Standing in front of an audience and giving a speech makes some presenters quiver. It evokes the closest thing to cardiac arrest. Solution? Don’t do it.
But… it’s part of my job description as a learning professional. It’s required to ensure learners receive the needed training and preparation for their eventual jobs. Actually, it’s not.
Speeches, lectures, pontificating, and the like do not capture attention and drive learner engagement. Surely, we have beaten this subject to death. You are not going to stretch learners’ attention span or grab their minds by delivering speeches. Learners offer a heightened level of interest in direct proportion to the level of curiosity offered in a situation or case study with problems to be solved and decisions to be made.
Understand that what’s expected and good for the learners is equally applicable to the learning professional.
Your proficiency, along with your performance anxiety, is a product of your level of preparedness and adherence to your plans and your attitude, which may have to be reframed.
Develop a brief plan wherein you specify what you want your students to learn. Script key open-ended questions that solicit students’ understanding of their homework, their grasp of the situation presented, and their interpretation of the problems to be decided upon. Decide what instructional techniques and activities you plan to deploy, remembering to keep them simple and straightforward. Finally, reserve some supportive questions to ask the learners to spark analysis and evaluation.
Most of all, along with keeping your ears open to the learners’ answers and feedback, maintain a formidable positive attitude. You may have to psych yourself out. If so, do it.