just be fine. Further, make sure your smile covers not only one corner of the room but the entire room. In other words, the coverage must be 100%.

Finally, in order to allow your participants to build trust on you, stand firm and look confident too. Let's think from your participants' perspective. Would you trust your trainer and be willing to participate if he does not appear to be confident?

Tip No. 2. Check seating arrangement

The second tip is something I learnt from my mentor and therefore, I have to acknowledge him for giving me this idea. The truth is that it works for me and this is why I am sharing with you.

As explained by my mentor, seating arrangement is critical. In order for the participants to be able to learn, the room must be filled up with high energy. When participants are sitting together, the high energy level in the room can be sustained except when there are empty seats in between. Therefore, you should ask all your participants to have a seat and make themselves comfortable. But the truth is that you want to take this opportunity to quickly scan the room to find out if there are any empty seats in between. If there are, you have to ask your participants sitting at the back to move up to fill these empty seats. You cannot start any training without completing this step.

Tip No. 3: Acknowledge your audience for their willingness to follow your instruction

It is important that you acknowledge your participants for their willingness to follow your instruction. Acknowledgement will make them feel good. It also demonstrates that you care for them.

Tip No. 4: Ask questions with passion

How many of you notice that I have asked a lot of questions in this article? And how many of you know that asking participants questions is an effective way to keep them engaged and involved in the training? Well, I hope you have got this by now.

In the actual training environment, it is important that you ask your questions with passion and excitement. This will help you to transfer your energy to your participants, and thereby allowing them to learn even more. If you feel passionate about the topic you are teaching, your participants will feel it too. If you want to get them excited, ask your questions as if you were excited too.

I hope you enjoy my sharing. Meanwhile, visit my website as you will find a lot of useful tips I share on public speaking. Please leave me with your comments on my website as I would love to hear from you too.

Author's Bio: 

After working in the corporate world for 16 years as an international tax lawyer, Jack Wong is now an entrepreneur working from home, allowing him to spend more time with his family. He specialises in coaching his clients to identify their passion in life, and how to make money from home.

For more details, check out Jack's Website at and Personal Blog at