Teaching to Establish Your Expertise – Trainer Tips
In a increasingly competitive economy, it is wise to work on “building your brand”, which includes establishing your expertise in your field. This strengthens your position should you choose to, or find yourself needing to, find a new job.
One excellent way to do BOTH of these things, is to become a speaker, workshop presenter in your field, and/or, online instructor. If any of these are paid gigs (such as creating an online class on a learning platform such as Udemy or SkillShare, for example), they can also become an additional source of income, which I highly recommend having during these uncertain times
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If you’ve decided to build your digital work portfolio (and/or income streams) by creating and offering an online course, that’s awesome! These are all great opportunities to expand your career skills and reputation!
BUT…. perhaps the idea of teaching bores or confuses you, or, you just don’t know how to teach others in a way that won’t bore or confuse THEM.
Never fear! As someone with a corporate trainer background that has taught classes or workshops in virtually every job I’ve ever had, I can help.
Here are a few simple teacher/trainer tips guaranteed to help your class or talk to be informative, interesting, easy to understand (and thus, well received!)
Training Tips for Non-Teacher Types
1) Know your audience– who are you teaching? Colleagues? Beginners? Professionals from another industry? What is their current knowledge level on the topic?
Provide the needed background info in the simplest, quickest way you can, according to their current level or depth of understanding, Avoid talking over their heads, or talking down to them or wasting their time with novice level facts.
Never ask “Who doesn’t know ____?” No one wants to appear stupid or uninformed. Just offer “a quick review of the basics to jog your memories and fill any gaps in the groups understanding so we’re all on the same page.” This is especially true if you are unsure of the participants’ current level of knowledge on your topic, too.
2) Tell stories to illustrate your key learning points. This ‘proves’ your expertise, and, keeps people awake and interested!
Your own experience along your path to now being the teacher can provide evidence that you can relate to where they are in the learning process and make you more approachable. Putting content in context of real life situations also helps many people to understand and then apply the learning, in their minds and when they need to implement what they’ve learned themselves.
Relevant stories about the topic that demonstrate the knowledge you need to teach are just more interesting than old school outline/lecture mode, too, right?
3) Incorporate all the basic learn styles: visual, auditory & kinesthetic so everyone gets it, and each way reinforces everyone’s comprehension.
Include auditory components for learners who need to listen, to HEAR IT to GET IT (ex: your verbal presentations and instructions, audio recordings of others doing the same, and, the participants talking about the topics, practicing, etc.).
Use visuals of many kinds for those who need to SEE IT to GET IT (ex: handouts, outlines to help people take notes, PPT’s, charts, pictures, video clips to show the steps or people engaged in doing what you’re teaching, etc.).
Also make sure to include some sort of interactive pieces to it — get the group to DO the learning to make sure they GET IT (ex: role playing, practice exercises, small group discussions, hands-on demonstration/try-outs, create your own & present it to us projects, etc.) Getting them engaged also keeps them interested, too.
Being recognized as someone that “knows your stuff” is a great career accomplishment. Being known as the person that can effectively teach important topics to others PROVES you are THE go-to professional in your area.
This can lead to even further recognition and career opportunities, from promotions to outside teaching/speaking offers, all resume and career builders.