Archive for the 'Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes' Category

Which Teaching Method Is Right For You and Your Students?

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When designing and delivering training classes for adults, there’s only one question to ask: What is best for the students?

In a student-centric model of training design and delivery, a good instructor knows that it’s not about what you want to teach, but about what (and how) the student wants to learn.

There are many ways to deliver training material to your students, but the two most important ones are the Lecture Method and the Workshop Method.

You’ve seen and participated in the Lecture Method thousands of times: the teacher gets up in front of the group and delivers the material, while the students listen and take notes. Occasionally the students ask questions. This works great when there is a lot of new, introductory material to be delivered and the students have no experience with the topic.

In the Workshop Method, a collaborative learning environment is established. The teacher uses hands-on exercises, Q&A, and discussions to help the student cement what they’re learning in a real-world environment and begin to apply it immediately. This method is ideal for adult students who bring a wealth of background experiences to a class, who need to apply what they’re learning to the real-world environment quickly, and need to stay motivated.

Is one method better than the other?

No. But the Lecture Method has the risk of being much more boring! An all-lecture class can easily put your students to sleep, especially if you’re teaching via teleclasses where they can’t see you.

Some teachers choose the Lecture Method because it allows them to be the “sage on the stage” instead of the “guide on the side.”

Smart teachers choose the Lecture Method, wisely, when there is a great amount of foundational information the students are required to learn.

Really smart teachers use both methods: the Lecture Method for the basics, then switching to the Workshop Method to allow students to process the material in a real-world atmosphere and apply what they’ve learned. This is especially helpful when you factor in that adults begin to lose attention and focus after 10 minutes of doing anything. Switching back and forth between the two methods helps keep student engaged in the learning process.

Here’s an example of how I use these two methods in a class I teach:

In my Marketing Planning class there is a lot of foundational information to learn about the psychology of marketing and creating a strategic marketing plan for your business. These lessons are generally taught using the Lecture Method, but I throw in some discussion questions and allow a fairly large chunk of time for Q&A. When we move into the lessons about writing your own marketing plan, we switch to the Workshop Method.

Here’s how I apply the Workshop Method in class:

  • I ask students about their specific situation and how they’ll apply what they’ve learned in class to their own marketing plans and campaigns.
  • Sometimes I have a student in the “hot seat” to talk about their challenges, and the rest of the students act as a mastermind group, brainstorming with each other to come up with best practices and creative solutions to problems.
  • I give them homework assignments that they can submit to me for review and comments, which keeps the learning going strong between class sessions.
  • Students write their marketing plan in a step-by-step format using a workbook I’ve designed for the class.
  • I ask questions related to the material where students fill in the blanks from their own life experiences. (You’d be surprised how much you know about marketing just by having been a consumer all these years!)
  • I ask students to debate the pros and cons of choosing specific marketing techniques.

Getting your students active in their learning process keeps the energy high, keeps them motivated, and most importantly, keeps them learning at a peak rate.

And while you’re at it, consider this: When giving speeches, what if you combined the Lecture Method with the Workshop Method? Professional speakers, too, can spice up their speeches by moving away from the I Talk and You Listen model.  🙂

 

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Category: Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes

Where Have All Your Students Gone?

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Learning StylesDo you wonder why attendance for your teleseminars and webinars has decreased? Here’s the reason and this will help you fix the problem.

What I have seen in the past few years, and what my colleagues tell me they’ve seen as well, is that a large proportion of people won’t attend the live teleseminar or webinar, but will choose instead to pick up the recording and listen to it when they have time.

This “I want what I want, when I want it” culture is becoming the norm, with TIVO, Netflix, Hulu, Kindle, etc. giving people complete control over access to what they want, on their own terms.

How This Affects Free Preview Classes

Say that you offer a special discount or deal during your free preview teleseminar or webinar. Your participants might not take you up on it…not because your special deal isn’t wonderful, but because people don’t listen to the recordings for a week or more. They don’t hear about your special deal until after the deadline has passed.

I’ve found that I need to send a second “Reminder to Pickup and Consume Your Recording” email to the registrants about 10 days after the class, to remind them that they need to listen to the recording that they downloaded. If there is a discount or special offer, I remind them about it in the email as well. (And if there is a deadline for them to take advantage of the special offer, I send that in the reminder email, too.)

Recently I held a free webinar on a Thursday afternoon. I sent an email to participants on Thursday evening, letting them know the recording was available. Within the next week, about 35% of the participants went out to the recording page and downloaded/viewed the recording. Ten days later, I sent a reminder email to the registrations (with a reminder about when the special discount would end), and the other 65% of the participants went out and downloaded/viewed the recording.

The Psychology of Missed Discounts

If you give them a deadline for a discount or some special bonuses for registering early, they often won’t hear about it until much later because they haven’t listened to the recording yet. Then, psychologically, they feel they’ve missed out on the lower price or special deal, and why should they now pay the higher price?

I know it’s not logical, but psychological studies show that if people knew there was a discount they missed, they resist buying, even if they want the item.

The deadline does not motivate them if they don’t know about it. You might consider extending the discount to include the time period after you send the second reminder.

Live, No Recording Options, and Evergreen Options

Don’t get me wrong, I think selling-via-free-classes is still a viable and strong marketing technique. We just have to modify our marketing to take into effect the new culture of on-demand education. That’s why I think we’re seeing so many “live, with no recording available” events…if the student doesn’t attend live, they miss out on the event entirely, as there is no recording. In this type of attend live only event, offering a discount with a deadline date makes sense.

Others are going to a evergreen marketing model where their free education videos/audios are always on a marketing website and people can start and go through the marketing process whenever they want (versus doing a free class on a specific date). This is great if you’re selling a self-study program, audio program or ebook.

How This Affects Live Paid Class Attendance

My colleagues report (and I’m seeing this as well) that attendance in paid teleseminars and webinars is changing, too. Students take the classes when they want, not always during the live event times. This means you could have 100 people sign up for a paid webinar series, and only 45 will show up live. The other 55 will take the class by watching or listening to the recording, according to their own needs and schedule.

I’m constantly reminding students to take the next lesson, listen to the next recording. Some students still access the private student website weeks after a live class has ended.

So you have to think how you will serve this subset of your students who can’t (or won’t) attend live, but still want to learn from you. Make sure the recordings are available for each class session, and send reminder emails to tell them to pick up the recordings by a certain deadline.

I hope these ideas and thoughts are helpful to you as you plan your class calendar for the coming year. The culture of the learner is changing and it’s important that you keep up with their demands.

Have you seen these changes happening with your own classes? I’ve love to hear your thoughts and comments about how your students (and YOU!) prefer to learn.

designlaunchdeliver-checkout-trilogy

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Category: Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes
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Free Information Isn’t Enough Anymore

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I have ebooks, audios and videos sitting on my hard drive that I’ve never consumed. I bet you do, too.

Free information is everywhere. Even if it’s excellent, it’s not always easy for your audience to digest it and create a strategy around it.

The next place of growth for service professionals and information marketers is to take all the free information you research and produce for your clients, synthesize it, and give it back to people in a practical, DO-able format: a paid class.

Want to be unique?

If you want people to consume your information, teach people how to consume it and use it. This will set you apart from the crowd.

The reason people spend money on your webinars, teleseminars and live classes is that:

  1. They get to ask questions of the teacher
  2. They get to learn in a group environment, where they can brainstorm ideas and feel supported while they learn
  3. They’re given bite-sized homework assignments
  4. They can apply what they’re learning and get feedback right away
  5. They walk away with a do-able action plan

Even offering free webinars and teleseminars sets you apart from the crowd in your industry, because it allows people to receive a chunk of information (about an hours’ worth), learn how to apply it, and ask questions to clarify points. If you’re not offering free webinars and teleseminars as part of your marketing plan, now is a good time to start. Just make sure you have a plan for helping your audience consume that class material.

What students want today

Information is everywhere. But smart students are now saying to teachers, “Make it work for me in the real world of busy schedules and conflicting priorities. Help me to focus. Short-cut the learning process for me, and I’m willing to pay you to make this learning logical and easy for me.”

If you want to be unique and stand out from the crowd, start helping your customers consume, digest and use the information you’re giving them.

If you can simplify a complicated topic, if you can save your customers the time of having to do the research and analysis themselves, if you can cut through the noise and help your customers know what’s relevant and important, then you’ll always be valuable to them.

designlaunchdeliver-checkout-trilogy

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Category: Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes, Marketing, Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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Converting Your Live Classes into Self-Study Programs

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We are seeing a change in the way students like to receive education.  Students are used to on-demand everything. Their new philosophy is, “I want training where and how I want it,” and that culture is becoming the norm. We’ve got TiVo and Netflix and Hulu and Kindle — and these things give people complete control over access to what they want in their lives: whenever they want it and wherever they want it.

Why Create Self-Study Programs?

I have been teaching Designing Effective Workshops as a live teleclass series for seven years. I was finding that my students would sign up for the class but they wouldn’t always attend live because of busy schedules. They would simply pick up the recordings and listen when it suited them. These students were very clearly voting for self-study by saying, “I’m just as happy to do it via recording versus doing it live.”

Should you convert some of your live classes to self-study programs?

Here are some thoughts to consider when making the decision for your business:

  • You may find your customers are demanding it.
  • It will make you rise above your competitors because creating an effective self-study product is not easy.  Many of your competitors won’t even attempt it.
  • You want to add passive-income products to your business model.

Things to Consider When Doing the Conversion

  • Start with your lesson plan.  You need to have a written outline of what you’re going to teach and the order you’re going to teach it in.  If you’ve taught the class before, use the same lesson plan that you have already created and tested because you know it works.
  • Edit the exercises. If you already have a lesson plan for a live class, you’ll need to modify the exercises or the homework assignments, changing them into ones that an individual student can do on their own.
  • Decide if the students will have access to you for questions. Typically you will do this through some sort of online message forum, email, or a weekly teleclass. I thought it was important that students be able to ask questions, so I decided to add a message forum to my Designing Effective Workshops self-study online learning program.
  • Decide which media types you will be using for delivering your self-study material. You can deliver your self-study program through video, audio, ebooks, and transcripts. You can choose just one of these delivery media types or a combination. For Designing Effective Workshops, I chose all three: video, audio and transcripts. That way, whichever media type the students preferred, it would be available for them.

Creating self-study programs can be fun and rewarding for you on many levels. And converting your live classes into self-study programs is a smart move to better serve your students and increase your revenue stream.

designlaunchdeliver-checkout-trilogy

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Category: Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes

Look What My Students Are Creating!

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The students in my Designing Effective Workshops & Teleclasses class are so creative! Just look at some of the classes they’ve designed! Once you have a structured approach to writing new classes, the sky’s the limit. 🙂

Connecting Mind space and Home space through Qigong Healing, Harmonizing and Organizing

with Sangita Patel

Learn how we can balance our 2 types of energies(Yin and Yang) in our body and help heal ourselves physically ,mentally, emotionally and spiritually by using simple, efficient and effective method of Qigong. This method helps to remove blockages in your body created by stress, negative thoughts and illness .It brings clarity in mind, opens up Heart energy center along with other 6 major centers. Qigong can be done standing, sitting and lying down by any age who is willing to make positive changes in the lifestyle to enjoy their life. Harmonizing is designed to help develop the skills needed to realize your highest potential through regaining your inner peace and wisdom. Having an organized mind and home space helps maintain sanity and stability in thoughts and actions. www.kalakarinteriors.com

 

What Authors Should Know about Book Illustrations

with Pat Achilles

This seminar provides the groundwork for finding and working with an illustrator, the qualities that will make your book attractive and marketable, and tips on publishing and costs.  Pat will discuss illustration for various reading levels, resources to find illustrators, what to prepare before you contact an illustrator, pricing, ways to cut costs, traditional versus self-publishing, and the single most important thing on which you and your illustrator will collaborate. www.achillesportfolio.wordpress.com/talks/

 

Discovering Your Ideal Client in 4 Simple Steps!

with Cindy Hillsey

You’ve probably heard that you need to pick a Target Market and then figure out what your Niche is within that market, right? I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty confusing and overwhelming to me! What exactly is a Target Market and how do I know what my Niche is within that market? What if I told you that we could make this process really simple, and effective, by discovering who your Ideal Client is in 4 steps?! Yes, 4 simple steps and you will be on your way to discovering your Ideal Client. This Take Action Group (TAG) is for Service-Based Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners, and Solopreneurs who are tired of working with those less-than-Ideal Clients. This TAG will not only help you to discover your Ideal Client, but will show you WHY it is important to your business to know who your Ideal Client is. www.virtualpartnering.com/idealclient-tag/

 

SmartBooksTM

with Amy Bradbury

SmartBooksTM teaches business owners how to effectively use QuickBooks® – from installing the software to printing reports for CPA/taxes – and everything to manage their businesses throughout the year.  Learn how to leverage the #1 business accounting software to work for your business.  http://www.getsmartbooksnow.com/

 

Creating an Elevator Speech

with Amanda Venier

Are you looking for a new job, starting or building a business, or trying to connect with customers or partners?  If so, you need an elevator speech!  During this four week class you will design and write your elevator speech in five simple steps.  You will complete practices and get feedback on your work.  For the class conclusion you will have an opportunity to submit your speech via video or phone.   A follow up class will be offered to help you deliver your message in a compelling way, and adjust your message for use in different situations.  http://www.ionapathways.com/Events_EW8C.php

Build Positive Energy for a Fabulous Life

with Polina Mesechova

This workshop is for busy women who need more energy to work, to take care of a family and a house, and want to feel fabulous.    During class women will learn about foods that increase vitality and exercises that build strength. They will be more inspired and motivated for healthier and happier life. We will share indulgences for feeling and looking amazing.   www.reducestresssolutions.com

 

Basic Infusionsoft Course

with Sharon Broughton

This four-module LIVE online webinar course will train you on all the basics of Infusionsoft! At the end of the course you will be able to setup a new account in Infusionsoft, transfer all the data from the previous cart/CRM, and setup all the details for the system to work! You will be also able to assist your clients with an existing Infusionsoft application by knowing how to setup new products, new campaigns, new webforms, and more! You will be learning from an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant–Sharon Broughton. Class starts on May 1st and is via webinar and all lessons are recorded and available for watching later in the student portal.  http://thetechieva.com/training/basic-infusionsoft-course

 

Overcome Overwhelm

with Suzette Adams

This class helps you, the small business owner, overcome the overwhelm that sneaks into your business day. You need to run your business, run it properly, and have a life too. This course will lay the foundation to help you regain that control and help you find balance again.  More Focus~More Time~More Profits http://www.StructureYourSuccess.com

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Category: Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes

Does Your Voice Tell Your Story? – Free Audio with Katherine Scott

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Are you a:

  • coach
  • speaker
  • consultant
  • teacher
  • teleclass leader

If yes, you’ll want to hear what Katherine Scott has to say about your voice. Katherine is a voice coach who helps people realize the true strength, the true authenticity, of their voice.

Katherine has been a guest on our free monthly teleclass and you can listen to the recording for free here.

http://www.passionforbusiness.com/teleclass/katherine-scott.htm


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Category: Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes, Podcasts, Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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