If you have known me for any length of time, you know how important my daughter is to me, and you’ve probably seen pictures of her too. You may also know that I have a wonderful wife who is going to bless me with a son, due in April. This is exciting news for sure, but you may wonder what in the world this information has to do with a professional blog related to demonstrations and training. So let’s dive right into the importance of this information.
Having a child brings many challenges associated with raising them and helping them to become contributing members in today’s society. I have developed a very strong desire to see my daughter (and soon to be son) grow and learn. Sometimes, my daughter surprises me with the things she says, and I wonder how she could know something like that at such a young age. Then I realize, it’s because she has a mind that continually absorbs the information around her. She has many opportunities to learn, and she takes full advantage of them.
From this I share a revelation I had, which is probably just common sense, about how children learn versus adults. While children and adults do learn differently, it doesn’t have to be that way. Some of you may be familiar with the term “child-like wonder”. What is the reason children have this trait and we seem to lose it as adults? It’s because the world around us is no longer “new”. We rarely have the opportunity to experience something both new and fun, and when we do, it’s almost never associated with our jobs.
“Thank You” for Stating the Obvious
Now that I have the obvious out of the way, it’s time for me to share the real meat of my thoughts with you. I have noticed that my daughter learns best when I make it fun. If I have enthusiasm and excitement, she will mirror my behavior and add exponential energy to the experience. When I show little to no interest in something, she will also mirror this and become bored quite rapidly. Is there a way to take this and apply it to how we interact with adults? Yes, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about it.
The important part we need to focus on, as demonstrators and trainers, is that our energy and excitement about a topic makes a HUGE difference. Do NOT go into a demonstration with an attitude that says, “let’s get this over with, here’s the product, yep, it does this and that, any questions.” The consumers of this information will be more excited about watching the paint drying on the wall than they are about your product. On the other side, if you act like this is completely new information and you can’t wait to share it with the rest of the world, the consumer is going to be on the edge of their seat absorbing everything you say.
Find Your Inspiration
Everyone will have a different path to finding what works for them. I’ll share a few things that have helped me though. First and foremost, I watch YouTube videos. Please, do NOT watch videos that only relate to your job or attempt to teach you something you’ll be doing in your career. I’m not saying that these kind of videos aren’t useful. What I am saying is that if you’re looking for inspiration it is highly unlikely that you will find it here.
I watch videos that look fun and exciting. I subscribe to a few channels that perform random experiments with everyday household item:, they perform magic tricks, they review cool tech, they record slow-motion videos, they forge a knife, and everything in-between. I watch these because you can see the passion of the person making the video. The content appeals to ME as a consumer. I’m not watching it with the express intent of learning what they are showing. I’m watching because the topic they are covering is interesting to me, and I can use these techniques to further my own career.
Selfishly, I’m also reviewing some of these videos to come up with “learning” content for my daughter. She comes up to me asking to watch “learning” videos with me and then we try some of the experiments together at home. Have you ever made gummy candies? Do you know what happens when you put Mentos in Diet Coke? Can you explain how a chameleon’s tongue works? My daughter and I can both tell you all about these cool ideas.
What qualities do you look for in YouTube videos? Have you watched part of a video and closed it because it was poorly filmed, had boring speakers, or any variety of “bad” qualities? I’m not sure I’ve met anyone that hasn’t browsed YouTube and left a video due to sheer lack of interest. At the same time, I’m sure you’ve run across a video that you watched all the way through just because it was entertaining. Did you notice the reason why you watched it all the way through? It’s because it was interesting to you!
Show your Passion
Like I mentioned, the videos you watch can show you the passion each person has for their product. I try to find a way to make my product worthy of watching and this usually means I must become passionate about what I am presenting. Every time I give a demonstration my goal is to make it seem like this is the first time, to go at it with that “child-like wonder” I see in my daughter. As a result my customers have always wanted to know more.
I encourage you to re-think how you present a topic. Even if it’s the same topic you’ve talked about for years, or it’s something you know the customer has seen a thousand times; I want you to be excited to share your product. I promise, the results are infectious. If I could only give one piece of advice for ANY demonstrator, speaker, presenter, or trainer it is this: Be extremely passionate about your content. Show it with so much enthusiasm that your audience cannot help but to watch you with childlike wonder. Let’s go out there and demo like a pro!