Great trainers adapt to the venue. They arrive early enough to compensate for the unexpected. There are certain things the host can do, however, to maximize the training experience for all participants, including the trainer.
Silence Your Surroundings
Make sure the training venue is quiet. If your training room is next to a main entrance that is within earshot of slamming car doors, a p.a. system, etc., it may be time to consider an alternative location. Quality low-pile carpet will also dampen excessive noise while allowing participants to easily move chairs around the room. Speaking of where participants sit, chairs should be on wheels and swivels, be height adjustable and provide lumbar support.
Presenters Need Plugs
The room should have at least one electrical outlet on each wall every six feet around the room and as many in the floor as code allows. Laptop computers, tablets, smart phones, etc., are here to stay, and participants will respond favorably to being able to keep devices charged. At a minimum, there should be at least two outlets in the floor 10 to 12 feet directly in front of the left side of the screen and two 10 to 12 feet directly in front of the right side of the screen. This allows the presenter to stand on his or her preferred side without having to run cables that can cause someone to trip and fall. It also allows set up for multiple presenters.
Each floor box should also have all applicable audio and video inputs that connect to the room projector and sound systems. If running cable in such manner is not feasible, then purchase cables that are long enough to snake to proper inputs. Be sure they are taped down or are under wire mold prior to starting the session.
Monitors Make a Difference
A presenter monitor allows the presenter to continue to face the audience. This is important when choosing a training room computer. Many computers do not have split-screen capability, and that puts presenters at a major disadvantage. The presenter may have to hold notes and doing so diminishes body language. He or she may also have to turn and reference the screen, which breaks eye contact and may make the audience feel like the presenter is speaking to the screen instead of the audience.
*Extra Note: Training room computers should be updated consistently. Be sure to let presenters know what type presentation software the computer runs so he or she arrives with a compatible presentation.
In part two, we will discuss Internet access, color schemes, and creative budget solutions. Until then – happy training!