One often cited phrase in train the trainer materials is the phrase “Establish credibility of facilitator”. What does this mean? At one level it asks the facilitator or trainer to “showcase” why they should be there, their credentials, experience etc. At another it is a justification or excuse as to “why you should listen to me”.
Sure we need to trust and believe the person at the front, but is that for us to establish credibility, or is that for the participants to do?
This reminds me of the time I was asked to introduce a speaker at an event. I was given a bio, a history, a list of their qualifications, attainments etc. This of course was the normal way of doing things. Much of this of course is to massage the ego of the speaker and to say to the audience, “you must listen to this person, look at what they have done, look how good they are… are you this good? This is why you must listen to them”
It is interesting, for in leadership, we expect the leader to “walk the talk”, then we follow. For presenters, speakers trainers and facilitators we throw away this approach, and say “here is a great person.. now listen”.
Less is more
The more we have to say to establish the credibility, perhaps the less credible the individual actually is. A good example of this are people like Nelson Mandela, we do not need to say they are a Nobel Peace prize winner, or Past president of a nation under change. But of course establishing credibility is important for some.
Imaging you are to introduce some great speakers, to establish credibility. Now imagine you are you introduce Father Christmas… “Ladies and gentlemen here he is Father Christmas”… simple..
What about God. All you would say as an intro is “Ladies & gentlemen, welcome to the stage… God”…
Let the facilitator, trainer or speaker build their own credibility, by the way they do, or do not conduct themselves, credibility should be built through competence… not introductions and history!