Five Ways to Engage Shy Participants

You are here: Home / Free Trainer Tips Blog / Five Ways to Engage Shy Participants

Five Ways to Engage Shy Participants

A trainer’s biggest fear is an unresponsive classroom, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are about to take on your first training class, or you’ve been through the process a hundred times, understanding the difference between an unengaged audience and an engaged audience can make all the difference in your teaching and learning experience. If you are having trouble engaging your students, or if you are afraid that you might have trouble keeping things moving, here are five ways to engage students – even shy participants – to make the most of your training sessions.


Confront the Silence and Allow it to Be

If you are an experienced trainer, you know the value of silence in the classroom. It doesn’t always mean that people are zoned out or daydreaming about something other than what you are teaching. It can mean that participants are taking it all in, thinking about your lessons, and considering how those lessons can impact their lives, work, and knowledge. So before you try to fill every second of every training session with words, words, and more words, understand that silence is an essential part of your training and learning process. Confront the silence in a way that reminds your participants to engage with the content. For example, when you finish talking about a topic, wait a few seconds and then tell your participants to “consider the implications” of what they have just learned, or ask them to write down how they feel about what they just learned. Use the silence to your advantage to remind students to get involved with the content.


Ask the Right Kind of Questions

One way to keep participants engaged in your training, and probably the most popular way, is to ask questions. But the kind of questions you ask is critical to the success of your training and the engagement of your students. For example, if you always ask yes/no questions, you’ll always get a yes/no answer. That doesn’t leave much room for discussion and further opportunities to learn something in the process. Instead, ask questions that prompt the student to continue to talk or their own accord.


Ask for Opinions

Ask participants for their opinions if you want to get them engaged in the learning process. When you ask for opinions, you remove the fear that they will feel less experienced than their counterparts in the classroom. Not everyone will have the same experience, but everyone has got an opinion. If you want to get your students talking, ask them to provide an opinion on a teaching point. For example, if you are teaching the group about communication skills. Ask them to provide opinions on your communication skills. And just so the conversation isn’t one-sided, get them to critique each other’s communication skills, and even their own.


Use Stories to Draw Participants Out of their Shell

Everyone loves a good story, so when you are having trouble getting your participants to engage with you, ask them to tell stories, either through written word or verbally. Some people have a hard time expressing themselves out loud, so it’s a good idea to offer them an option of writing their thoughts down before they speak. Ask for stories about good examples and bad examples. Again, everyone has an opinion about these things, but sometimes they don’t see the relevance of their own experience. Having them tell a story can help shape the relevance of their opinion and bring a new learning opportunity to the group.


Use a Variety of Teaching Tools

Not only can you engage students with a variety of teaching tools, but you can have them engage either other with the same tools. Use flip charts to illustrate points and write notes for the class to see. Show videos and ask for summaries from students; have them compare and contrast notes with each other about the videos. Ask questions and then ask them to reframe the questions in a way that gets them talking to each other. Get them to write stories, poems, and draw pictures about things that happened to them at work and in life that might be relevant to the training.

There are lots of ways to get students out of their head and into your classroom. It can take time to develop these skills as you first start out, but with time, you’ll be able to command the attention of any group and make sure they get the most out of the learning experience.

36 Full Courses & 6 Mini Courses.

34 Full Courses & 6 Mini Courses

Get all available programs
& save ...!!

Price: $4499.95 $2995.95

Great Value For Money

Read More

Are You a
Visual, Auditory or Kinaesthetic ?

How well do you
cope under
pressure? .

Are You A
people person?

Forward looking, or
Stuck in a time

How content
are you?

How soft-centred
are you?

Find Out
Your Leadership

Emotionally intelligent are You ?

Train The Trainer + Presenting With Impact

The Presenter-Trainer Package®

Train The Trainer

Presenting With Impact

Price: $359.95 $299.95

SAVE $59.95

Read More
Retail Excellence Series

Retail Excellence Series®

3 Complete Courseware
Packages in 1

Frontline Retail Selling Skills

Retail Sales Planning & Forecasting

Passionate Retail Experts

Price: $539.855 $349.95

Pay for 2 Get 1 Free

Read More
Sales excellence series

Sales excellence series®

3 Complete Courseware
Packages in 1

Sales Management

Professional Selling Skills

Sales Territory Planning & Routing

Price: $539.855 $349.95

Pay for 2 Get 1 Free

Read More
Call Center Excellance Series

Call Center Excellence Series®

4 Complete Courseware
Packages in 1

Handling angry and difficult callers

Call control

Find a way to say YES!

Successful telephone debt collection

Price: $719.95 $449.95

Pay for 2 programs and Get 2 programs Free

Read More
Communication Excellence Series

Communication Excellence Series®

4 Complete Courseware
Packages in 1

Communicating with clarity and impact

Negotiating for results

Conflict resolution

Presenting With Impact

Price: $719.95 $449.95

Pay for 2 programs and Get 2 programs Free

Read More
Customer Service Excellence Series

Customer Service Excellence Series®

5 Complete Courseware
Packages in 1

Vision, Energy & Passion To Serve

Pathways to service excellence

Find a way to say YES!

Passionate Retail Experts

Setting others up for success

Price: $899.75 $599.95

Pay for 3 Get 2 Free

Read More

Instant Download
Training packages

This two day training program is packed with techniques for improving the most essential basic business writing skills as well as both verbal and non-verbal communication in general in addition to proper time management and general office organization techniques that will help administrative assistants, secretaries and office managers in performing their day to day tasks more confidently and professionally.

Price: $199.95 $179.95

No matter who you are, we all have 168 hours each week. Your ability to best utilize those 168 hours will ultimately determine your success. Using self-discovery, hands-on activities and innovative concepts, throughout this high energy training program, participants will learn how to get better control of their time and their life in general.

Price: $199.95 $179.95

A highly engaging one-day training program packed with a plethora of fun activities and games focusing on the key characteristics of high performing teams.

Price: $199.95 $179.95

All you need
to deliver a great training!

Our training material packages come with all you need to provide
a professional and accelerated learning solution with


High Impact
Power Point Slide Deck

To support immersive learning, a high impact professionally designed power point slide deck to engage trainees at all levels.



A comprehensive reference workbook you can give out to your class participants as a quick future reference.



With step-by-step clear directions with tips and suggestions on what to say and how to present each slide.


/Exercise Sheets

Various training material and support documents to help you both explain and debrief the different exercises, activities and games Plus a fun final Jeopardy style review game as a fun ending for your training program.


Support Documents

To ensure you have all you need to deliver a complete and professional training program, additional supporting documents are included with each full course material package. From training evaluation forms to 5 different certificate templates that you can edit and hand out to your participants at the end of your training.


Job Aids
& Forms

Specific forms designed to extend and reinforce the training that participants can utilize back on the job to help them apply the new learned concepts (Select training material packages)

Get all our training Packages
and Save!

Save over $1500 and Get each full program for under $99.00 & 6 Mini Courses free
Site Guarding