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Opening the classroom teaching session

In any activity, laying a sound foundation by starting well is a vital necessity and this is never less true than at the beginning of a classroom session. It may be necessary to follow a speaker who in personal terms, or by reason of his subject, has achieved great acceptance; it may be necessary to follow some other activity of a more entertaining nature or because of timing – e.g. first thing in the morning.

The audience may be “cold”. Whatever the circumstances, a good impression must be created in the minds of the audience, so that their attention and interest can be secured. There are some tricks used to accomplish this.

  • Approach in a business like manner. Start as you mean to carry on. Inspire confidence.
  • Don't dive straight in. Give the audience/trainees a couple of seconds to see who you are. Smile as if you were greeting an old friend
  • As part of your preparation, make sure everything is ready. Projector switched on, whiteboard clean, pens working etc.
  • Don't apologise! Phrases such as "unaccustomed as I am to public speaking" are a big no no.
  • Remember to keep your opening short. More on this later
  • Try to make sure to include a reason or incentive for the trainees to listen. More on this later.

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