Rethink Communication...by Rethinking Who Is In The Room
When you stand to preach a message or teach a workshop or lead a discussion, do you know “who” is in the room?
I am not referring to knowing the names of those who gather.
I am asking you to think about how you classify them.
- Are they an audience in an auditorium?
- Are they students in a classroom?
- Are they members of a group or committee or council?
How you label those you make a presentation to, influences how you present.
If you approach them as an audience (whether large or small in number), you are presuming their function is to listen (auditory).
If you perceive them as students, you probably expect they to study (listen, read content, write comments).
If they are members of the group you lead, you most likely expect to give instructions, probably teach, and, if you ask for questions, provide the answers.
- Audiences listen to lectures.
- Students listen to teachers.
- Members listen to their leaders.
- Trainees listen to their coach.
“What’s the problem?”
Education requires a more diverse approach to communication.
Teachers - Preachers - Leaders need to incorporate more than stand-up lecturing in their presentations.
Students - Listeners - Members - Trainees need to be involved; investigating, interacting.
21st century communicators need to think of each person in the room as a learner … and themselves as a learning leader.
Yes, learners must listen.
But they must also ask and respond to questions.
Have opportunity to discover.
Experience the idea or message being presented.
21st century communicators must think of content but also context.
Does the text call for Proclamation? Investigation? Experimentation?
Does the text call for a Teacher (talker)? Guide (point the way with questions)? Coach (practicing, projects)?
Share the teaching component with another person:
-You lecture; they initiate discussion with those gathered
-You present); they respond
-You invite them to be interviewed
-You present; they (1 per small group) lead discussion
21st century communicators walk into the room knowing who will gather, and are prepared to present in the most appropriate-to-the-content role.