Tuesday May 24, 2011
I’ve recently decided to get re-educated. I’m not sure what possessed me to ‘go back to school’ at the ripe old age of *bleep* but, hey, I guess we are never too long in the tooth to exercise the old grey matter!
My course is teaching me how to be a successful entrepreneur and what it really takes to be a great business woman in the modern world. Whilst I’m enjoying it immensely, it’s also proving to be an interesting experience in terms of the different teaching methods which I am being exposed to. The experts who are delivering the programme, a mixture of learning and development professionals, management consultants and strategy experts, all have their own independent style of delivery. Not all of them have got it right all of the time and so here I offer you my tips of what makes a great tutor / trainer:
- Structure your sessions - and explain what will happen. Many times we did not know from the outset what we were really going to cover. This will also help with timing, making sure you finish on time (or even early meaning you are everyone’s best friend!)
- Ensure your slides are legible - and not crammed with information. At learnpurple we suggest no more than what you’d put on the front of a t-shirt, unless it's financial results or tables. Then make sure the font is large and clear enough for those at the back of the room to read.
- Look around the room – avoid reading purely from the slides or your notes as this does not give the impression you know or understand your subject area. Making eye contact with the delegates can also help create a more welcoming learning environment.
- Practice, practice, practice – this will decrease the nerves and make sure you know your course content inside and out. It will also highlight any potential mistakes on the slides (on which we saw several badly mis-spelt words).
- Get to know your delegates – take time at the beginning of the session to get to know everyone in the room, their businesses / situation and then use this information to tailor your session. If they want to know how to sell sweets then teaching them to purchase eggs isn’t going to satisfy their learning criteria.
- Use examples which are relevant – this leads on from the previous point. As a group of SMEs we wanted to hear about similar organisations and not multi-national conglomerates that bared no relevance to us. And when using examples, try not to go off on a tangent…it makes it very difficult to then come back to the point you were trying to initially make.
- Provide feedback – but ensure it is the right amount for the group you are working with. If they expect lots then give it, if they are less detail orientated then take this on board.
- Be interesting – may seem like common sense but open yourself up to the room, answer questions, be humorous (in the right places) and take the time to explain things in detail to ensure full understanding.
- Celebrate success – a simple well done or small reward, if a delegate remembers something which was taught in previous weeks or earlier in the class, can go a really long way.
Do you have any stories on different classroom delivery styles you have experienced? Or any additional tips?