I learn a lot from teaching classes, and sometimes I learn more than I teach.
I was teaching a class where the attendees were struggling with the material. So, I jumped in and tried everything I could to help. I gave them feedback on their exercises. I suggested alternative ways of looking at the techniques. I gave them targeted and exacting critiques to show them where they were veering from the correct path. I put everything I had into helping them master the material.
And...I was doing it all wrong.
They didn't need more knowledge. They needed confidence that what they were picking up could be used, and that they could be effective with it. Granted they weren't grasping everything, but they needed to be confident they were on the on-ramp to something effective.
Some groups react really well to coaching, but some need more cheer-leading and confidence building. What I learned in that class was to be more aware of when to switch over. Maybe the first day is coaching and the second day is all about building confidence? Maybe it's a little of both in every interaction? The key is, that a good teacher, leader, or speaker has to be both, and be aware of what the person, class, or auditorium needs.
Robert is a speaker coach, actor, director, author, speaker, executive and overall marketing guy. He writes about all aspects of presenting and connecting with audiences.