A seminar facilitator needs to be very adept at reading people’s personality traits and be able to handle seminar participants properly. If you do not know how to manage the participants, it would be difficult to get your audience to listen to you, and even harder to keep them interested. You should be able to determine the approach to use in motivating the seminar audience and encourage them to actively participate in the seminar.
People have different personalities and while no person is exactly the same as the other, there are major classifications of personalities that will be discussed in this section.
Impact of Individual Personalities
You can ask trainers, program presenters, lawyers, and professors and they will probably tell you to always take into consideration the individual personalities of your audience. This is because it creates an impact on the outcome of your seminar, and it could go positively or negatively, for that matter. Psychologists say that people’s personalities play a huge part in the way they perceive and learn. It also directs what they feel and think. In the same way that your own personality would show when you present your ideas during the seminar, the audience would also display their personality while listening to you.
Conversely, if you do not bother to understand, determine, and make the necessary adjustments when relating to various personality types, this could result to aggression, hesitation, and even indifference to some of the participants in your seminar. As a facilitator, you should not let such things happen because it would prove to be an obstacle in reaching your objectives for the day.
The Four Major Personality Types
In customer service, people are classified according to four personality types. The same personality groups are also most applicable to your audience because they too are customers who paid in order to listen to you and learn from you. In any case, these personality types are: driver, analytical, amiable, and expressive.
- The Driver: People who have the driver personality are results-oriented and can get their work done in a very short time. They love challenges and thrills; they talk fast and are straightforward. They are also quite assertive and would demand that the person they are talking to goes straight to the point, instead of beating around the bush.
- The Analytical: People who have the analytical personality are organized, controlled, and very detailed. They want facts and information, and they are also quite deliberate in their need to think things through before making a decision, which is why they do not like to be rushed. They are cautious, logical, systematic, and very structured individuals.
- The Amiable: People who have the amiable personality are easy-going individuals. They are sensitive individuals who are always supportive, dependent, and dedicated. They are stable and patient, likeable, and team-oriented. However, they dislike dealing with cold hard facts and they hate impersonal details.
- The Expressive: People who have the expressive personality are very energetic and creative. They are charming and confident individuals. They like to be around people and would always want to help out. They can easily get other people to see from their point of view because they are quite convincing. However, at times, these individuals have a hard time getting things done and can be overly dramatic.
How to Deal with the Four Major Personality Types
If you already know who your audience will be, then you will probably have an idea on what kind of people they are and what personality types they have. But, most seminars are conducted by external agencies or freelance subject experts so chances are, you will not know the audience until you are already in front of them. So, once you are on stage and you begin to interact with the audience, you should already begin to study them to know their personalities.
- When dealing with someone who has a driver personality, do not waste time. This person will probably be asking, “What’s your point?” although silently. Keep your ideas and explanations direct, and to the point.
- When dealing with an analytical person, you need to be slow, patient, and make sure that you provide all the necessary information. These people must be completely satisfied with the information they get before they would trust and believe in what you say.
- When it comes to dealing with a person who has an amiable personality, it is not difficult at all. In fact, they are probably the easiest to deal with in your seminar. They are quite likeable and are very supportive. Smile and be sincere when dealing with an amiable personality type, and everything would be fine.
- On the other hand, people with the expressive personality can become manipulative and they are usually the ones who seek attention. So, as a seminar facilitator, you should know how to steer the conversation back in case it goes off topic.