Monash University Lecturer. Addicted and compassionate traveler,
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” -Maimonides
So the story goes that if you give someone a fish, they’ll eat for a day; but if you teach them to fish, they’ll eat for a lifetime. The message: Learn stuff that helps you to survive and you’ll probably live longer.
As small business owners, freelancers, and assorted creative types, this message is not lost on you – in fact getting others to learn all about you, what you do, how you do it, and why you do it is a matter of your very survival.
On a daily basis, you have to justify your skills, explain a product, educate a customer, teach a staff member or volunteer, up-skill ‘old’ clients to social media and the like – all whilst being creative, enjoying your start-up venture, generating income, creating change, making babies, and getting at least one yoga class in per week! The constant pressure to present yourself in particular ways to media, investors, colleagues, peers, and clients/customers can and does take its toll – on body, mind and spirit.
So your ability to get your product, message, package, dream, passion or idea across to others comes down to just one thing – your ability to clearly and succinctly teach someone something that they connect with. This blog aims to give you some tips about how to do that.
Many of you are small fish in a big crowded pond. The pond is filled with sharks, stingers and piranhas; there are hidden drop offs, nets, and ledges. To get where you want to be, you have to ride in unfamiliar currents with unfamiliar creatures. To get said creatures to notice you, you have to be able to juggle a ball on your nose, jump through a flaming hoop and communicate by sonar. As a result of all this, you often feel like a fish out of water trying to make everyone happy all of the time.
Sometimes it’s pretty shitty living in that pond! Envisioning and building a life passion is hard enough work, let alone having to teach others about your stuff, how to do stuff, how to use stuff or even just how to think. Add to this your own uncertainty, financial worries and fears about what you are doing, where you are going, and how you are going to get there and we can fast see a line of start-ups heading for the finished-up pile.
The real reality is that a lot rides on your ability to effectively educate and inform customers, investors, staff, other start-up folks, clients, the media, and others about who you are, what you do and why they should choose you. Sometimes this has to happen in a matter of minutes. In short…your business success hangs on your ability (or otherwise) to teach something and for your audience to learn something.
Here’s where I come in: I’ve been teaching teachers how to teach, lead and present for more than 20 years. More recently I have melded this with coaching, and studies of neuroscience and personal leadership. This mix has helped me to work out what separates good (successful) teachers, leaders and presenters from not so good (unsuccessful) ones. It has also given me a deep appreciation for seriously thinking about the ways in which the people with whom I work and share my messages actually listen, think and learn.
These studies have given me key insights into how I might be better able to package and present my message. I’m thinking right now (and maybe you are too) that you might be interested in some of those “secrets”; because for me your solution is relatively straight-forward: to “teach a man to fish”.
Get better at…
- Teaching and coaching yourself, your people, your clients, and your customers.
- Packaging and selling your passion, ideas, and message with intention.
- Re-presenting and communicating your message, products or ideas to others.
- Building authentic confidence and an “until” attitude and mindset.
If you get better at teaching, facilitating, presenting, planning and communicating with authentic confidence will get your message across much more efficiently and effectively. And ultimately this will float your business to the surface.
Using The 5C Model
Below I outline five steps in my 5C Model for building your authentic confidence and competence as a teacher, facilitator and presenter. Embedded under each are small micro-steps that you can take to increase the impact of your teaching.
Asking inquiry-based questions and completing strategic tasks during each step of the 5C Model has the potential to turn the tide on how you operate in front of your audiences. So forget about the big crowded, murky pond, and trying to do things like everyone else – you’re here at WeTeachMe because you don’t swim in the same direction as others. Leverage your ability to think outside the fishbowl by simply turning one new idea you had here today into one new action tomorrow or in your next course or workshop. The alternative: Start working on your backflip.