Adult learning principle #2:
Adults have a lifetime of knowledge and experience that informs their learning.
Adult learners can be a valuable resource for you as an instructor/speaker. It's also important for them to connect learning to these previous life experiences. Here's how to make the most of your audience's experience and knowledge.
* Don't assume that your participants are "blank slates" and know nothing about your topic. Nothing is more insulting than a speaker who launches into a lecture without first finding out the needs and knowledge level of the audience. Do your research and ask first to find out what they already know.
* When appropriate, ask your audience to share their experiences, and create activities that call on them to use their experiences, for example, in small group discussions.
* Prepare activities that involve choice, so the learning process can better fit the individual levels of your participants.