How to Make a MAGIC® Connection with Your Participants

By Jeremiah Walsh

We know how important it is to Make a Connection when interacting with customers. It is also the first step in creating an effective learning atmosphere in the classroom. When participants feel connected to you, the facilitator, they are more comfortable and feel more important, and are also more open to learning.

Making a connection with your participants begins when they are walking in the door to your session and continues throughout your program. Be sure to arrive early so that you can set up the room before the participants arrive—this will allow you to focus on your participants when they enter the session.

Some ways to Make a Connection are:

  • Greet people as they walk in the door

  • Go to them and introduce yourself

  • Use an upbeat tone

  • Speak clearly so that they understand your name

  • Shake hands with every person as they enter

  • Smile

  • Ask for and use their name as soon as you hear it

  • Listen for concerns they may have because of their being away from their job

  • Respond to concerns with empathy

  • Acknowledge to them that you appreciate their giving up time to attend your session

  • As more people enter, have them introduce themselves to each other

  • Look for things you have in common with individuals

  • Tell an amusing story about yourself

  • Share the benefits of the program with them

  • Use an ice breaker

There are also steps you can take to have the physical environment of the room feel more inviting:

  • Play music that is stirring and full of energy

  • Put inspirational quotes on flipcharts or posted on walls

  • Make your flipcharts colorful

  • Create a welcome poster

  • Put candy on the tables

  • Have the materials already set up at their places (be sure they are neatly placed in a consistent fashion around the room)

  • Use name-cards on the tables and have people write their first name on them

  • Provide color markers

  • Wear a MAGIC polo shirt so that everyone instantly knows that you are the MAGIC facilitator

These are just some of the things you can do to create a learning atmosphere that demonstrates the attitude of MAGIC.

Many of these actions may be common sense, but just as we say in The MAGIC® of Customer Relations, what is common sense is not always that common practice. Make a point of Making a Connection with every participant. The more you create a MAGIC atmosphere, the more interested, engaged and involved the participants will become. After all, they are your customers.

Before and After
Before and After
Just one "tragic" contact can influence your customers' perception of your company (and their buying decisions). Listen to the difference MAGIC® can make.