January 11, 2007

Adult Learning Principles, Part 3: Knowledge and Experience

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.

Here are links to the whole series:

Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

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