Diane McKeever has been a software trainer for almost 25 years and has taught over 100,000 students in the United States and Europe. Every day she earns her title of “Certified Patient Person” by teaching some of the most complex material in a fun, easy to understand way.
Q. What would you tell an instructor who may feel shy or uncomfortable leading a class?
I would tell an uneasy instructor to do the following before class:
• See if you can sit in on the class taught by an experienced instructor. Make note of any teaching tricks you see and discuss them with him/her after the class • Make sure you are very comfortable with the material. This will reduce the stress of thinking that you could be nailed for not knowing what you’re doing/teaching • Make sure you practice, and practice and practice some more. You’ll be more confident if you know the flow of the class • Make sure you wear your favorite outfit. One less thing to worry about if you feel confident with the way you look • Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the class. No one works at peak effectiveness when they’re tired • Make sure you don’t drink too much the night before. You need clear heads when you’re thinking on your feet • Before standing up to start the class, practice square breathing for a few minutes…breath in, hold for 3 seconds, breath out, hold for 3 seconds. This will calm you down and get you ready to start
During class: • Make eye contact with everyone in the class. Make a conscious effort to look at each person as you talk • Smile. A smile can keep you in the game • Ask if there are any questions and pause. Take the time to look around the room. Use this quiet time to take a deep breath to calm yourself • Have fun. Win the group over with your charm • NEVER let them know it’s your first (or second, or third) class. Let them assume you’re a seasoned professional • Keep in mind that everyone is a newbie at some point and every class will get better.