11 Speak Up: Effective Verbal Engagement

Your presence in front of your students is a key part of your teaching success. The skills you need to acquire will take practice and patience. There is no magic formula that will turn you into a great instructor overnight. The important thing is to improve in at least one area every time you have the opportunity to teach. When you do, you will learn—by doing. After all, facilitating technical training is a skill that requires proficiency. You will learn just like your students, except that they are learning about your product solutions, and you are getting better at teaching them.

In Chapter 7 I differentiated between a presentation and a training class. In Chapter 8 I encouraged you to focus on becoming a facilitator, instead of an expert. There are many other comparisons I could make here that would help to differentiate between an expert’s natural tendency when in front of subject matter beginners and what they need to be. If your LinkedIn page is anything like mine, you have seen many different memes about the difference between a manager and a leader. While a few wording changes may be required, the spirit of those memes resonates in a learning environment as well. Those who prefer to “manage” will tend to be natural lecturers and presenters, while those who prefer to “lead” will more naturally gravitate toward facilitating.

In the next three chapters, I will pull some of those contrasts together in a practical discussion ...

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