Have you ever been in a situation as a student where you are called out to help out with the lecturer to set up the power point presentation or trying to point out to the lecturer how he puts the power point into slideshow mode and shouting “F5″ (shortcut key to start a powerpoint presentation in Microsoft Power Point). Is this familiar to you? Well this is pretty much the situation in most schools and universities around the world.
The point I want to make out of this is the following : How do you expect to educate using a medium that you barely know how to operate?
Sometimes I am called out during lectures to help out with setting up the presentation and every time I get up to do it, I feel as if someone is hitting my head with a brick to keep me comatose for the rest of the lecture. The rules of engagement with the audience are somehow broken at that point in time as the educator is trying to pass on the message to us.
This following video from Youtube pretty much sums up all the rules of engagement between the educator and students as they’re being broken :
Being an educator sometimes is more than just knowing your stuff from inside out, it’s also about how much you are able to communicate the information. Once again, it’s a question on why you want to do it, and not how to do it.
Before I started writing this post I was focused on the fact that educators have to know how to pass on the message, that is by being digitally literate and able to operate the laptop or computer in an efficient manner so as to be able to convey their message, but the truth is, that it’s not enough, although it could be a starting point to effective communication and one of the tools which could be used.
In fact I realized this as I was doing the habitudes for communicators assessment, as the different questions reminded me how effective communication is more than anything an art, an art which right now is not that much practised and which needs to be learnt by most of the educators. Different elements of any form of communication involve the use of storytelling, being able to deal with one’s nervousness to talk effectively(since talking in front of people does go against our human nature), being passionate on the subject you’re talking about, giving incentives to the audience and much much more.
So what is the solution?
The solution is to start from myself. I’m grabbing a copy of the book “Habitudes for Communicators” once it’s available for the Kindle. Once I read the book, I’ll try and share the knowledge in the best way I can.
Educators out there(and that practically refers to everyone from parents to politicians). If you really want to bring a change with the information you want to share, be ready to take some time for yourself and ask yourself whether you are an effective communicator. Let’s start a culture of effective communication. And remember, be passionate on what you talk about!