Nonverbal Communication Tip For Trainers

Nonverbal Communication Tip For Trainers

Anyone who has done any amount of training knows that there are times when participants will have side conversations unrelated to the session topic. Not only is this distracting for others, but those involved likely also miss key information that can cause problems later.

Nonverbal Communication Tip For TrainersTo effectively control such behavior, a classic nonverbal classroom management technique can be employed without interrupting your content delivery or unduly drawing attention to the situation. Here’s how it works. Simply continue to talk as you casually walk in the direction of the talkers.

Once you are directly in front of them, make eye contact, and smile as you continue to deliver your message. This will typically refocus their attention and alert them that you are aware of their behavior. If this fails to work, pause, then ask them a question related to what you have just said. Normally this slight embarrassment will do the trick.

For other creative strategies for engaging learners and creating a stimulating learning environment, get a copy of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.

About This Blogger – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at or his blog

The Role of Vegetation in Learning Environments

The Role of Vegetation in Learning Environments

Over the past couple of decades, numerous studies have been completed on elements that enhance a learning environment. Specifically, studies showing that the brain is positively impacted by increased oxygen and nutrients. Some research points to the potential for increased brain stimulation due to enhanced blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

The importance of fresh air on brain functioning has been known for years. The brain needs air rich in oxygen and free of contaminants to operate at peak performance levels. Unfortunately, many organizations now occupy closed environment type buildings where the air is recycled and windows cannot be opened. The result is often reduced air quality that in some cases even results in what has been termed “sick building” syndrome. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is one of the top environmental hazards of our time. It is a leading cause of the rise of asthma. To counter this negative effect, strive to have open windows and/or good air exchange throughout your sessions.

The Role of Vegetation in Learning Environments by The Creative Trainer 

Plants have been found to be another simple, yet effective, way to offset some of the pollutions that exist in offices and training rooms. In research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Dr. B. C. Wolverton conducted studies using plants to remove pollutants in controlled, closed environments. He and others have found that a number of common house plants successfully remove contaminants. The study concluded that placing plants (see figure – Common House Plants) within an individual’s breathing zone (approximately 6-8 cubic feet surrounding the person) improves air quality. It is recommended that 2-8 small or 2 large plants be placed every nine square meters (900 square feet).

The Role of Vegetation in Learning Environments

By including vegetation and applying other brain-based learning strategies in your training environments, you can turn typically boring sessions into active learning sessions that potentially result in improved attention spans and brain functioning. While no one study points to absolutes, when you look at the collective nature of research on the brain and learning, indicators are that there is a potential for improved learning and retention by focusing on the environment.

For more information on key elements that can be used to enhance your learning environments, get a copy of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.

Two Keys to Flip Chart Success

Two Keys to Flip Chart Success

Two Keys to Flip Chart Success

I have found two things, in particular, to be very helpful in presenting a professional image as a trainer and making presentations with flip charts easier.

Two Keys to Flip Chart Success by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Learning & Training Author

And these are things most of us were taught as children:

The first — gather and organize all your toys.

Translated, this means to ensure you have the materials and information you will need for the session before participants arrive. I cover the concept of a trainer’s toolbox in another article, but in brief…think about what you will need to communicate your message effectively and arrange to have it for the session or meeting. This includes handouts, additional audiovisual equipment, accessories, markers, rulers, posters, or whatever else will use to help participants understand concepts that you are trying to share with them.

The second thing I believe is crucial — if you are going to play with the toys… read the instructions first.

Effectively training adults and presenting information using a flip chart are relatively simple tasks, if you take the time to prepare in advance. They can be done well or poorly, depending on the degree of effort that you exert. Spend some time to learn the “rules of the game” and practice your skills. You’ll be surprised at how a little investment of time upfront can pay satisfying dividends during your next learning event.