Several years ago, a Levitin Group trainer arrived in Cabo San Lucas to launch a training session when he caught a horrible case of laryngitis. He called me to check in the night before his class in total anguish. “Well,” he said, “I’ll probably have to pull an all-nighter.”
“Why would you do that before a big day?” I asked. He replied, “Because my voice is so bad I am going to have to spend half the day conducting a quiz on previous materials in an effort to preserve what little voice I have left. I’m going to start writing out the fifty test questions now,” he lamented.
“Don’t worry,” I reassured him, “you can go to sleep now and still play the game, but with even greater results!” Puzzled, our trainer asked how this would be possible and if I was I going to do the work for him. I told him, “No, not at all! Just have the participants craft the questions themselves – as part of the exercise.”
He called me the next evening and was elated to report that he had a great night’s sleep, that his laryngitis had healed, but best of all – he had performed one of his best seminars ever! “Everyone was involved, having fun, and they really internalized the material.”
Entertaining is about being funny and clever, it’s all about you. Training, on the other hand, implies giving up some control and allowing your students to guide the lesson. Entertainers talk and perform and take control, without gaining real involvement from their team. Remember the adage: People don’t believe it when we say it, they believe it when they say it. The more you engage your team, the more they will learn, and the better equipped they’ll be to make a sale.