Why is it that most learning people only deliver a course rather than creating the right experience for people to actually learn? You know the kind…reading slides, rambling on and on just because they like the sound of their own voice, trying to impress people with big words or fancy slides.
In my opinion, we’ve checked out and it’s time to check back in. What do I mean by checking out…it’s called going through the motions. If you go through the motions you are telling your participants that it’s ok for them to do the same.
Here’s a few tips to change the way you deliver that will help capture people’s attention and create ore growth.
Know your audience: Gen X, Gen Y, Baby boomers etc. – I’ve heard every term out there and many trainers feel like they have to be generational experts in order to deliver. Well, stop thinking of your participants by their generation and think of them as individuals, as people…people who look to you to help them grow. It means that we in the learning community need to provide something for everyone. It can be done, but it takes a lot of skill and practice.
Which brings me to my next tip:
Conduct a conversation…not a lecture: Stop talking at people and start talking with them. Conversational learning is about creating relationships with your audience. By holding a conversation you can find out what people know, where they need to grow etc.
This engages people in a different and unexpected way. This is also a great way to actually address those generational differences mentioned earlier. The ones I told you not to focus on and I still don’t want you to focus on them, simply bring different viewpoints into your learning conversation. You can gain so much through getting fresh perspectives.
In order you have a learning conversations you need to…
Know your stuff: This doesn’t mean you have to be a “subject matter expert” on everything, but you absolutely need to be well versed in what you are teaching. You need to have comfort in the topics and you should be able to speak about your own experiences. It’s your experiences that help drive the conversation. Can you actually teach an entire class without any slides?? You can if you know your stuff.
That why the next step is just call this…
Bring it to life: Why use a power-point slide to teach a model or concept when you can bring it from the “slide” to the room and create a new learning experience. I take great pride in the fact that I create amazing models of many tools life sized, right on the floor. Then I bring the participants around the model. They get to step in and step out of it. It creates an awesome visual…you just need a little bit of tape on the floor! Other was to bring it to life are…become the leader you are speaking about. Be the character of a poor leader, act out the behavior.
All of this brings me to my last point…
Bring your passion: This is the key to everything – I show up each day with passion, I love what I do and try to share with those I come in contact with. Passion is that personal driver that excites you in everything you do. It is so sad to me that many people have lost their passion…not just the learner but the faculty as well.
As with any new ideas, you need to go slowly and build your own unique style and make sure you are in alignment with your client/company standards. It is also a great idea to speak to your participants and get their feedback. I also review with them the things I tried and ask for feedback at the end of each session.
These five tips will surely help you create a better experience for you and your learners which will help create a more effective classroom.
- As a reminder…
- Know Your Audience
- Conduct a Conversation
- Know Your Stuff
- Bring it to Life
And last but not least…always Bring Your Passion to the classroom, it will truly change everything.
These steps are not the only ways to increase your effectiveness but they will certainly be a start. We also welcome any of your ideas and thoughts on how you create a more effective classroom.