Oct 14, 2009

Teacher & Trainer Special: Interview with Homi Mulla [Part 2 of 2]

Homi Mulla is an OD & HR expert in India. He is known by his flagship Relationship Management Program which he runs for blue chip organizations all the year round. He has worked in the industry for thirteen years and has been training for more than two decades. A musician, a stage actor and a captivating speaker Homi has a lot to teach presenters like you and me. This post will be of special interest to teacher and trainers.


This is the second part of the interview. Read the first part here.

Q7. Don’t you get bored teaching the same thing for the past two decades?


Have you ever played Chess? In Chess, no two games are alike. Training for me is like that. Do you think stage actors who do 100 shows of the same play ever get bored. Every show is a new show. I treat myself like a stage actor. My training is like a six-act play. Every time the audience is different and so is the experience. There is no chance of being bored.



Q8. Why do you rebuke when someone comes late? Why do you penalize when someone’s mobile rings while you are talking?


I don’t think you should call it a rebuke. Coming to my workshop on time and ensuring your phone does not ring while I am talking is basic etiquette. I just ensure people behave properly. And I succeed because I lead by example. If a presenter’s mobile is on, can he expect others to keep it silent? No.


Also when people come late, I often ask them whether I can come half an hour late. The unequivocal answer always is a ‘No’. Why should one rule apply to you and a different rule to me?

Q9. You crack a lot of jokes? Do you plan them or they are impromptu?

Humor is an essential part of learning. People remember funny stories and anecdotes for life. I make up jokes and share funny stories on concepts which I feel the participants should never forget. I use humor as a tool to plant the message in the minds of my participants forever. A trainer should never take humor lightly.



Q10. Do you tell stories in your workshop?


Story telling is a powerful way of making your content stay with your audience forever. I choose personal examples (which are even self deprecatory at times) to explain important points. The more realistic stories you choose the more the chances that it will stick. Abstract stories have no place in the real world of training.



Q 11. Do you seek feedback from your participants?


Every teacher should seek feedback from his/her students. I do seek concurrent feedback every morning about what I taught the previous day. At the end of the program I seek a detailed feedback. I give a call to those participants whose feedback I want to understand and discuss.


I go to the extent that I ask the Hotel (where I am conducting the training) to seek feedback from the participants. As a trainer you have to see that your participants are comfortable at the venue. Issues like breakfast did not come on time, the towels were dirty upset the participants. I go out of my way to brief the hotel staff so that they do not goof up. I even put the head of department of the hotel through the workshop because I wanted him to understand the seriousness of my program.

Q12. What would be your final words of advice to all the teachers, trainers and presenters?

I will end with what I said first. Conviction and passion are traits of a good speaker. Add humility to it and the combination becomes deadly. No teacher should think he/she is superior and perfect. You need to be humble, come down to the level of your audience and teach them through real life examples which they relate to. Remember, it is about them and not about you.


Follow these suggestions and audiences will get drawn to every word you speak. Best wishes.


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To know more about Homi, you can visit his website: www.homimulla.com. Tell me how you liked this interview? Does it help you become better at public speaking and presenting?