A class full of insolent, critical and raging hormones is probably the toughest audience one can face while seeking to convey information.
We have all been on the other side (unless you’re thirteen and reading this): the English is bad, he looks too fat, he sounds drunk… Look he tripped on the trash can!
The judgements may never stop but there’s always something we can learn from our professors beyond the classroom.
Imagine teaching your class.
Creepy, right? Not the sort of thing you’d do for a living. It certainly is intimidating to speak to a group of people who are more than uninterested in what you have to say; they’re sure they have better things to do.
While I am by no means an authority on speaking or communication, the stuff below struck me when I was attending my math lecture this morning. Without further ado, here are the five things I learn from my uni professors:
- Awesome profs avoid bombing the young impressionable gum-chewing mindswith fancy jargon. They ease into technical terms, building on simple explanations and examples.
I, as a student face lots of new scientific terms everyday and if I were to read only the texts prescribed/recommended, I wouldn’t have as good a grasp on my concept as compared to a teacher bridging the gap between what I know and what I would like to know.
2. They are not concerned with impressing anyone—despite the flak or flattery they receive, the matter of their speech remains king. (… Aaand I just rephrased ‘Content is king’.)
They are only concerned with the higher purpose of educating you on a certain topic and well, at that. Focus on what you have to convey : )
[Most profs don't bother, I admit. But for the ones who do, they make all the difference; hallelujah!]
3. Even if it is a blackboard, visuals help your content.
Visuals are aids. Just like professors never read out from a book during lectures, it isn’t a good idea to drone away your speech notes and presentation slides, unless you’re competing with Jigglypuff.
I have slept through some really horrid cases of presentations gone wrong. There is very little that may change my opinion about them as speakers. #truestory, bro.
4. Awesome teachers move about and use the space around them. Or it might just be the Stonehenge down at Wiltshire ya lookin’ at. When the person you’re listening to is moving about, there is naturally a greater deal of involvement and attention. Unless you have a thing for stones.
5. They are open to questions and discussion on tangential topics. The purpose of dialogue or communication is to essentially inspire and initiate new ones that lead you to be better direction, or at least a less trodden one.
6. Awesome teachers love what they do. That one is a no-brainer, c’mon. They choose to impart knowledge for a living and deal with the million struggles that the field presents to them with a satin fuchsia bow.
So if you’re moping around advertising solar projects when it isn’t really your thing, you could consider giving it a chance (there’s a possibility that you may fall in love with it) or pick something you love. Simple. What you do or speak about doesn’t have to be a chore. (… when you think of it as an absolute pain in the neck, trust me, it shows when you talk.)
So give the fancy jargon a miss, focus on your content, use visual aids like they’re meant to be, move around, be open to discussion and love what you do.
What are some of the things you learn from people around you?