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Chapter 4. Getting Started > Preparing Yourself

Preparing Yourself

There is no worse feeling for a facilitator than to enter the learning environment unprepared. Three items that have been addressed include knowing as much as possible about the learners, knowing your course content, and knowing the leader’s guide with learning activities. Subsequent chapters discuss knowing your activities, sequence, and pace. And here are even more:

  • Get a good night’s sleep before the learning event.

  • Do some stretching exercises prior to entering the room.

  • Walk around the room and make sure that everything can be seen from every seat. Check for loose cords on the floor and other hazards.

  • Memorize the first few sentences you will say.

  • Practice with the audiovisual equipment. (This point cannot be repeated too many times!)

  • Choose comfortable clothing (especially shoes) that makes you feel good and look professional. A nice guideline is to dress one step above your audience. For example, if your audience wears work uniforms on a plant floor, you might want to wear khakis and a golf shirt. If your audience is business casual, you may want to wear a tie or pantsuit.

  • Keep water with lemon available in case your throat gets dry.

  • Breathe deeply before you begin talking; if your breath gets short during the first few minutes (hyperventilation), breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth a few times. You can even do this surreptitiously while a participant is making a comment or asking a question.

  • Keep your knees slightly flexed; if you lock your knees, your circulation may become impeded causing you to become light-headed.

  • Smile, relax, and have fun!



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