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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

How to handle hecklers by Eric Fitzpatrick

Eric Fitzpatrick tells us how to handle the more difficult trainees on your training course with as little impact as possible. 
Photo: Trainingzone

One of the issues that trainers face when delivering training, is that very often the attendees on the course don’t want to be there. They have been sent by their company, feel aggrieved that this has been forced upon them and see no possible benefits of being there. They arrive with poor attitudes and this manifests itself in their behaviour, which is often antagonistic and unhelpful. At some stage in the training they start to verbalise their dissatisfaction and this results in comments and snide remarks (heckling) that aim to undermine the trainer and the training.
Heckling is a common challenge that trainers have to face and it pays to be ready for it. Inexperienced trainers can be thrown completely off stride when a heckler strikes. It can result in the trainer losing composure and confidence and if not dealt with effectively, losing control of the training day itself. So, what can you do when you get heckled?
The good news is that there are a number of ways to handle Hecklers. Two factors that will influence how you handle a heckler are:
  • The training environment
  • Your gut instinct as the trainer
Having a good feel for how the training is going will help you decide the best way to deal with the heckler. It’s also important to know which type of heckler you are dealing with.

The following are the four types of heckler and how to handle them:

About Eric Fitzpatrick
Eric Fitzpatrick is a certified trainer at ARK Speaking and Training and is a member and former club president of public speaking trainers Toastmasters International. 

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs.

Source: Trainingzone