Teaching and Instruction - Get Attention and Create Engagement - Step
Jun 14, 2010 Teaching 2350 Views
Do it how the professionals do it. Leave the guessing. There are simple ways of gaining the attention of any age group, and then keeping them engaged. You are a trainer, teacher, coach, or parent, so you must know effective techniques as you are busy and your time is worth a lot. Discover how to get attention and create engagement for your instruction easily and consistently.
Ever see those rough looking young boys out on the skate park? They will attempt success at their tricks and turns for hours and hours. They do not complain, they do not look hyperactive and unable to focus, and they do not mind working hard for success.... Does that strike you as strange?
These young lads are a great example of what happens when the learner is motivated to learn, wants to learn, and values learning. It is really the same for everyone. Ever sit through a boring presentation put on by someone who thinks teaching is talking? Whew! Makes you tired just thinking about it.
There are simple steps you can take to become extremely effective in your instruction. After years and years of professional instruction and helping others, I have found a few simple techniques that help a lot.
Step 1: Get attention and Create Engagement by having something beneficial to teach and then plan it out effectively. This is a simple matter that is easy to understand and appreciate: you must get attention to create engagement. If you do not have their attention, then forget everything else. Nothing will work to create engagement if your students are not with you -- no matter what it is you teach. It does not matter what you are training, coaching, or teaching, if you do not have you student focussed on your message... it is over.
So how do you get attention first? Simple: (i) have something beneficial to say, and then (ii) plan your message. You must have something worthwhile to share and it must be thought out, and you must be able to express exactly why what you are teaching is beneficial. This is extremely important. This creates conviction and belief in your tone and attitude. If you cannot think of why what you are instructing is important and beneficial to your students, then stop instructing because you are causing yourself and your students pain. However, if you have something to say and you are confident that your knowledge will benefit others, they will pay attention and become engaged.
You must then plan your message starting at the end and working backwards. That is to say, "what do you want to have learned at the end of your session or class or course?" When you can clearly answer this question, then you can plan and proceed towards that goal chunk by chunk until you reach it. Think in terms of planning units of work based around a theme or key concepts and then working those backwards to develop individual lesson components. This works for coaching as easily as it does for training or teaching. When you are well planned and have a plan that you believe will benefit others, this then oozes from your person. People believe your belief and they will grab hold of your plan. A well planned message is something that people can grab hold pay attention to, and become engaged with. If you are wandering around talking about this and that, people tune out and will not engage with your material.
Ever see a group of sugar crazed kids get sucked in by a television show or movie? They are responding to excellent messaging. You can be an excellent instructor by getting a comprehensive and easy to learn strategy in place. You can learn exactly how to plan your message - in great detail - just invest a little time and some effort. The resources are there.
Look for step 2 in the upcoming article - "be a pack leader." I wish you all the best on your instructional journey, Ross Leadbetter.