Eeee . . ., why do I have empty seats? Where are my students!!!
Much of my life, I’ve taught in Universities. As we all know well, our ability to lecture varies enormously. Some people pack the rooms, and students from other courses are sneaking in the back. Some people empty the rooms, and are never quite sure how they do it!
Most of us are somewhere in between. Delighted when we delight the students and a little curmudgeonly when students are missing because we would just love to know how the stars pack them in.
Oh . . . that’s where my students are!
I was privileged to work alongside someone with theater training, who taught marketing, and who had worked in broadcasting. This was great! She could hold a room AND explain how she did it.
She asked questions about her performance differently. Instead of seeing everything as function of what she did or didn’t do (and also entering a negative emotional spiral when an hour wasn’t too sparkling), she thought about what the class was doing.
She thought about people entering, and taking their seats. What were they feeling and what were they doing? How they changed as she entered? How they reacted when she flicked the microphone switch to green: go. How they listened to her first sentence. How what they felt changed? etc.
She understands classes well enough to choreograph their reactions. Whatever she did was aimed at producing a wonderful collective experience.
Now I have found someone else who can explain charisma!
I am a member of Xing, which is the European equivalent of LinkedIn. It’s worth looking at because it runs on slightly different lines.
It’s also sage advice for thinking about presentations, lectures, meetings, and for that matter, going to a party! Erica also writes here.
OOPS! Link seems to have broken. I’ve written to Erica (2 November 2009)