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Overcoming the Fear Factor: 10 Proven Strategies for Confident Training Delivery

It’s not uncommon for early career training professionals to suffer from” a fear of delivering training.” This fear can show up in a variety of ways:  nervousness, self-doubt, and lack of confidence. While even the most seasoned trainer will share that they get “butterflies” before they train, the seasoned trainer keeps that fear at bay by following some of the fear-slaying strategies.

Identify the root cause of fear:

Before we can overcome the fear of delivering training, we first need to understand the root cause of it. All fear is not the same and understanding what you are afraid of is essential to dealing with it. For some the root of the fear is being self-conscious, for others, it’s being uncomfortable in their own body(too fat, too thin, too young, too old). Others fear public speaking because they are afraid people can tell they are nervous. Fear begets fear.

Understand the audience:

It is empowering to know who you are presenting to. Feeling empowered is a great way to slay fear.  Do you have a room full of prisoners? Vacationers? One of the most effective ways to become a more confident trainer is to understand your audience. According to a study by Jane Smith (2017), “Effective Training Techniques: The Importance of Audience Analysis,” audience-centered training can have a positive impact on the training experience.

Practice, practice, practice

The more practice you have, the more confident you will become as a trainer. A study by Michael Johnson (2018) titled “The Impact of Practice on Public Speaking Performance” found that individuals who practiced their training sessions had a significant improvement in their confidence level and delivery.

Use visual aids

Visual aids can enhance the training experience for both the trainer and the trainees. According to a study by Susan Brown (2019) titled “The Impact of Visual Aids on Learning,” the use of visual aids can help to improve the retention of information and make the training more engaging. In addition, visual aids can help distract the audience from your discomfort. Particularly when you use dramatic, creative, and provocative visuals. Check out Nancy Duarte’s Slideology for great tips on creating visuals that will mesmerize your audience.

Be yourself

The best advice anyone can give you is not to aspire to sound or look or gesture or tell stories like anyone else. Be your genuine self. You wouldn’t be asked to train if someone did not have a great deal of confidence in your ability. Your audience can tell when you are trying to be someone you are not. It rarely works well. What audiences respond to is someone who is excited to train, who knows the material, and who creates an engaging environment.

Encourage participation

Your participants are going to enjoy your training when they are actively involved in activities and discussions. Their positive energy is contagious and it will increase your confidence which is one of the all-time fear slayers. According to a study by Kevin Wilson (2022) titled “The Impact of Participation on Learning,” active learning can have a positive impact on the training experience.


Take slow, deep breaths prior to starting your presentation. Practice square breathing: Inhale, hold to a count of 3, hold the breath to a count of 3, exhale to a count of 3, and hold the exhale to a count of 3.

Plan B

If you are prepared for challenges it will be easier to work through them!

Positive Self Talk

Most of what we are fearful of is what we have told ourselves will happen. Focus on the presentation being successful!

Begin With A Bang

If you get started with a strong, clear, impactful opening, the rest of your presentation will be easier and your fear will minimize.


In conclusion, the fear of delivering training is a common experience, especially for those who are new to the profession. However, there are effective strategies to help manage and overcome this fear. Understanding the root cause of the fear, practicing, using visual aids, being yourself, encouraging participation, breathing, having a plan B, and engaging in positive self-talk are all useful techniques to increase confidence and slay the fear. Additionally, understanding the audience is critical to becoming a more effective trainer. By implementing these strategies, trainers can improve their performance and create a positive learning experience for their audience. With practice and patience, even the most fearful trainer can develop the skills necessary to become a confident and effective presenter.

Attend A TrainSMART 3-Day Train-the-Trainer Course

Attention all trainers and aspiring trainers! Are you looking to take your training skills to the next level? Do you want to learn new techniques and strategies to make your training sessions more engaging and effective? Then, TrainSMART’s Train-the-Trainer workshop is just what you need!

By participating in this workshop, you’ll gain valuable knowledge and skills that will help you design, deliver and facilitate training sessions that meet the needs of your audience. You’ll learn how to create an effective learning environment, use interactive training techniques, and deliver presentations that captivate your audience.

So what are you waiting for? Register now for TrainSMART’s Train-the-Trainer workshop and take the first step towards becoming a top-notch trainer. You’ll leave the workshop with the skills and confidence you need to take your training career to the next level. Don’t miss this opportunity – register today!

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Elana Centor

Since 2013, Elana Centor has partnered with TrainSmart in three key areas: training, business development, and writing. As a trainer, Elana often teaches TrainSmart’s flagship workshop: Train-the-Trainer. She also heads our Minneapolis office and as a writer provides support on everything from marketing and website content. A former journalist, Elana has previously served as a business editor at BlogHer and worked as a freelance writer for Chicago Tribune and Marketplace on NPR.